Benelli fanboys might remember the TNT 600 GT which was essentially Benelli’s take at making an ADV-tourer. Based on the TNT600i, the TNT 600 GT was known for its big and bulky looks and not to forget, the inline-4 cylinder howl. When it existed, it used to have one of the best exhaust notes in its segment but just like other Benelli motorcycles, it was discontinued as well. It seems like the Italian brand, under Chinese ownership, is looking forward to reviving the TNT 600 GT.
The Qianjiang Group-owned brand has filed type approval documents in China which reveal a new 650 cc touring bike. It looks strikingly similar to the TNT 600 GT we had on sale here, hinting that it will receive a minor displacement bump.
Euro 5 emission norms will come into action from January 1st, 2021 and to meet the stricter standards without a drop in performance, manufacturers are trying to bump up the displacement of their offerings. Yamaha is reportedly doing it with its 900cc triple-cylinder platform and it seems like Benelli is going on a similar path. The leaked motorcycle might look based on the Benelli 600GT, but now it gets a ‘650’ designation, although the actual engine capacity will be 628 cc. We recently reported that Benelli is developing as much as 10 engines and this updated four-cylinder engine might be one of them.
As far as visual appearance goes, it does sport some crucial design changes as compared to the TNT 600 GT. The patented motorcycle seems more adventurous and touring capable, with sturdy alloy panniers, and a taller windscreen. Another crucial change is the handlebar position which now seems wider and taller for a more comfortable riding position. Adding to its adventure quotient is the pair of handguards, which seem to have been borrowed from the Benelli TRK adventure bike. It is also expected to have a reduced wheelbase. It might get a bigger engine but the performance figures are expected to remain the same. It is most probably going to develop the same 84 bhp as the old 600 cc variant. Like the rest of its new models, we are expecting Benelli to load the new 650 GT with a fancy instrument cluster as well.
Benelli’s new engines
The ‘On a roll’ phrase would be an understatement for Benelli, given the current scenario. It legit feels like everyone at Benelli’s headquarters have taken something which have made them hyperactive. The Italian brand, now owned by a Chinese company unveiled a hoard of new motorcycles at the CIMA. And now, images of a presentation have leaked online which reveal that Benelli is developing as much as 10 engines which it will swap in its upcoming motorcycles. The engines displace between 250cc-1200cc and will be equipped across its portfolio.
Benelli’s parent company, QJ Motor recently joined hands with MV Agusta and will take care of the latter’s distribution in China. The symbiotic relationship will then further evolve where Benelli will carry out engine research. Expect Benelli to bring the updated models in India by the end of this year or sometime next year.