Benelli Tornado 302 – Bringing Sexy Back

11/18/2015 @ 6:29 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

2016-Benelli-Tornado-302

Just like the Benelli Tornado Naked T, the Benelli Tornado 302 treads on one of motorcycling’s iconic names, replacing it with a budget-oriented model that has none of the pizazz of its namesake.

This is what Benelli has been reduced to as a motorcycle brand, and the reason why the West no longer takes Benelli seriously.

That all being said, if we beat our head against the wall long enough to forget the Benelli Tornado, in either its 900c or 1130cc variants, the Benelli Tornado 302 is a fetching small-displacement machine.

At its core is the same 300cc parallel-twin 36hp engine found in the Benelli BN302, but Benelli has built a bespoke chassis for the sport bike, which is certainly appealing to our senses.

The 300cc sport bike space is full of machines right now, many of which are not terribly enticing. It’s good to see Benelli bringing something to the table, a bike someone would actually want to see in their garage. Pricing and reliability remain to be seen, but our interest is piqued.

Source: Benelli

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  • The Blue Rider

    (Horrible imitation Italian accent) It’s-a Ninja two-a-fiffety arrrrrr.

  • paulus

    A lot of Marzzocchi’s on the Benelli new releases… how to sustain?

  • John

    I was wondering the same thing.
    I suppose Qianjiang group could now buy the Marzocchi name too.

  • Jack Meoph

    Chinese Benelli is making cheap (hopefully), albeit nice looking, small displacement bikes. Their design team seems competent. BUT, the only question is will they stand up? Since Benelli is coming back to the US (for those of us who live the US) we shall eventually find the answer. These bikes look good to my eye………dealer network, parts, reliability, etc etc…………it’s good to have choices.

  • Jack Meoph

    with USD forks, trellis frame, and dual disks up front. I have a 250r Ninjette, and this bike kills it style wise. And it looks better than the 300.

  • The Blue Rider

    If I told you how much stupid money I put into my ’09 250R back in the day, you’d report me as an ISIS terrorist and have me sent to Gitmo. Ohlins shock, Race Tech valves, Area P exhaust, and Galfer wave rotors, for starters. It was actually kind of nice. Then I finally realized that no amount of parts could make me feel love that wasn’t there. I’d still rather have the Ninja than this, though, resale value would definitely be better :)

  • Mitchel Durnell

    The Hyosung 250 had all those things but was a pile. Remains to be seen where the money goes on this Benelli.

  • Mitchel Durnell

    Yeah, Marz on that Victory bike too. Maybe just stock clearance making for something that the builders of the concepts are using for visual interest, knowing they’re going to be dumbed down to generic KYB components later on?

  • Ian Miles

    Well they all certainly look good. Less ambitious solutions but still with a decent design. Quality and finish will be key if they are chucked out of a Chinese factory.

  • Joe D

    Since 2010 I have tried to explain to the ignorant masses that my Benelli 1130 Café Racer was made in Pesaro, Italy. Not China. Do I love it. Yes. Teething troubles? Alternator drive and horrid FI map. Warranty fixed, no questions asked. I suspect these new models have Chinese designed and perhaps produced parts but what does not these days? If Benelli is serious about US sales, develop a dealer network. The Japanese Cookie Sellers have had it too good for too long.

  • The world is flat. The Chinese will build what is ordered. Fact is that the Chinese have great manufacturing ability and can build high quality products. I have a Chinese built tig welder and plasma cutter, both of which are just outstanding. I have also seen similar equipment that has come from China that is complete crap. Point is, if the owners of Benelli specify a high spec machine, the Chinese can build it. They build what they are paid to build. So, I’m hopeful that these new offerings from Benelli take off. Being “of a certain age”, I can remember when the words “Made In Japan” stood for the worst the market had to offer in any product. No longer true for sure.

  • Ducati Kid

    JD,

    Precisely!

    A BENELLI ‘Tornado’ for the American market …

  • Ducati Kid

    JD,

    Precisely!

    An American market BENELLI ‘Tornado’ …

  • subzero24

    topkek some of the post above me

    lucky i’m able to test it’s naked sibling (finger cross the bloody full fairing version came to my country) and suffice to say i was blown away with all the detail and the quality

    maybe not as good as them japs (irony those quarter litre sports motorcycle japs are manufactured in my neighbouring country like Thai and Indonesia) in term of reliability but as long they were good enough or better than those random chinese knock-off clone or those cg crap (i own one of those)

    the only downside of this motorycle will be the weight, almost as heavy as my er6f

    and it’s cranking at 360 degree, waaaaaay different from ninja 180 degree crank

    kek

  • Ducati Kid

    JD,

    Precisely!

    An American market BENELLI ‘Tornado’ …

    Updated look …

  • Dadang Purwo

    Beautiful…

  • Robert Weyman

    Yes indeed crap but nice looking Japanese crap that killed off the British motorcycle industry.
    I will get a Benelli Tornado 302 when they come to Thailand as long as the cost is OK. as for Kawasaki’s 300 yeah nice bike but another 50,000 baht F-off sounds about right. the reviews from the UK, and India seem to say good quality, smooth gear shifts enough power and nice sounding engine at high revs, yeah that’ll do nicely.