The once Italian, now Chinese-owned Benelli unveiled new motorcycles, ranging from lightweight ADV style bikes to full blown street nakeds.
Ever since the reigns of Benelli were handed to the Chinese Qianjiang Group, the range of products of the Italian motorcycle manufacturer is steadily expanding. This year at EICMA, Benelli went without a press introduction, but had a lineup of motorcycles fresh off the design board. The diversity in the products was also noteworthy.
Starting at the bottom of the cubic capacity ladder, Benelli introduced the BN125, a single cylinder 125 cc street bike that takes after its elder brother, the BN251. Then there was a TRK251, a single-cylinder 250 cc adventure style motorcycle. This bike takes design cues from the bigger parallel-twin TRK502. Although some might feel that a 250 cc heart is too puny to power an ADV bike, nowadays all manufacturers are getting into the small-displacement game with unique offerings. And the TRK251 does look the business.
There was also a rather familiar-looking motorcycle on display at the Benelli pavilion. Viewed from afar, it looked like a certain Italian power cruiser. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be the Benelli 402S, a 500 cc parallel twin powered cruiser motorcycle.
The 500 cc platform has also led to the birth of a new neo-retro bike, the Leoncino. On display at EICMA was a kitted-up version of the 500 cc scrambler, christened Leoncino Sport, a cafe racer take on the standard bike, complete with a bubble windscreen, low clip-on handlebars and tiny panniers.
Moving up the displacement ladder, Benelli also introduced the 752S, painted in signature Benelli Green, and employing a 754 cc engine of old. This motor was first seen aboard the Benelli Due 756 prototype, which wowed crowds way back in 2006. 11 long years later, the engine is making a comeback in a new body, good for 81 hp and 67 Nm.
With so many models on display, with most of them slated for release in 2018, Benelli seems to have secured solid backing in their Chinese stewards. We only hope that all the bikes displayed at Benelli stand see the light of day.
Stay tuned for more updates from 2017 EICMA!