Comparison: Benelli Imperiale 400 Vs Royal Enfield Classic 350 Vs Jawa

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Added in: Benelli

Stories were told, stories were written, about those who once rode these motorcycles and, yet, nothing is forgotten. History is repeating itself with the comeback of the retro classic in this modern age. Inspired by the Benelli-MotoBi range which was introduced in the 1950s, Benelli has launched the Imperiale 400 in India. It costs INR 1.69 Lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The trend of retro classic motorcycles in the Indian market has led to the rise of competitors for the Royal Enfield Classic 350. First, it was the Jawa, and now, Benelli with its Imperiale 400 at this price point is a migraine for the Royal Enfield. Let’s take a look at how these three machines fare on paper:

comparison benelli imperiale 400

Engine and Transmission

The Imperiale 400 is powered by a 374cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC engine that develops 20 Bhp at 5,500 rpm and 29 Nm at 4500rpm. The Classic 350, on the other hand, uses a 346cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled motor that makes 28Nm at 4000rpm and 19.8 bhp at 5,250 rpm. It’s neck and neck between the two. With the least cubic capacity on its side, the Jawa is powered by a 293cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled DOHC engine which makes 27bhp and 28Nm. It is also the only bike here to feature a six-speed gearbox.

Benelli Imperiale 400Royal Enfield 350 ClassicJawa
Displacement374cc346cc293cc
EngineSingle Cylinder Air Cooled
SOHC
Single Cylinder Air CooledSingle Cylinder Liquid Cooled
DOHC
Gear Box5 Speed5 Speed6 Speed
Power20bhp at 5500rpm19.8bhp at 5250rpm27bhp
Torque29Nm at 4500rpm28NM at 4000rpm28Nm

Benelli Imperiale 400 India front three quarters

Chassis

The chassis on the Imperiale 400 is an all-new, double-cradle unit and it is suspended on telescopic 41mm front forks. The Classic 350 uses a single downtube frame, telescopic forks and twin shock absorbers with gas-charged canisters whereas the Jawa features a Telescopic Hydraulic fork in the front and gas-charged twin shocks at the rear. All of these motorcycles ride on spoked wheels wearing tube-type tyres. What is different, however, are the tyre and wheel sizes. The Imperiale 400 uses a 100/90-19 setup at the front and a 130/80-18 at the rear. The Royal Enfield, meanwhile, uses a (90/90-19) front and a slimmer 110/90-18 section tyre at the rear and Jawa uses a (90/90-18) front and a (120/80-17) rear. Braking on all three motorcycles is through a single disc up front. The Imperiale 400 features single-channel ABS as standard, while the Jawa and the Royal Enfield offer dual-channel ABS. All of the three classic motorcycles come close in terms of other specifications as well.

Benelli Imperiale 400Royal Enfield Classic 350Jawa
Front Suspension41mm Telescopic35mm TelescopicTelescopic Hydraulic fork
Rear SuspensionPre-Load AdjustableTwin gas-charged shock absorbers
with 5-step adjustable
Gas Canister – Twin shock hydraulic
Front Tyre100/90-1990/90-1990/90 – 18
Rear Tyre130/80-18110/90-18120/80 – 17

Royal Enfield Classic 1600×900

Dimensions

The Imperiale 400 is larger in every aspect to the Royal Enfield with a wheelbase of 1,440mm, while the Classic 350 measures 1,370mm and the Jawa with its shortest wheelbase of about 1369mm. The Imperiale 400 is 10mm longer, 30mm wider and 30mm taller than the Royal Enfield Classic 350 but with respect to weight, the Imperiale 400 is 205kg unladen and the Royal Enfield Classic 350 is 194 kg according to kerb weight notified by respective companies. Likewise, the fuel tank capacities stand at 12 litres for the Imperiale 400, 13.5 litres for the Royal Enfield & 14 litres for the Jawa. The Jawa is the lightest among the three, tipping the scales at 170 kg (Kerb weight).

Benelli Imperiale 400Royal Enfield 350 ClassicJawa
Wheelbase1440mm1390mm1369mm
Weight205 kg (Unladen)194 kg (Kerb)170 kg (Kerb)
Length2170mm2160mmNA
Width820mm790mmNA
Height1120mm1090mmNA
Fuel Capacity12 litres13.5 litres14 litres

Jawa (Classic) Sideways view(7)

In terms of design, the Imperiale 400 is heavily inspired by its brand’s Moto-Bi range but there’s also shows modern elements it carries. The analogue cluster in the digital age has a dedicated LCD for more info. One can choose from three different colours Black, Red and Silver, whereas, the Royal Enfield 350 is offered with 6 different colours. The Royal Enfield with its classic theme mimics the older models that were offered by the company with fenders that are long, and the spring-supported saddle and rubber pads are typically old-school. The Classic 350 also has a single analogue instrument cluster but misses out on a fuel gauge which makes us dependent on the reserve light on the cluster. The Jawa maintains its retro appeal and is offered with twin exhaust pipes and a retro, offset instrument cluster with a fuel gauge. Three different colours are on offer; Maroon, grey and black.

Also Read: Comparison: Toyota Vellfire Vs Mercedes-Benz V-Class

Overall, the Royal Enfield is comparatively the most economical in terms of price. Prices start at INR 1,53,443 (ex-showroom, Delhi). Then comes the Jawa, which asks for INR 1,64,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi) and the Benelli Imperiale 400, compared to the other two, is the most expensive at INR 1.69 lakh. Also, Royal Enfield has the most expansive service network among the three, followed by Jawa, while Benelli is still a niche brand with fewer outlets and service centres.

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