BENELLI TORNADO 1130 (2003 - 2014) Review


  • Big-capacity three-cylinder engine
  • High quality suspension
  • A great secondhand buy

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Power: 133 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.9 in / 810 mm)
Weight: Medium (430 lbs / 195 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Benelli Tornado is a uniquely styled Italian sportsbike that handles and sounds like few other motorcycles, thanks to a big-capacity triple-cylinder motor and high quality suspension.

Prices have crashed from their £11,700 high, with unused Benelli Tornado Tre examples now going for £6,195 - that's a lot of motorcycle for the money.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The 50mm Marzocchi forks and Extreme Tech rear shock on the motorcycle make short work of smooth surfaces, but can be a little harsh on pot-holed British A-roads. The Benelli Tornado's riding position is somewhat tiring after a hundred miles or so as your wrists and back take the abuse of the motorcycle's aggressive bum-up, head-down ergonomics.

Benelli Tornado ridden on track


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The liquid-cooled in-line triple in the Benelli Tornado is rorty and the 140bhp available is a pleasure to work, thanks to the motorcycle's almighty exhaust soundtrack.

There’s plenty of torque on tap, and a slipper clutch helps smooth out any awkward downshifts. The first model Benelli Tornado suffered from a slightly snatchy fuel-injection, but from 2004 onwards the motorcycle is much improved.

Benelli Tornado ridden quickly on road

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
2 out of 5 (2/5)

The Benelli Tornado's components are straight out of the top draw, but mechanically and electronically Benelli struggle to match the rival motorcycle Aprilia RSV1000, let alone motorcycles from the Japanese manufacturers. Check your AA membership is paid up…

Our Benelli Tornado owners' reviews show a few people have had issues with their bikes. It's worth having a read through.

Benelli Tornado front brake

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

With some Benelli Tornados available secondhand for as little as £4000, the Benelli Tornado represents an amazing chance to grab a seriously exclusive motorcycle for seriously common money.

Japanese litre-class motorcycles offer better value for money and performance, but they can’t hold a candle to the Benelli Tornado’s sweeping curves, underseat radiator fans or motorcycle meet cool.

Benelli Tornado rear end showing exhaust


3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Benelli Tornado has top drawer Brembo radial brakes. Popular modifications for this motorcycle include aftermarket race-style cans, which really let the Benelli Tornado’s motor sound at its very best. Leo Vince offered a re-map and titanium exhaust option for this motorcycle for about £700.

There are also plenty of aftermarket suspension and styling bits out there for the rider who wants to personalise their bike.

Benelli Tornado fans in rear end


Engine size 898cc
Engine type 12v triple, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 195kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost -
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 133 bhp
Max torque 74 ft-lb
Top speed 167 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 11 secs
Tank range 166 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2001: Benelli Tornado 900 model launched.
    2004: Benelli Tornado 1130 model launched.

Other versions

  • Benelli Tornado Novocento LE: High specification motorcyclel costing £23,000. Featured carbon fibre bodywork and tank, Ohlins suspension and magnesium wheels
  • Benelli Tornado 1130: New, 1130cc motor developed from the TnT delivers 161bhp and proves a challenge to established Italian superbike hegemony
  • Benelli Tornado Novocento Tre: Bottom of the old range (non-radial brakes, slightly heavier, slightly less power), but otherwise still a good motorcycle.

Owners' reviews for the BENELLI TORNADO 1130 (2003 - 2014)

11 owners have reviewed their BENELLI TORNADO 1130 (2003 - 2014) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BENELLI TORNADO 1130 (2003 - 2014)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Engine: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
2 out of 5 Looks great, sounds even better, but a disappointment to ride.
15 September 2023 by Andy

Version: 900

Year: 2012

A great example of style over substance. Tornado? More like a gentle breeze...

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Ride quality isn't bad for what it is, and the brakes were decent. She's a heavy girl though, and reluctant to turn it, you feel all of her 220kg weight when changing direction. Once in the turn, she held her line well though.

Engine 2 out of 5

The worst part for me. Coming from a Daytona 675, I thought this would be more of the same, but with added power. Fluffy below 4k, vibey above 7k, but truthfully, not very fast. Blame her 220kg kerb weight for that one, despite a plastic tank, alloy sprockets and a Ti exhaust. Slow and heavy, in a nutshell.

Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5

Problems from day one. Wouldn't idle when cold, so had to hold it open at the lights until it was hot. Battery cables not man enough to work properly, so the dash flickers, trip resets all the time, odometer doesn't update, so no idea how many miles this thing actually has on it. Battery light constantly coming on, so not getting enough charge.

Value vs rivals 2 out of 5

Price was reasonable, but a pig to work on. Want to replace the battery? Remove tail light, number plate holder, both seats and all the rear bodywork. What takes 2 minutes on any other bike is an hour's labour on this.

Equipment 1 out of 5

Minimal. And that's when they worked properly. I'm looking at you, fuel guage.

4 out of 5 Better than people think
28 December 2017 by rob the ranger

Version: Tornado 900

Year: 2011

Brilliant looks and design, addictive sound and decent power and predicatable handling

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

done 2 trackdays, and handling very stable, has pace of a 600 but is heavier. Its pretty comfy for a sports bike better than my MV f4 and Duc 1198 and a decent but not exceptional range. remember its 14 year old plus, technology so no radial brakes or electronic driving aids, though it does have steering damper and slipper clutch.

Engine 4 out of 5

whatever performance defficiencies compared to modern bikes is made up for by the engine sound !! awesome even with standard can.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

my bike had 2k miles 11 plate and looked brand new, all the mads done to help reliabilty. Thet need to be looked after and not left outside. Done 1500 miles in a year and 2 trackdays. Had a leaky oil pressure switch and the temp gauge can go mad for no reason, oh and trip meter rests on start. (it is Italian so what do you expect)

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

service it myself, parts are difficult to get though some parts are used on other bikes.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The beast feature are the looks of this bike,amazing to me! more people will talk to you than when im on either of my other bikes.

Buying experience: Bought privately, super cheap, stunner, 2k miles 11 plate (though all made by 2004) as new for under £3500. also great forum online too

4 out of 5 Tornado TRE 900
06 April 2012 by stidds

Always so many horror stories regarding reliability but that was on the early models which should have been fixed by now. As long as you know the updates to clutch basket and a small belville washer have been carried out then they are as reliable as any other superbike. I have had no problems at all with mine.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 Tornado 900
06 September 2011 by

I have owned a Benelli Tornado from new for 12 months now and covered approx 4k. There are good deals out there but the second hand values remain low, maybe due to the rarity of the bike or more likely the early reliability issues. The handling is good but not amazing however you have to remember that the 900's were made in 2003/4, the riding position puts you on top of the bike and turning in can be nervous. Proper suspension setup would be needed to get the most from the chassis compared to most jap bikes. The riding position is unique and is suited more to someone with long legs and short arms - the clip on's are low and the switchgear awkward especially the indicator switch and the "mode" button used to start the stopwatch/lap timer (gimmick). The mirrors look nice but you have to duck down to see anything behind you and the original screen is low. The clocks however are very clear. Performance is nearer to a CBR600f than an R6 or similar race rep. You have to wind it up to get the most out of it although the torque produced makes manic gearchanges less likely - you just have to know where the peak torque and power is in the rev range to get the most out of it rather than expect instant power everywhere. This could be down to the lumpy fuelling although new maps are being developed for this machine.# There are good deals out there for "new" bikes and you get a lot of bike for your money BUT the importers are not very helpful, the dealers are widespread and contradict each other on what is needed regarding servicing (and the cost of that servicing)and the service intervals are close and pricey compared to a triumph (Which I think the Tornado essentially is - an italian styled 12v triple). Parts are also difficult to source and expensive. The way to sum up the experience is this - you get an excusive bike with a very interesting induction and exhaust note and plenty of attention at bike meets, etc but I would prefer to have a better dealer network for piece of mind. Think carefully before you take the plunge!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Tornado Tre
23 November 2007 by aogier

Pretty much like any other owner will tell you... this bike is awesome in every way, from its styling, to the handling, to the attention to detail that you just wouldnt find on anything japanese. Its the only bike I've owned that I run home from work so that I can grab an opportunity to take her for a ride, and if its sunny at a weekend, I'm out cold or not! Handling is sublime, took me a couple of weeks to get used to the height - you seem to sit lower on a jap but once you've bonded with your tornado there's nothign else! Oh, and the noise, mmmmmm! its addictive, this is biking! so what if a zxcbrgsxr6 might be quicker in a straight line, I bet they arent smiling as much as a Benelli owner and on the corners she'll easily match them. And besides, its good to be less frantic and enjoy the experience... I've had no reliability issues, she starts first time everytime, even in middle of winter. Yes there are tiny little things, the clocks sometimes reset cause of low volatage from overly small battery and she gets bad tempered in traffic, but these are all things that make you love this bike . Oh and I havent had a problem with Neutral! if you werent prepared to slot her in on the approach, just give a nudge forward as you tip the pedal and neutral slots in nicely. Cant think of anything else I'd rather ride and cant wait for Spring

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 Superb Italian exotica.
04 October 2007 by colinux

Bought a standard 900 Tre in Red. 54 plate with only 1000 miles on the clock. Guy I bought it off could not believe that I would ride it 180 miles back home. Absolutely amazing machine!!! The handling is just superb, with the intergrated frame/engine it sits the road beautifully and the brembo brakes stop it in a second. I didn't find the riding position bad at all. With 180 miles, I only stopped to fill her up. No wrist or back problems, just a silly grin on my face everytime I opened her up! I picked one with a full service history so the clocks and the clutch issues have been sorted. I cannot fault it at all, except that they should fit an alarm at manufacture. It sounds great, once you get the revs up there is that amazing throaty grunt from the triple that turns heads and shakes windows! Only other problem is that there are so few on the road the cops know me already. For the same price you can get the same age zx6r or similar. I'm glad I went Italian.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Benelli Tornado LE
01 September 2007 by johnyrottin

The Benelli factory created the Limited Edition to homogulate the WSB race bike. Ther were 150 copies made. I own number 131. Absolutely stunning looks and noises. Dare to be different!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 5 Years on and it still looks hot!
18 March 2007 by Benellibug

I am on my second one now, 1st one was standard 900 and the second one is the Limited Edition (one of 100)dripping in carbon fibre. It is a hoot to ride and heads turn all the time. Neutral does not exist but the clutch is so light it really does not matter. Problem with the speedo, but this is a matter of chasing up a new one and getting it replaced. Benelli are fully aware and most done under warranty. Try getting 41 mpg ;-) when you want to hear that howl at 9000 revs. The bike just wants to be ridden. All round Ohlin suspension makes the LE a magic carpet on the road.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Couldn't refuse it at £6000 (from KJM Wigan) - plus unique looks, sound etc
31 July 2006 by elbandito

Attracts positive comments from every one that sees it, and certainly draws the crowds as they are quite rare. Great green silver colour scheme and the exhaust note is very addictive. Went to assen and back with no probs. Loads of rain back to rotterdam, no prob. Strengths: looks/power/sound and in my case price - cheaper than a jap 600 for italian exclusivity. Always a talking point when I pull up at bike places. Makes you proud to own it. Weaknesses: Neutral gear - forget it! Very hard to engage when stopped, you have to engage as you pull up not when stopped. Maybe next service can sort it. Trip/clock does reset for no apparent reason. Back brake crap. Three things in all. But the rest of it so good what the hell. I hope to sort these thing soon. Oh yes, no span adjuster on clutch - a bit of a bind for those of us with short fingers.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 A real head turner of a bike!
10 March 2006 by Bigbadal

This bike is without a doubt one of THE nicest bikes you are ever likely to see on the road. Get used to receiving compliments if you buy one of these bikes because they will come thick and fast. The noise that comes out of the Benelli is wonderful. When that triple really gets going it sings the sweetest notes you will hear on the road. Other road users will hear you coming a mile away as this thing is loud. All in all this is a great bike but not without its niggles. Strengths: Looks. Sound. Nice power delivery. Weaknesses: The gearbox. Trying to find neutral is a real pain . You either have to get used to it or sell it! The turning circle isn't that great. Don't expect to do a U turn in the road with this bike, it's more of a 3 point turn which can make filtering through traffic a bit on the dodgy side. The rev counter on the bike seems to have a life of its own. It can jump from 4-7k without a shift in the throttle or gear change.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 Brilliant bike with a few small faults (and a lack of back up support)
30 September 2005 by ianandlinda

Quick and gorgeous looking, and with so few about a bit different too. Drop dead looks, decent compoents and a grweat noise from the triple. Underseat fans are justa hoot and guaranteed to attract attention, even if the ability to keep the Rad cool is dubious. Strengths: They way it looks and the way it sounds. Weaknesses: Reliability with electrics and lack of factory back up for spares etc.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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