For quite a while now, Benelli has been in a rather foggy situation, solely focused on scooters and mopeds under the full control of the Chinese QJ company. But at EICMA 2012, Benelli announced a completely new 600cc inline-Four, a neat-looking naked bike featuring a solid-looking composite frame that was obviously inspired by the Aprilia Shiver/Dorsoduro unit, including the cantilevered rear shock absorber.
Still, the rolling gear gives a solid impression, with a massive Marzocchi USD50 fork, twin 320mm Brembo rotors up front pinched by radial-mount calipers, Y-spoke-style cast wheels and fat, sporty radials. Announced as a bike built in the pure Benelli tradition, in reality, this 600 is powered by a dohc, four-valve, fuel-injected engine developed and manufactured by QJ. It’s claimed to deliver 82 horsepower at 11,500 rpm but with a mere 38.3 foot-pounds of peak torque at 10,500.
A second new Benelli model unveiled at EICMA 2012 is the Uno C250, a compact, 250cc roadster powered by a dohc, liquid-cooled Single rated at 24.5 hp at 9000 rpm and 15.5 ft.-lb. of peak torque at 7000 rpm. In this case, the whole bike seems to be made in China.
These two Benellis might have a hard time coping with today’s competition. But in this tough economy, they might have a chance if the price is low enough.