BENELLI TNT 899 (2008 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£130|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Benelli TNT super naked has been with us now, almost unchanged since 2004. Early 1130cc models were snarling, brutal, wheelie-prone monsters with a savage-sounding wail from its three into one underseat exhaust. But these very early models could be temperamental things, but since Benelli was bought by the Chinese Qiangiang Group (they produce over 1.2-million two-wheelers a year over there), money has been poured into making the Benelli TNT more refined and reliable. The Benelli 899S is powered by a reworked version of the old Benelli Tornado superbike engine and is arguably the best TNT to come out of the factory gates in Pesaro, Italy. It’s smooth, refined, fast, fun and excellent value for money too. Benelli also do an 899T, which has a slightly lower spec and non-adjustable suspension for £200 less.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Gifted test rider Gianluca Galasso and ex-factory Bimota rider is in charge of the development at Benelli nowadays and his mark is all over the TNT 899S. No longer are TNTs set up like a plank of wood, the suspension on this one is beautifully plush. The Benelli TNT 899S rides the bumps beautifully, but when you turn up the wick through the bends it stays nice and composed. Around town, the roomy, upright riding position is comfy and the wide bars give you lots of control. Non-radial brakes are up to the job, but the high all-up weight of the bike stops the Benelli from scoring a perfect five.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Although the same basic architecture remains, the old 899cc in-line three cylinder Benelli Tornado engine gets new internals to make the Benelli TNT 899S more tractable, less fierce and simple to live with. It boasts a new cylinder head, pistons, cams and revised ignition mapping and unlike Benellis of old, all the on/off jerkiness has gone when you’re feathering the throttle at low revs. This makes the Benelli TNT 899S lovely to ride around town and much more predictable through the bends too. Acceleration isn’t up there with the Triumph Speed Triples and KTM Super Dukes of the world as it only has 118bhp and is quite heavy (it weighs 199kg), but there’s still plenty of performance to be had and a screaming exhaust note to savour at high revs. This brilliant new motor makes the Benelli TNT 899S seem like a completely new model, despite its familiar clothes.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
If Benellis had have been made like this in the first place we reckon they would be a lot more successful. The Benelli TNT 899S is well built and refined beyond recognition compared to the original TNT. For piece of mind, there’s now a full-blown UK importer in place (www.motogb.co.uk) to take care of spares and servicing.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
£7649 buys you a lot of Italian-built style, attitude and exclusivity and now, excellent build-quality and, we hope reliability too. If you’re in the market for a super naked that’s different, but easy to live with, the Benelli TNT 899S won’t disappoint. It’s just a shame that Benelli left it this long to give us what we wanted. We hope it’s not too late. Find a Benelli TNT 899 for sale.
You get a lot of nice toys with the Benelli 899S, like fully adjustable suspension, Brembo calipers, carbon fibre infil panels and front mudguard. The swooping tubular steel trellis frame with its cast aluminium swingarm pivot still looks great after all these years and the tubular steel swingarm, complete with its eccentric adjusters are a work of art too. Compare and buy products for the Beneli TNT 899S in the MCN Shop.
|Engine type||12-valve, in-line-triple|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis/cast aluminium|
|Fuel capacity||16 litres|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm discs|
|Rear brake||240mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 17 in|
|Rear tyre size||190/50 17 in|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||33 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£130|
|Used price||£7,000 - £7,500|
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How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||118 bhp|
|Max torque||65 ft-lb|
|Top speed||145 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11.7 secs|
|Tank range||117 miles|
Model history & versions
2008 – Benelli TNT 899S introduced.
TNT 899T, TNT 1130 K, TNT 1130 Sport, TNT 1130 Titanium.
Owners' reviews for the BENELLI TNT 899 (2008 - on)
3 owners have reviewed their BENELLI TNT 899 (2008 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£130|
Annual servicing cost: £130
This bike is addictive, i've owned it for 2yrs now and in that time i've covered 7500 faultless miles on it, it's been a pleasure to own. Initially i was hesitant to buy from such a little known manufacturer like Benelli but looking back now i'm so pleased i took the gamble and ignored all the stereotypical warnings from my riding mates. The overall build quality is reassuring good with some top notch components about like the big gold imposing solid Marzoccihi forks, the SACHS rear shock, Brembo calipers and some bits of carbon fibre dotted about the place.The ride is the best bit though due to it's characteristic noise, i've never heard or had a bike with such a voice as this, changing down it kind of barks, pops, gurgles and bangs, you end up deliberately using more engine braking than you need to just to encourage more of it. Pulling away with a lot of throttle and it has more of a high pitched wail and i find myself taking it further up the rev range between changes just to enjoy it, Brakes are strong as well, you get loads of bite from very little force applied to the lever, the clutch is smooth and easy to pull in,gears slot in positively and are easy to select. My only gripe with this bike is the fuel tank, it's just a bit on the small side and could do with room for an extra litre or two just to extend time between fill ups,this and a few loose fitting plastics around the side mounted radiators sorted and the bike would be 100% flawless in my opinion.
Its no tourer, it's a street naked after all so don't expect to be polishing off hundreds of miles through the alps before taking a break, but for what it is it's very good, the riding stance i find to be more comfortable than my friends Z800 which is technically in the same category, i'm 5ft 11" and i'm happy piloting her for about 70 miles before i need a stretch.Both front and rear shocks are fully adjustable on mine which is the "S" model so you can set the suspension up exactly how you want it, it was a little firm when i first got it but i've backed it off a few clicks since then & now its a lot easier travelling over these potholed riddled roads we have up here in County Durham.
The engine is the best thing about this bike, as i said earlier it's addictive.
It's never missed a beat, starts 1st time on the button and goes like the clappers :)
It's no more expensive to service and maintain than any other bike ive had
By today's standards admittedly its down on electronic gizmos & gadgets,not such a bad thing for me, i like its rawness, it has an LCD digital display which tells you the stuff you need to know, the normal things like, speed, time, temp, fuel etc but there's none of this power mode switching or anything but i don't really feel it needs it, ABS would be nice.
Buying experience: Bought it used from a small dealer in Scotland,he wanted £5000 for it, managed to get it for £4750, it was 3yrs old with just over 1000 miles, it was and still is immaculate.
Best features, looks, amazing triple sound, handling, a bike to wake up your senses and stir your soul. Dare to be different and don't look back.
Sound is amazing when rolling off throttle a Loud popping exhaust, handles great and good chassis.
Power delivery constant, sound amazing on standard exhaust.
So far so good no issues apart from oil seal leak cheaply sorted but only had 8 months
Looks amazing in my opinion
Not a bike for urban riding but superb for twisty mountain roads. Pure joy to ride it. Fantastic.