BENELLI TRK 502 (2017 - on) Review
- A fully credible attempt at an adventure bike
- Rock-solid engine
- A2 compliant; cheap to buy and run
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£120|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Benelli TRK 502 X is a full-sized adventure bike that happens to be powered by an A2-compliant, 47bhp motor.
In that sense it’s a little different to its closest rival, Honda’s CB500X, which is a more novice-orientated, manageable machine. But the Benelli is undoubtedly a winner as well, with appealing (for some) full-sized proportions, great spec and nearly-as-good performance – all for a brilliant price.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Although a budget, A2 bike, the TRK 502 X is very much a full-sized adventure bike with the beefy, long travel suspension to match.
Ride is adequately plush, steering, while not as sharp as some, is OK, it wears decent Metzeler Tourance semi-knobbly tyres and its big seat and broad screen means it’s all-day comfortable as well. Yes, it could do with a touch more quality and refinement, but it’s also far better than you might expect.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The star is the Benelli 500cc, 47bhp, A2-compliant parallel twin. Beforehand I’d half expected something crude or wheezy, maybe a rehash of the old KLE500 motor or similar.
In reality it matches its closest rival, the purpose built 471cc, 47bhp parallel twin of the Honda CB500X, for performance (it’s only slightly slower due to the TRK’s extra weight), betters its character, slick gearchange and exhaust note and only lags in terms of frugality.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Yes, the Benelli’s a budget, Chinese-built bike so questions inevitably remain about dealers, durability and residuals.
But when an entry into motorcycling is this desirable, stylish and cheap (and the base version, is even cheaper), how much of that really matters? For me, it’s the first Chinese bike I can take fully seriously…
But it's also worth noting what actual buyers of these bikes thing, and you can find that out in our Benelli TRK 502 owners' reviews. A few people have had issues with build quality concerns such as early rusting or bolts falling out, but most owners are happy with thier bikes.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Wow! If you want a full-size adventure bike at a budget price, can cope with the Benelli’s big, full-adventure size and trust in the now Chinese-owned company’s infrastructure, dealers and residuals, the TRK 502 X is simply a brilliant-value all-rounder.
Don’t forget, at that money you could get an X, luggage, heated grips and a posh can and STILL be cheaper than its closest rival, Honda’s CB500X. Who said adventure bikes had to be expensive?
There’s no getting away from the fact that the Benelli’s impressively equipped. There’s the base TRK 502 at just over £5K, which has more street-orientated 17in cast alloy wheels, lower seat height and so on; while the 502 X here, a bit like BMW’s Adventure version of their GS, is more off-roady with 19/17in wire wheels, longer travel suspension (so is 10mm taller), bash plate and crash protection bars - all for around £5K.
It also has twin disc brakes, beefy 50mm inverted forks, 12v socket, hand guards, mainstand and luggage rack. Some of this may not be the very latest (the clocks, for example, are a little old-fashioned) or even best quality (on our test bike there was already the odd spot of rust and some of the fasteners weren’t the best), but for the money it’s difficult to complain.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 8v parallel twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||20 litres|
|Front suspension||50mm inverted forks no adjust|
|Rear suspension||single shock, preload adjust|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm front discs with 2-piston calipers. ABS|
|Rear brake||260mm rear disc with single-piston caliper. ABS|
|Front tyre size||110/80 x 19|
|Rear tyre size||150/70 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||49 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£69|
|Annual service cost||£120|
|Used price||£4,000 - £5,000|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||47 bhp|
|Max torque||33 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||215 miles|
Model history & versions
2017: TRK 502 and X version introduced. X is a taller, more off-road orientated version with wire wheels (including a 19in front), longer travel suspension and added crash protection.
TRK 502: Standard, more road-orientated version has cast wheels (including a smaller, 17in front, 10mm shorter suspension and less crash protection.
Owners' reviews for the BENELLI TRK 502 (2017 - on)
12 owners have reviewed their BENELLI TRK 502 (2017 - 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:||£120|
Annual servicing cost: £100
Great bike for an even better price. I had plenty of big sports bikes, GSXR750, GSXR1000, GSXR1100, Ninja 900 etc. Honestly this bike is more fun, easier to handle and never scares the pants off me. The 47BHP motor is a bit weedy and tops out at around 110mph but riding at motorway speeds is very comfortable. round town and on roundabouts etc the bike handles far better than any of the sports bikes I've had, it inspires far more confidence when throwing it into tight bends and round corners. I recommend you test one out then decide. You might be surprised. I've already got my eye on the new TRK802 later this year just for that extra bit of power.
i get a slight buzz from the bars which gives ne a dead hand on my throttle grip. But that said I get it no matter what bike I ride so maybe its my riding style. The brakes have been great. Found the rear a bit soft but adjusted the foot pedal up quite a bit and now its spot on. I think the standard position might be a bit off so some of the comments about soft rear brakes might be quashed with a little adjustment. Again, I have adjusted the bars a little further back and the riding position is far better. No back ache, no cramps in my hips. Like riding a comfy chair that handles really well.
Its a 500cc twin so its not going to be as smooth or torquey as an inline 4 but I have been really happy with its performance. It isn't a 150BHP super bike and as long as you don't expect that kind of performance you will be very happy.
only done around 1500 miles. mainly in the dry but there have been no problems. Had a slight issue with the engine management light but contacted the dealer who talked me through the reset with the ignition and no further problems. Didn't lose any performance, just had the light which they reckon was down to the engine running in.
Really cheap to maintain. The service was £100 and that included a spare oil filter and top up bottle of the right oil. Had to travel to a dealer (about 30 miles) but so what.....it was just another excuse to go for a ride and it took about an hour for the work to be done. On the 200 mile days out I've done the bike has returned about 70mpg. Most of that has been done during the running in and it ahs dropped a bit now i can give it the beans occasionally but still in the mid to upper 60's.
Really nice dash display and a very useful rear rack but the small space under the seat is filled with electronics so you cant even carry a tool kit. I just strapped a tank bag to the rear rack and carry what I want there.
Buying experience: Bought online from Benelli and had it delivered to the dealer in Exeter. Really easy transaction and a discounted price.
This bike is all I need for everyday riding, comuting and touring and is very capable even two up, the comparatively small engine is perfectly fine for me but I am 52 and not interested in top end performance figures
It is used all year round and lives outside uncovered and has stood up to the winter weather very well
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer for £5000
Version: Trk 502x
Annual servicing cost: £230
I would recommend this bike to anyone who wants an adventure bike on a limited budget against buying a second hand bike..... Brilliant at twice the price
I weigh 22st and it has no problems carrying my fat carcass, even two's up isn't a problem, the low down torque is brilliant
Even though its only a 500cc with 47hp it never seems to need any more power (I am 52 and aren't interested in outright speed anymore)
It lives outside, uncovered and is showing no signs of rust after 5 months
As with all bikes the headlights are adequate but could be brighter on full beam
Buying experience: I bought it brand new from Wallasey motorcycles and they have been excellent and I would (and do) recommend them
Version: TRK 502
Annual servicing cost: £100
Being my first bike, I love it because since it a motorcycle and carry lots of road dangers on the road, it will make you feel safe on it. Being large in its presence it will make you noticeable on the road and also it's a head turner. The weight is barely noticeable when moving and changing directions, but when pushing it you start to noticing its weight and when you accidentally drop it you will be able to bring it back to its feet, but its not the end of the world unless you are a weak and have no balls. The crash bars are nice for the eyes and peace of mind cause if you drop the bike you will not damage anything just the paint of the crash bars them self.
Ride quality is nice and balanced. No sign of any fatigues. I personally nick named my bike "Rolls Royce" I ride the bike an a daily basis & always looking forward to saddle the bike asap. With "spongy" brakes I never got any idea of what people meant by it? The brakes are fine especially when applying force on the front dual 320mm rotors. I mean the rear ones are meant to used to control the bike not stop it in an instant. What's wrong with you people?!
Now I'm a guy who likes speed more than anything, but the bike doesn't urge you to rip it, its smooth, sensible, comfy. Always make you feel relaxed and enjoying the ride like you never wants it to end. Even the sound of the engine its quite unique being 360 degree crank there isn't a lot like it, it has a nice note to it. Power delivery is smooth and safe, linear no surges or wheel spinning or wheelie.after all its a 48bhp A2 license bike.
The bike is built like a tank, its not heavy for nothing and for me that is a reassuring enough that this bike is built to work and most importantly to last. Now I assure you that with time you will start noticing some spots with rust, which again its not that big of a deal. I just paint or spray the spots with hammerite paint and I'm happy not just "paint it" attitude it has to meet my standards which are a little high on these things. So far with 6k on the clock no other problems.
Just keep an eye on the service intervals and you should be safe from spending big money.
My favourite accessory on the bike is the USB charger, it standard option and very useful. The only thing that I wished to be standard is the centre stand which is not available as an option on the TRK but on the X is standard. But managed to find one aftermarket and I'm uber happy with it.
Save up an extra grand and buy a decent used GS!
Suspension is a bit hard when pushing it along bumpy back roads, have been bounced out of the seat a few times, but screen and fairings make it a pleasant enough ride. Brakes are spot on, haven't yet managed to bring the ABS in, so can't comment on that!
Revvy, and pokey enough. 2nd and 3rd gear scream like a banshee (not normal?) and when warm, the valve train rattles like an old Ford crossflow!
Plastics are very good quality, dash is a bit basic but who needs clutter? The downside: Battery lasted 3 days and crapped itself, at 190 miles the ignition barrel dropped out as the bolts hadn't been threadlocked, at 500 miles the front brakes started shuddering badly, MOT brake rollers show 25kg fluctuation - Instant fail! And now one of the lambda probes has failed, and the part is on back order. All before the first service!
Hasn't yet had it's first service
Basic, but less to go wrong compared to say a fully loaded GS with electronic everything!
Version: Trk x
For the price you pay you get much more then what many much more expensive bikes has to offer.
Very comfortable and really dose the job.
I would love to have some more HP, but this is an A1 bike
After a year,13k km, going sometimes off-road and taking me to work every day. I haven't had any problem
Annual servicing cost: £100
Fantastic bike, I have been riding bikes for 20 years from 250cc to 1200cc (27 hp to 120 hp), Suzuki, BMW, Triumph, Honda. Chopped in my every day Honda NT700V for the Benelli 3 weeks ago, over 1K KM up now and could not be happier, really solid handling, very stable & rock solid on the road, better than Deauville in cross winds, excellent front brakes, nice nippy little engine. Will accelerate up to 130kph (80 mph) at the drop of a hat and cruise there no problem. Just for testing purposes went to 155 kph (96 mph) and was not at its limit and still rock solid. Excellent screen. Full GIvi Trekker luggage and heated grips for an extra €600, unbeatable value. My other bike is a BMW R9T which has lovely meaty power and I love it, but the Benelli is equally fun, most every day riders will agree 50 bhp is all you need for everyday riding. Liam may have got a lemon bike as his experience does not seem to be reflected in any owners reviews, I think in fairness to Benelli, and based on owners reviews MCN should take a 2nd look.
All excellent, except rear brake lacks some feel.
Very nippy if a bit buzzy at the top end, but not fully run in yet and definitely getting smoother as the Kays go by.
No problems to date but acknowledge only 1K up so far.
Servicing looks cheap even though intervals (4K) are on the short side
Engine bars, hand guards, decent screen, luggage racks, hugger/shock protection and full luggage / heated grips for additional €600, outstanding value
Buying experience: Fantastic from Irish dealer, Ross Motorcycles.
The bike really is the opposite to the MCN review. It's a really good, cheap bike. I use mine every day, it's no sports bike but I find this more fun.
Just as good as Japanese bikes
The bike comes really well equipped and I think shows how much other manufacturers just take hard earned cash out of our pocket so easily. Not Benelli, they have done a great job for the price.
Buying experience: I found my buying experience was far better than when I brought from Japanese or Austrian brands. They went out of their way for me. I bought mine from Cooperb who give a fantastic service, I can't rate them enough.
Annual servicing cost: £40
Had mine since September 2017 and has been nothing but brilliant. Done over 2000 miles now with some all day rides and get off the other end refreshed and with no aches and pains. It should have been reviewed for what it is and relative to its on the road price.
As said, super comfy seat, comfy ride positions and all controls fall to hand. Not had any issues with the brakes but then again my other bike is a Royal Enfield, so anything is an improvement.
May only be a 500cc but has plenty of poke and grunt where you need it, I use mine everyday for commuting and for longer journeys and not once have i though, "I need more power" Does what you need it to do.
Minor issue with battery which may have been my fault. Build quality is no worse or less than most bikes I have had. OK some of the welds are not the best but paint, switch gear and components seem of an acceptable quality. OK it is not a BMW or a Triumph but is substantially cheaper
Only just had first service done and was only charged for parts so was under £40. Also purchased on 2 years interest free credit. Regularly getting over 80mpg on a run also...Only bugbear is that price of bike has been reduced by £500 since i bought it!!!
Fantastic equipment levels, ABS, brushguards, radiator guard, rear hugger, crash bars and windscreen. A lot of this would be option extras on the equivalent Honda, Yamaha etc.
Buying experience: Excellent service, only issue is no dealer is close to home and have a tr(e)k to nearerst dealer...sorry for the pun!!
Annual servicing cost: £120
great looking practical A2 licence bike available with hard luggage, 2 year warranty, with some cracking low cost finance plans, a very comfortable bike with a great riding position, smooth power plus a very slick gearbox, makes just about the same power as a CB500X, mid range adventure bike for a little over 5k ??, come on MCN cant you see value when it jumps out in front of you.
hard luggage available.
Annual servicing cost: £100
I can´t really understand this review from motorcycle news! This Bike is great, while you can feel that some construction quality is lacking (frame paint, some welding and even the benelli stickers feel cheap), but overall it is a very comfy bike, very good handle and the engine well it is a good engine for a 500! For those who say it is crap like motorcyclenews i just cannot understand it, i had a KLE500 and a Transalp 600 and it feels the same as both, not very much power but still enough to pull the motorcycle beyond most speed limits in a decent time (0-100km/h is under 7 seconds). Brakes do feel a bit underpowered on the first inches of travel, but then they bite and show their strength!
Ride quality is fenomenal! very comfortable and a great riding position, the visor keeps the wind away until 1,80cm more or less! Brakes could be better.....they brake, but the feeling just is not what i expected.
Well it certainly is a good engine!, of course a tracer or a super tenere beats the crap out of this thing, it is only a 500cc! try an NC500x and you will notice little difference! It pull in a humble way, you wont get excited but you wont be let down if you keep in your mind it is only a 2 cylinder 500cc
well the bike has in fact some things that should lack of quality in the product, the paint, the stickers, the quality from the visor, etc! But on the other hand it has a lot more extras for the money so you really can´t have it all! Motorcycle news says it costs only less 100 quid than a CB500X but they forget to say that to put in the honda all the standart extras on the benelli will cost you 600/800quid! Reliability i cannot answer as my bike only has 4000km and only problem was that the gear lever has a slack in the sensor that indicates in which gear we are, resulting in reading error.
maintenance interval is between 6000km, i have only done 1 at 1000km that costed 88€
Better is impossible for a standard bike! it is fully loaded
Buying experience: this is the worst part, these bikes are out for less than a year so not very aftermarket parts neither stock parts! most dealers sell also big brands so you feel a bit leftover!
Annual servicing cost: £200
Bike looks awesome, nobody realises it is only A2 licence and 500cc. Rides well, comfy and confidence inspiring.
Good all round bike. Well comfy on a long run. Simple to use controls and steady handling give confidence. Low seat height too.
Engine sounds great. Could do with a little more power, but it is the maximum for A2 riders, so i guess it was designed more for A2 than for pure performance. Pulls well in all gears from low revs, so no need for constant gear changes.
So far so good, but only had it a couple of months.
Simple to work on, so no expensive workshop bills. MPG is really good.
Standard bike is good spec, tyres are Pirelli, frames for side cases fitted as standard too. Givi luggage is an extra, but good quality and looks great when fitted. Gear indicator on the dashboard is really helpful.
Buying experience: Didn't get any discount from the dealer, probably because a new model for 2017.