The 41mm upside down forks keep everything composed and precise, making it easy to pick a line and stick to it. The suspension provided plenty of confidence on wet Italian roads, although if anything it's a little too firm for bumpy roads.
The 300cc parallel twin engine in the BN302 needs to be worked hard to get the best from it, with the 38bhp of peak power and 20.2ftlb of torque at 10,000 and 9000rpm respectively. It makes it a fun bike to ride, adding a real sense of excitiment and commitment to the ride. Unfortunately the vibrations kick in at 10,000rpm through the footpegs, bars and seat.
The partnership between Benelli and the Qianjiang Group and as such reliability is still a big unknown. The BN302 feels well built, although some of the components, such as the clocks and pegs, do feel a little budget.
With an estimated price of between £3100 and £3400, the Benelli is over a grand cheaper than the KTM Duke 390, without any significant gulf in quality.
In a world where the latest bikes come dripping in space age tech, the little Benelli offers a refreshing change. There's currently no ABS - that comes in August 2015 - but the double discs - a rarity on bikes of this size - make light work of bringing the 180kg Benelli to a stop with one finger. As standard the BN302 comes shod with Pirelli Angel GT tyres, which offer great grip in all conditions.