Don’t worry, you’ll get your turn soon

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A race bike may seem far removed from our experience on the road, but the Tornado Racing is just the first step in the launch of the Tornado 900/3 Tre road bike.

Benelli was keen to go racing because it’s one of the fastest ways to test a bike’s reliability week in week out, which all goes back to the road bike development. And to speed the road bike side up the firm has employed Pier-Luigi Marconi, the man who created the Bimota Tesi and plenty of current Aprilia’s including the Futura. His experience will be essential in making sure the bike hits the road.

Like most Italian manufacturers which use scooter sales to finance superbike development, Benelli has been hit by new Italian helmet laws which have seen scooter sales slump. Insurance on scooters in Italy has also rocketed and a price war is eating into profits.

The first version of the road-going Tornado, a limited edition run of single-seaters should hit the shops in April next year. The bike will essentially be a higher-spec version of the Biposto (twin-seat) which will go on sale in September. Benelli dealers will take orders now but as yet no fiurm price has been set. But the limited edition is expected to cost£20,000, with the Biposto priced to compete with the likes of the MV Agusta F4 and Ducati 998 at around £11,000.

It’s been well known the engine configuration used in the Tornado is suitable for other displacements, Benelli has now confirmed it is looking at a naked bike, believed to be along the same lines as the MV Agusta Brutale, to go on sale in 2003.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff