The Adventure motorcycling space has been growing many folds at the expensive end of things in India. Avid motorcyclists have identified these kind of machines as the ones which offer premium thrills while still being practical in our kind of conditions. For the masses, there’s the Royal Enfield Himalayan as the entry-point into this genre of motorcycling and the BMW GS 310 too. But if one wishes to upgrade from there, it’s quite an expensive journey till the likes of the Versys and the V-Strom 650. And that is where the Benelli TRK 502 can slot itself and carve a niche.
To be launched on the 18th of February, 2019, the Benelli TRK 502 will be the bike maker’s first all-new product in India, after the brand’s revival plan for the country was announced last year in partnership with Adishwar Auto Ride. In their second innings though, their first new product drops hints of a well-thought strategy, which will work in their favour, if they get the most important aspect right – the price. They’ll have to repeat what they did with the TNT 600i, which went on to become a very popular motorcycle, for blaring out the most affordable four-cylinder symphony in India.
That was the TNT 600i’s trump card, its four cylinders and that sound. Because otherwise, it wasn’t a very sharp tool as a motorcycle. But it knew that and played to its strengths, becoming an instant hit. In the process, it made a relatively unknown brand like Benelli gain fast recognition in India. What’s the TRK’s trump card? It’s baby Multistrada like, full-size adventure bike appearance. Don’t get us wrong, the bike must be more than the sum of its body panels, what with its seemingly comfortable split seats, a luggage rack, a 20-liter fuel tank, proper suspension bits, a high-mounted exhaust, an engine and knuckle guards and those spoke wheels on the 502 X variant.
However, it is under powered and not backed by a big Japanese brand in comparison to the Versys and the V-Strom. Powered by a 499 cc, liquid cooled parallel-twin, the motor is good for 47 bhp at 8,500 rpm and 45 Nm of peak torque at 5,000 rpm, channeled via a 6-speed gearbox. These figures will be easily matched by the upcoming KTM Adventure 390, which like all their bikes, will be priced like a carrot in front of us rabbits. So if the Benelli TRK 502 gets priced very close, or at par with the Japanese 650 adventurers, it will be positioning itself in dangerous territory. However, if like the TNT 600i, it surprises its target audience with its asking price, that will keep the staff at Benelli showrooms busy.
Price aside, of course there’s that question as how it really performs when the wheels are rolling. But that story is for another day when we get our hands on the motorcycle. To tell you more in terms of equipment, the TRK 502 will be fitted with 17-inch road biased tyres whereas the 502X will get a 19-inch front and 17-inch at the rear. Suspension duties are handled by beefy 50mm inverted front forks and a rear monoshock. Both the bikes get 320mm Dual-discs at the front and 260mm single disc at the rear. Dual-channel ABS is a standard feature.
We’ll come back with more updates once the Benelli TRK 502 and 502 X are launched. Until then, feel free to use our social channels to share your views about this upcoming adventure bike.