The Benelli Due concept has been in the works for so long, we’re officially giving it the Duke Nukem Forever status of the motorcycle industry. I first laid my eyes on the two-cylinder street-standard back in 2009, as the then called “2ue” was making its second EICMA appearance (the Due made its first appearance as early as the Cologne show in 2006).
Essentially a Benelli triple with a cylinder lopped off, the Benelli Due displaces 756cc with its inline cylinders, and is an otherwise attractive motorcycle. Given how much of a basketcase the “Tre” motor was, we can only imagine the “character” its two-cylinder counterpart brings to the table, though that is an entirely different issue.
Finally announcing that the Benelli Due will hit dealership floors in 2012, the Chinese-owned Italian company has an interesting twist with its news: the Benelli Due will be released in China first, then Europe and other markets.
At play surely is the idea and principle of pride that Chinese companies should release models in their home country first, before servicing other markets. This notion is surely understandable, but does strike us as interesting considering that Europe and North America are likely to be bigger volume markets for this big-displacement motorcycle.
The Chinese market is of course better known for its small-displacement motorcycle needs, and it is unclear how large of a demand exists for a bike like the Benelli Due within its borders. More shocking than this news is the fact that being nearly a six-year-old design, the Due is still a striking bike (sans that headlight perhaps).
For as many issues as the Italian brand has, it sure does produce some of the most striking and timeless motorcycles in the business.
Benelli Due Photos circa EICMA 2009: