The last few years have witnessed Benelli emerging as a strong international player. The company, under its Chinese umbrella, is planning to go ballistic with a slew of launches lined up for 2021. This year, we will probably get half a dozen Benelli motorcycles which were updated last year in its home country. Talking about the current scenario, the only Benelli motorcycle available in our country is the BS6 Imperiale 400. And now, Benelli has introduced a new Retro edition of the Imperiale 400 in Thailand.
Its production will be limited to just 100 units. It is noteworthy that the Benelli Imperiale 400, even in its standard form, is a retro-looking motorcycle which might remind you of the years gone by.
The Retro Edition is nothing but a slightly accessorised version of the Imperiale 400. To make it stand apart from the standard Imperiale 400, Benelli has thrown in a smoked windscreen and fork gaiters. The smoked windscreen should provide better protection from the windblast, when you are cruising down the road, taking all the beautiful scenery in. Apart from these two minor additions, the retro motorcycle has remained the same.
The Imperiale 400 might be a retro delight but it exists in a highly competitive sphere and has to compete with the likes of Royal Enfield, Jawa and now Honda too. Since it is a relatively new introduction to the Indian market there aren’t many changes except the fact that it now has a BS6 compliant power plant. With this update, the 374cc motor gets a larger, more expensive catalytic converter and O2 sensor to help it meet the stricter emission norms, but this is unlikely to have any significant impact on the riding experience. The engine still produces the same 21 PS of maximum power and 29 Nm of peak torque. However, the peak power is produced 500rpm higher than before but more importantly, peak torque kicks in 1000rpm earlier, at a leisurely 3500rpm. The engine still comes paired with a five-speed gearbox.
Interestingly, Benelli has managed to retain the same kerb weight of 205kg as the BS4 model despite the addition of the heavier catalytic converter. The BS6 compliant Imperiale 400 retains the modern classic design of its predecessor and looks the same. It features retro styling highlighted by elements like the teardrop-shaped fuel tank with rubber thigh pads, round headlamp cluster, split seat design, wide handlebars, etc. The bike also gets blacked-out mechanical bits and a long chrome exhaust pipe.