Benelli BN251 – Return of the Small-Displacement Italian

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Brands like Ducati, Vespa, and Benelli can trace their roots back to post-WWII Italy, where infrastructure and roads were shattered, and the country desperately needed a cheap, reliable, and effective way to navigate from Point-A to Point-B.

Enter the rise of the motorcycle to meet those needs; and from that, what has become over half a century of motorcycle culture in Italy. The first Italian motorcycles were really just bicycles with motors, and as more proper machines came into being, they were still tiny in displacement.

Therefore, the quintessential Italian motorcycle was what we would call today a small-displacement bike. Benelli is getting back to those roots now, introducing the Benelli BN251 at this year’s EICMA show.

Styled to look like the larger Benelli BN600 and BN302, this 250cc machine is an aspirational learner that fits into Europe’s current tired-licensing systems (something the BN302 did not do, surprisingly). Accordingly, power comes in at 24.5hp, with 15 lbs•ft of torque.

As is the flavor of design these days, the engine is a stressed member of the chassis, with a steel trellis frame built around it. Braking is done by a singular 280mm disc up front, with a four-piston caliper, while the rear disc is 240 with a dual-piston caliper.

Available in the first half of 2015, the Benelli BN251 comes in white, red, and blue. No pricing yet, but Benelli says it will be “very competitive”.

Source: Benelli

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