Spy Shot: Benelli 899 Cafe Racer Caught Testing?

10/26/2009 @ 9:13 am, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS


The French Magazine MotoRevue has a certain << je ne sais pas>> when it comes to finding the Benelli brood out and about before they hit the official press launches. This time around it appears they’ve caught a TnT 899 Cafe Racer going through its paces. While the new Benelli fills a whole in the 899/1130 parity, we’re still not sure about the rumors of this “little” bike. More after the jump.

A reduced capacity version of the 1130cc model, the 899 mimics the 1130 in just about every way, save for the fact it’s not available in the eye-catching Cafe Racer spec. Expected to come at a premium price over the base model of the 899 abroad, pricing in the US is hard to nail down.

Many dealers we’ve seen have not taken new stock of the Benelli line, some holding off for years as they continue to unload previous models (and then plan to close their support for the brand). With price-cuts happening around the country, we can’t imagine many people wanting to purchase a new TnT 899 Cafe Racer when they can pick up the 1130 version for less cash.

Until Benelli blesses us with the opportunity to try the new 899 out, we are also unable speak to the fact that the original TnT’s gremlins have been excised from the basic design. We know that headlights that cut-out at traffic lights due to over-heating is not something we look for in a premium class motorcycle, no matter how good it looks.

While we’re smitten with the over-all Benelli design, we’re still waiting to see if the Italian Chinese company can implement some better quality control, and improve its distribution channels with its new found financial backing.

Source: MotoRevue; Photo: Vincent Boyer

  • Yes, but why does it look just like a GSR600/B-King?

  • Frog


    Stick to English if you don’t understand French…

  • CarbonWarrior

    Matthew, If you’re not familiar with the Benelli TNT or it’s 1130 Cafe Racer, you should check it out. The styling has been similar since about 03 or so when the TNT came out as essentially a Naked version of their Tornado Superbike. I’m the first to admit that the design is a Love/Hate affair. Much like said BKing, it’s definitely aimed at the crowd who appreciates the styling of angular muscle wrapped around brutish torque. And as far as the “headlights that cut-out at traffic lights due to over-heating”… This author needs to educate himself on the finer points of the Benelli Design structure. The Headlight cuts out when the computer senses that the engine has been at an uninterrupted idle for in excess of 5 seconds. The headlight is then disabled to save charging voltage from the VERY limited charging system on the bike. As soon as the throttle is blipped or manipulated, the headlight comes back on, as the computer assumes you are now about to return to riding. Hope I’ve saved some face on Benelli… even IF they are an *ahem* ITALIAN manufacturer with CHINESE ownership. That’s like saying that Jaguars arent British any more because Ford owns them… Pish…

  • Jenny Gun


    I’m fully educated about the TnT, after nearly buying one for my personal transport. I’m EXTREMELY leery of a company that in my own words “paints over” a serious problem, and in the process creates another. The TnT does have charging issues, as well as cooling issues. In a prolonged stop the bike will begin to heat-up causing the fans to kick in, this draws power from the battery which isn’t being recharged sufficiently from the rectififier.

    So instead of fixing the charging issues, or the cooling issues (harder to do here because of the basic design of the bike), Benelli decided to half-ass it, and cut the headlight out when stop. Yes, it does come back on when you blip the throttle, but that doesn’t change the fact that at night your visibility is potentially reduced. It also doesn’t change the fact that you’re not address the underlying problem in the first place. That’s not good engineering in any book.

    For the amount of money one purchases a Benelli for, I hope one would expect a better quality product. I for one love the look of the Benelli, and wish they’d get their act together with their quality and the business side of their operations. But, I’m not going to give them a “get out of jail free” card because of it.

    This brand has amazing potential, but I’m still waiting to see if they can realize it with Qianjiang Motors backing them. I hope so, I really do.

  • Nerve

    Educated about TNT’s you might be, but the backstab of the C word is pretty low class. Nobody called Ducati an american company when TPG owned them. You are right about the headlights cutting out, that is dangerous at night. But there is a fix available. My Tre 1130 has been reliable so far.

    I wish bike journalists stopped the tongue in cheek / “dont mention the germans” routine. In a different vain, Chinese put a man in orbit, a feat eclipsed only by their ability to feed all one billion of them in a time span of 20 years, famin having been the rule for millenia.

    They known they would kill their property if there was only a hint of fundamental involvement. Instead of moving engine assembly from Morini Motori to China, they moved it back to Pesaro. Shocks, calipers, chassis, engine … all are Italian, with exception of minor parts. What more can they do to stop the inuendo’s ?
    It’s a pity you didn’t buy the TNT. You would’ve loved it.

  • terry norton

    I own a benelli tre-k and I am waiting for someone to get out of their car and hit me. this is due to the headlights going off when in traffic when the power is required to run the fans don’t believe that this done for your benfit as a rider this is so they do not have to upgrade the under powered charging system and battery as this only happens when the temp raises and the fan need to kick in . true they do come on when you turn the thottle but still not safe if headlights go out at night.
    build is cheap and cheerful love the bike but what a load of cheap skates build is worst than some of the bikes from china Em maybe that is where the problem lays 5000 miles rust appearing grips look like they have done 50,000 miles paint chips very easy love the bike but can see long term issues with the bikes appearancee see how it goes