Benelli’s faired sports bike, the 302R also famous as the Tornado 302, is expected to reach in India by April this year. The company had first showcased the motorcycle at the 2015 EICMA followed by its Indian presentation at the 2016 Auto Expo. It might seem that the Benelli 302R is just a fairing update over the naked offering but there is many more to it. The 302R is built on an all-new trellis frame with a shield around the swingarm pivot. This has helped the motor be an essential part of the frame. Furthermore, it has also made the 302R brighter and lighter than the TNT 300 by 16kg with a 50:50 weight distribution. The sports bike comes equipped with 41mm reversed forks, while on the steel swing arm is a lateral shock absorber with adjustable preload. It comes fitted with dual 260-mm floating discs with a 4-piston caliper brake up front and a single 240mm disc with a single-piston caliper brake on the rear wheel. We trust Benelli will offer ABS as standard on the 302R. Also, it comes with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels which get 150-section rear and 110-section front Metzeler tires.
Powering the Benelli 302R is a 300cc parallel-twin motor that makes 35.4 PS and 27 Nm at 9,000-rpm. The liquid cooled unit is mated to a 6-speed gear transmission, and with a new map, it now redlines at 12,000-rpm instead of 11,500 – RPM like on the TNT 300. We have already ridden the Benelli 302R and felt that it’s in its pre-production form and the engine didn’t need to be revved high like the TNT to extract performance from it. The change in ratios appears to have better things and delivers a little surge midway through the rev range. The 302 R does 150kmph without much strain. What might really work in favor of the Benelli 302R are its larger bike looks paired with a striking styling seen with the twin – head-light and the contrasting red frame. We expect the Benelli 302R to be priced in the range of Rs.3.2 to 3.5 lakh when it launches in India. Overall, the 302 R looks like a nice little motorcycle. It good-looking, handles well and also manages to rid itself of the lack of mid-range grunt that was a big concern in the TNT. Benelli should sort out all the little problems that we have noticed with the motorcycle. It will also get ABS. We expect it to be priced near the `3.2-3.5 lakh mark when it arrives.
|Type||300 cc liquid-cooled parallel twin|
|Max power||35.4 ps @12000 RPM|
|Max Torque||27 nm @ 9000rpm|
|Price||Rs.3 lakhs estimated|