Benelli has begun its 2017 model assault with the release of the BN251 to be followed by more models next year and ABS as an option across the range.
The Italian-owned-and-developed, Chinese-made Benelli range will have as many as 14 motorcycles and a scooter available in Australia by mid-2017.
Australian importers Urban Moto Imports have kickstarted their model assault with the introduction of the BN251 single-cylinder naked bike at $4990 rideaway.
It is the second-cheapest 250cc road bike in the market after the Hyosung GT250 ($2990 +ORC) which is getting a bit long in the tooth.
The BN251 produces 18.5kW of power and 21.5Nm of torque and weighs just 159kg ready to go. It features a 17-litre tank, upside-down 41mm forks, six-speed transmission, 280mm front wave disc and 795mm seat height.
Urban Moto Imports spokesman Dale Schmidtchen says the naked BN251 will not displace the BN302 naked twin, but a fully faired BN302T Tornado is also being added to the line-up. Benelli’s Yamaha R3 competitor is currently being homologated and expected to be launched early next year.
He says Benelli will display three or four new models at the Melbourne Moto Expo next month.
That could also include the 502TRK adventure bike and the BN135T to compete against the Honda Grom and Kawasaki Z125 in the adult mini-bike market.
However, the gorgeous 502 Leoncino scrambler is not likely to be on show. It arrives in Australia early next year.
Dale says the fact that Benellis are made in China should not detract buyers as build quality is high.
For example, he points out that the new BN251 features wider rims and rubber than its competitors and is shod with Pirelli tyres.
ABS option coming
While no Benelli model currently comes with ABS, Dale says ABS will be added early next year at a “moderate price increase”.
“We will still sell non-ABS while there is a demand,” he says.
Dale also points out that the Benelli range, including the new BN251, comes with a wide variety of accessories for riders to personalise their bike.
All Benellis come with a two-year warranty.