The bargain Benelli Tornado

Published: 02 September 2002

Benelli has just released the first pictures and details of its Tornado Novecento (Italian for " nine hundred " ).

For more on the new Benelli Novecento see the latest issue of MCN, out September 4.

Earlier this year Benelli began production of its hand built £22,000 Limited Edition Tornado, but at £10,500 the Novecento is half the price, but it certainly isn’t half the bike.

Although the exotic extras like adjustable headstock and carbon-fibre bodywork have been replaced with less extravagant items, the new Tornado is as striking as ever.

The Novocento also features:

*Marzocchi forks with an Extreme tech shock, rather than Ohlins units front and rear.

*Revised sub-frame and pillion perch

*The same in-line three cylinder 898cc motor making a claimed 141bhp and 74lb ft of torque at 8,500rpm.

*Benelli-badged alloys rather than the lightweight Marchesini wheels of the Limited Edition. But even the style of the wheels has been kept the same, so it will take a sharp eye to tell the difference.

*The Limited Edition’s full carbon-fibre bodywork has been switched for mass-produced plastic, contributing to the new bike’s heavier weight of 198kg (435lb) compared to the original’s 185kg (407lb).

*To make the bike quieter, cheaper and more user-friendly, the Novecento has a conventional wet clutch, where the clutch plates sit in a pool of oil, rather than the race-oriented dry clutch of the earlier bike.

*As well as being mildly re-shaped, the biposto’s seat is actually 10mm lower than the Limited Edition, giving the bike a lower centre of gravity, and allowing slightly shorter riders to enjoy the bike.

The first Novecentos should be in the showrooms by Spring.