Benelli, an Italian name that is not as shiny as Ducati or Moto Guzzi, but over 100 years of experience in motorcycling makes it one of the top Italian manufacturers to time. Renown to its three cylinders engine designs, which is same as Triumph, Benelli 899cc and 1130cc are always the favorite of many, so as a pride of Benelli in many motorcycle championship in the early days. Few years ago, Benelli has been bought over by Qian Jiang Group from China and at 2012, they have set up a plant at Rawang and introduce its name as Benelli Keeway at Malaysia. Range of motorcycles from Benelli and Keeway are available, price wise, they are pretty cheap compare with their Japanese counterparts. The latest model introduced to Malaysia market on year 2013 is the all new 600cc Benelli TnT600. It is a brand new bike which never exists in Benelli product line, talent, ambitious, sporty, can this all new inline four cylinders create a havoc or in a word, surprise us?
Four is always a value never exist in Benelli products line up. Surprisingly, they surprise us with a four cylinders bike, and never ridden a four cylinders from Benelli, many would be suspicious on how its performance. No doubt, just like many inline four Japanese machines, the respond feel smooth and crispy. Due to its lack of torque, one may feel under power but do not be deceived, you will be moving faster than what you actually feel. Engine heat dissipation is superb with liquid cooling. Throttle respond is smooth and in some way, not much torque at the low rpm range can be handy when moving in heavy traffic. Overall engine performance is good as there is nothing really can be complain of, gear shifting is precise, fuel consumption is rather good, in a range between 15-20 KM/L.
Handling can be a very important factor which determines a bike to be good or bad, so as tires can be a black art in handling. Fitted with Pirelli Angel tires, the handling of this bike is superb. Despite having a road ready weight of 208Kg, the bike feels a little heavy and more effort is needed when doing twisty. Front upside down forks performs well while soaking up the bumps on the road, firm and steady. Rebound and step less preload adjustment are available at the rear suspension; this is hardly being seen on any other bikes at this standard. Front and rear brake hoses are all steel breaded, supposed to make breaking a piece of cake, but maybe this is the test unit, the front brake feels a little spongy, suspect to be something to be done on the adjustment. Braking is not great but average, but that will be enough for the bike in this category. The weight feels like MV Agusta Brutale which is 230Kg wet, but with a little less breaking power and swiftness.
Instrument and Styles
TnT 600 comes with an analogue tachometer and digital speedometer. Arrangement is as standard, easy to read even under the sun glare. Needed to say, it is a weird that why Benelli does not change the readings in to metric or at least has a double units available. Temperature is in Fahrenheit, distance is in miles and so as the speed is in mile per hour. This setting makes a little bit confusing for Malaysia since we do not get used to imperial unit. Display will be great is Benelli can replace the polymer outer shell with a better looking material. Plastic parts looks a little cheap on the bike especially the one extend out from the key slot, seats looks a little low in budget and maybe Benelli can look this up as well. There is one thing needed to be point out is I can’t really understand why Benelli will put four oxygen sensors at each of the exhaust which opposed to other makers who just rather fix one at the joining point. This obviously add up the replacement cost when time comes, thus mess up the wiring as well. Other than that, design of this bike is rather pleasant to look at, not as high profile as a street fighter but it has defined beautiful in its very own way. From the rear, double exhaust extended out from a single muffle looks great, so as the trellis frame, it definitely helps add up a unique Italian taste. Benelli really score brilliantly on the styling department.
Benelli going to price this bike below RM30000 which makes it a perfect choice for those who on budget but still have a taste on Italian makes, at least at the time being, there are hardly any inline four with this pricing around. Benelli has made a good move right now but in order to further push up the sales, they might just have to put more effort on straightening consumer confident level on the reliability of their bikes and after sales service.
TYPE 4 CYLINDERS IN LINE, 4-STROKE, LIQUID COOLED , 4 VALVES FOR CYLINDER DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAMSHAFT
DISPLACEMENT 600 C.C.
BORE X STROKE 65 X 45,2 MM
COMPRESSION RATIO 11,5:1
RATED OUTPUT 60 KW (82 CV) @ 11500 RPM
MAX. TORQUE 52 NM (5,3 KGM) @ 10500 RPM
LUBRICATION WET SUMP
FUEL SUPPLY ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION WITH FOUR THROTTLE BODIES Ø38 MM
EXHAUST SYSTEM WITH TWO CATALYTIC CONVERTERS AND FOUR OXYGEN SENSORS
CERTIFICATION EURO 3
CLUTCH WET CLUTCH
GEARBOX 6 SPEEDS
PRIMARY DRIVE 44/82
FINAL DRIVE Chain drive, ratio 14:46
FRAME Decomposable frame, front steel trestle, rear aluminium alloy casting
FRONT SUSPENSION Ø50 mm upside-down forks
FRONT SUSPENSION STROKE 120 mm
REAR SUSPENSION Rear swing arm in aluminum alloy, rear shock absorber with extension hydraulic and spring preload adjustment
REAR SUSPENSION STROKE 123 mm
FRONT BRAKE Double floating disk ø320 mm with radial calipers
REAR BRAKE Single disc ø240 mm with double piston caliper
FRONT RIM TYPE Aluminum alloy
FRONT RIM DIMENSIONS E 17” x 3.50” DOT-D
REAR RIM TYPE Aluminum alloy
REAR RIM DIMENSION E 17” x 5.50” DOT-D
FRONT TYRE 120/70-ZR17 58W
REAR TYRE 180/55-ZR17 73W
LENGHT 2160 mm
WIDHT EXCLUDING MIRRORS 800 mm
HEIGHT EXCLUDING MIRRORS 1180 mm
PILOT SEAT HEIGHT 800 mm
PASSENGER SEAT HEIGHT 940 mm
WHEELBASE 1430 mm
GROUND CLEARANCE** 180 mm
STEERING PIPE ANGLE N.D.
UNLADEN WEIGHT** 208 kg
ROAD READY WEIGHT** 220 kg
PERMITTED TOTAL WEIGHT 370 kg
USABLE TANK VOLUME 15 lt
RESERVE 4 lt