Benelli India’s onslaught in the BS6 era has been long overdue. The Chinese bikemaker might have gotten a little late to the party but it does know how to arrive in style! Talking about style, the bikemaker has launched the 502C power cruiser in India at INR 4.98 Lakh and as expected, Indian motorcyclists had a lot to say about this latest twin-cylinder cruiser. While some liked its design, some think that it is just a Chinese ripoff of the Ducati Diavel 1260. The same stuff was spilt out when Bajaj first launched the Dominar. It seems like if anyone decides to develop a power cruiser, its comparison with the Ducati Diavel is inevitable.
But the 502C is more than just that. It has got the looks, a potent motor and boasts of premium cycle parts. Before we get to swing our leg over this Chinese beauty (purely used in automotive terms) let us take a detailed look at what it actually is!
Well, it does look inspired by the Ducati Diavel but c’mon people! It isn’t a ‘ripoff’, or a ‘clone’ or ‘Diavel Ultra Pro Max Lite’ for that matter! It has its own unique elements like the robotic LED headlamp setup or those gorgeous single-sided twin exhaust setup that has been slashed like a cucumber.
The seat is short and stubby and gels well with the rest of the motorcycle. The handlebar might look a bit wider than it should be but we will have to wait to experience how it affects the riding dynamics of the motorcycle. We hope that it doesn’t. The bodywork has been kept minimalistic and simple and the exposed trellis frame is bound to catch your attention. The tail section looks rather impressive and the whole setup looks similar to the Triumph Trident 660, albeit with different positioning of the tail lamp. Rear indicators are integrated with the rear fender and look tastefully done.
At the heart of the motorcycle, sits a very similar BS6 500cc twin-cylinder liquid-cooled mill that produces 47.5 PS @8500 rpm and 46 Nm torque @6000 rpm. The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. It is the same powertrain that powers the affairs in the TRK 502 and the Leoncino 500. With a kerb weight of 216 kg, this powertrain should provide enough grunt out on the highway.
Benelli has made sure that the 502C positions itself as a premium offering. Upfront the bike gets telescopic USD forks, 17-inch alloys with 120 section Pirelli Angel Tyres and 280mm dual disc brakes. As for the rear, the stopping power comes from a 240mm single disc brake.
The bike gets 17-inch with 160 section Pirelli Angel Tyres at the rear with a telescopic coil spring suspension. The 502C is built around a steel trellis frame, that is further exposed to boost the aesthetics of the bike.
The instrument cluster is a fully digital TFT unit and shows a decent amount of information. It also gets two display modes but misses out on Bluetooth connectivity.
The cruiser is available in two colours namely Matte Cognac Red and Matte Black.
Benelli is positioning the 502C as an ‘Urban Cruiser’ but in order to ‘earn’ the cruiser, it ought to fill some requirements, right? First up, to ensure that the rider doesn’t have to stop for frequent fuel brakes and cry himself to death because of the skyrocketing fuel prices, the 502C gets a massive 21-litre fuel tank. Even if you keep the throttle pinned, it is expected to deliver around 18-20 kmpl and even with this fuel efficiency, you have a full-tank range of around 400 km at your disposal. The riding ergonomics seem sorted too, for long-distance highway jaunts and moreover, it also gets adjustable footrests. What makes the deal even sweeter is its 750 mm seat height that should make it easily accessible to riders of all kinds of heights. The ground clearance too stands at a respectable 170 mm.
At least on paper, it looks like Benelli India has a winner at their hands. The 502C goes against the likes of RE 650 twins, its own sibling Leoncino 500 and the Kawasaki Vulcan S. We cannot wait to experience whether it rides as well as it looks or not.