So today DSK MotoWheels unveiled Benelli in India, one of the oldest Italian bike manufacturers. My Facebook feed is completely inundated with people going nuts over the latest entrants into the Indian motorcycle market, and I’m sitting here munching on my popcorn, scratching my left butt from time to time.

Go through any article on any “reputed” news source, everything is in future tense. Showrooms “will” open, bikes “will” come, prices “will” be competitive. NOTHING is certain as of now, nothing at all. If Hyosung, which is also managed by DSK MotoWheels, is any example to go with, I am not too optimistic about the Italians to be honest. Remember how long it took Triumph to come in? And how much the final prices had bloated as compared toย the first announcement?

Yes Benelli has a good international presence. They don’t excel in numbers like Suzuki or Kawsaki, nor do they excel in 2 wheel artistic expression, like MV Agusta or Ducati though. They do have the heritage of an illustrious racing pedigree, with Tonino Benelli winning the Italian Championship in 1927, 28, 30 and 31. Riders atop Benelli bikes have won Isle of Man races, and MotoGP Championships as well. But who gives a fuck about that!

You can read about Benelli’s turbulent history over here, which kinda gives the impression that they have always been lagging behind the Japs one way or the other. Don’t get me wrong, I would be probably the first guy to get a life-threatening loan and buy the TNT 899, IF it is launched at a competitive price, with all the support structure of service centers and dealerships in place. All I’m trying to say is, people are just running too far ahead of themselves.

Any who, here is the list of all the bikes that “will” be launched. Everyone is fairly tight-lipped about the prices, which should’t be too stratospheric considering they’ll be brought in via the cheaper CKD (Completely Knocked Down) route, and assembly will be done locally. January 2015 has been set as the target date for 8 showrooms to be functional, with additional 20 being planned for the future.

1. Benelli TNT 302

  • 300 cc, liquid cooled, inline 2 engine
  • 37 HP, 27 Nm
  • 185 kg weight
  • 16 L fuel tank

The 302, a naked street bike, will be the entry level Benelli you can get your hands on for now, with plans for 150 and 250 tiny little Benellis also planned for the future. Power and torque figures are roughly comparable to the competition, but that weight is too much on the higher side! A 675cc Street Triple weighs less than that, so I don’t really know what is going on here.

2. Benelli TNT 600 i

  • 600cc, liquid cooled, inline 4 engine
  • 82 HP, 52 Nm
  • 208 kg
  • 15 L fuel tank

The TNT 600 (TNT stands for Tornado Naked Tre, with Tre being a wink towards the Trellis frame), would be an ideal upgrade for Duke 390 owners, although it again is on the higher side as far as weight goes. A naked street bike, it will compete with the likes of ER-6n, Street Triple and GT650N. I personally am a big fan of underseat exhausts, and this one looks absolutely stunning!

3. Benelli TNT 600 GT

  • 600cc, liquid cooled, inline 4 engine
  • 82 HP, 52 Nm
  • 223 kg
  • 27 L fuel tank

The TNT 600 GT is a tourer version of the TNT 600 street bike, and a serious one at that! It’s not just a fairing job, look at that insane fuel tank capacity! The bike looks comfortable for long distances, although that weight again looks pretty menacing. This one goes with a rather conservative underbelly exhaust, and loses on that maniac designย of other Benelli machines. Looks all go and no show, and I love that!

4. Benelli TNT 899

  • 899cc, liquid cooled, 3 cylinder engine
  • 120 HP, 88 Nm
  • 205 kg
  • 16 L fuel tank

If there is one bike that I’m really looking forward to, the TNT 899 would be it. It has that right mix of low weight and high power, and also comes with a more soulful 3 cylinder configuration! The gorgeous 3-to-1 underseat exhaust looks just fabulous, and overall this is one insane looking machine! The TNT 899 would have the character of a 600 triple, while having the power of a liter class beast, me loves!

5. Benelli TNT 1130R

  • 1130cc, liquid cooled, 3 cylinder engine
  • 158 HP, 120 Nm
  • 205 kg
  • 16 L fuel tank

OK, now we are entering the crazy land. The Benelli TNT 1130R is another stonker of a machine. It must be one of the lightest 1000cc+ motorbikes I think! At just 205 kgs, and with 158 HP on tap, this one will need a light touch to not kill yourself on. The 1130R also comes with a 3 cylinder configuration, as does the Triumph’s Speed Triple. Hopefully this one will come with Traction Control, ABS and power modes, otherwise it will quickly become a very good looking death machine.

So there you have it, promising stuff from DSK and Benelli, but far too early to start jacking off to the Benelli website. Let’s wait, hopefully the pricing be inspired by KTM and not Kawasaki. And as I always say, choice is always good! Check out RushLane’s coverage of the event here for more pictures.

comments (14)

  • Reply

    October 25, 2014

    Well, one of you reader form cambodia. Benelli is already here with their china brother Keeway. Here they know as Benelli-keeway, But the only benneli line here right now is BN600 (Aka TNT 600i) (price is 7000usd here duke 390 is 6200usd) Soon this motnh TNT 300 (around 3500 to 4000usd Fingers crossed Duke 200 is 4500 company show room, outside dealer is as low as 4150usd). Als they also bring the flagship TNT 1130R (I hear around 30000usd :/ price is pricy cas super duke 1290R (company) and BMW HP4(gray import) around 25000usd and Kawasaki Z1000ABS 15000usd(japan gray import)). :/ You should try to test rider TNT 600i you will love the sound form that exhausted for us here 600 is already to fast -_-. ๐Ÿ˜‰ keep up good Good up good work (and curse, lol). ๐Ÿ˜‰
    by the way i hope some of keeway bike will go to indian as well quite good and very reasonable. (oh! we also have bajaj here line up 135ls, 180 (just come this month and flag ship 200ns) (and yes i know our price here is suck). -_-

    • Reply

      October 25, 2014

      For baja i mean bajaj here line up 135ls,180 (just come this month) and flagship 200ns.

      • Reply

        October 28, 2014

        These bikes are super famous here, you can see them in every nook and cranny ๐Ÿ˜‰ How’s the response over there?

    • Reply

      October 28, 2014

      Thanks for the comment man from Cambodia! The prices there are absolutely horrendous BTW ๐Ÿ™‚

      I would love to test ride the Benelli 600, let’s see when it makes it over here!

  • Reply

    October 17, 2014

    Well, whatever be the price of these machines and whenever they are launched in India, credit must be given to the Benelli management for entering the Indian market at just the right moment. Because Indian customers are slowly waking up to some world-class products by the international players, and secondly, the segment in which the entire line-up of Benelli falls, i.e. 300cc-1000cc (except TNT 1130R, of course), is very sparsely populated at the moment. And Benelli stands to grab a sizeable chunk of this segment only if it launches its bikes at the earliest and that too at a competitive price. As far as their partnership with DSK goes, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that DSK doesn’t mess it up this time!!

    • Reply

      October 18, 2014

      Fingers crossed man, DSK isn’t Bajaj, they don’t really seem to understand the Indian market if you ask me!

  • Reply

    October 17, 2014

    It will be very difficult for DSK to price a bike like TNT 899 because they’re already expensive in many other parts of the world. I think TNT 899 will be around 1.5 million rupees.

    • Reply

      October 17, 2014

      Well, let’s hope against hope Swadhin! 15 lacs price tag for a less than liter class naked bike will surely mean death for Benelli ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply

    October 17, 2014

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply

    October 17, 2014

    Akhil – Dont expect pricing like KTM. Not possible being a CKD unit compared to locally manufactured KTM’s but good news nonetheless for Auto buffs in India. Good Times Ahead Mate!!

  • Reply

    October 17, 2014

    Well its Italian under Chinese management. Just like our bullet

    • Reply

      October 17, 2014

      Yeah, don’t really care about the managements, they price it right and provide the basic infrastructure, I’ll be getting one for sure!

What's on your mind?