Benelli bounces back with new 2016 range

Exciting new range boasts 500s, 300s and 125s as famous name makes a comeback

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The resurgence of Benelli continues as the firm unveiled several new models at Milanlas last week, including a 500cc adventure bike and a scrambler.

The scrambler, dubbed Leoncino, is powered by a 500cc parallel twin engine producing 47bhp, which means the new bike will be A2 licence-friendly in the UK. Its 19in front wheel and off-road tyres show the potential of the bike. It also comes with Brembo brakes.

Continuing the firm’s platform-sharing approach to production, there is also a new TRK 502 adventure bike. It uses the same 500cc parallel-twin, but looks more like the larger, and genuinely Italian, Ducati Multistrada 1200. The TRK comes with a 20-litre fuel tank and 17in wheels front and back, although an off-road version is available, which uses a 19in wheels.

On a slightly smaller scale is the new Benelli Tornado 302 sportsbike – direct competition for the likes of Yamaha’s YZF-R3 and KTM RC390. The baby Tornado is well within the A2 licence power cap with a claimed 36bhp on offer. The fork is a non-adjustable inverted unit, while the back end gets a preload adjustable lateral shock.Twin discs take care of stopping up front and ABS will be optional.

The Tornado name isn’t just limited to Benelli’s new 302 sportsbike, as they have also named their new 125 and 135cc minibike the Tornado Naked T. Keen to get a piece of the Honda MSX125s pie, the new Tornado Naked T has 12in wheels and a fairly friendly seat height of 780mm. The 125-engined versions make 11.7bhp, with the 135cc-engined model making a smidge less than 1bhp more, with 12.6bhp from its air-cooled single.

The entire range of new Benelli models will be available in the second half of 2016. Benelli is now owned by Chinese giant Qianjiang.

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Liam Marsden

By Liam Marsden

Former MCN Web Producer