Benelli was finding it difficult to find its identity amidst in the modern and competitive world, even more after it was acquired by a Chinese firm. But now it seems like a thing of the past, more of a ‘myth’ one could say. Benelli started showcasing us products designed by CentroStile Benelli and slowly their reputation got back to their original charm.
And now, the Italian marquee Benelli, which after raking in some interesting numbers with its range of naked streetfighters, has now coming up with its first fully faired motorcycle in the Indian market, the Tornado 302. After hoards of speculations of its launch dates, DSK Benelli has officially launched the 302R at a price tag of ? 3.48 lakh, ex-showroom.
First showcased at the 2016 New Delhi Auto expo, this entry level fully faired sports bike from the Italian powerhouse has managed to excite the enthusiasts ever since it was first announced. The Tornado 302 R inevitably manages to create a good first impression, with its subtle design and impressive specifications, it is still not that outrageous as compared to the bigger capacity Benellis’.
Nevertheless, with its stylish swooping lines, dual headlamps and a fully faired body, it manages to get the juices running for every motorcycle aphrodisiac. The Benelli 302 R is intentionally an outrageous design and scores brownie points with its arresting silhouette.
The 302 is a twin cylinder, 300cc motorcycle. The liquid cooled engine pumps out some pretty impressive numbers – 38bhp of maximum power and 27Nm of maximum torque. Given its parallel twin layout, this 300cc mill on the bike is refined and has a linear feel in its power delivery. The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox, with the initial ratios set on the taller side and the higher ones on, the shorter side. Like all the Benellis, the 302 too has the potential to sweep you off your feet with its addictive exhaust note!
Benelli has equipped the 302 R with the best of hardware, which includes trellis frame, polished exhaust canister, 41mm inverted hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and side-mounted mono-shock at the rear and fat Pirelli tyres on both ends, which make the bike one sweet machine to ride on both straight stretches as well as intimidating corners. The Tornado also becomes the first bike in its segment to be adorned with dual disc brakes at front, while a single disc brake finds its presence at the rear and a dual channel ABS setup.
Although the bike was production ready a few months back, the government declared all manufacturers to sell only BSIV compatible machines from beginning from April 2014. This debacle postponed the launch date since Benelli wanted to confirm the 302R with BS-IV compliance.
For all of this, our guess was that Benelli will price it in the ballpark of ? 4 lakhs, but we were in a for a sweet surprise when DSK priced it at ? 3.48 lakh, which is still higher than its fierce competition that includes the KTM RC 390 and the Yamaha R3s. It, however, undercuts the Ninja 300 and our own TVS is also dressing up the Akula 310 as we speak.