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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Purchased my first Benelli this week after many years of searching and missing out on a few.

This bike is effectively brand new, 188 miles. But also 20 years old and we all know that means that I know I will be in for some challenges with anything pliable. I wanted to start this thread to document what will be done to bring it "back" to true as-new status. Maybe better than new as we all know these have their inherent issues.

My preference is to address the known weak spots now, then ride this thing as much as I want without worrying about walking home.

Waiting on the bike to arrive, but when it does one of the first things will be to determine exactly what has been done and what has not. The mundane and the more potentially serious. Will try to highlight questions for the experts.

Just a few things to start:
-Battery (most likely). Odyssey AGM
-Tires are 20 years old. I'm thinking Pirelli Supercorsa SP. (any non OE tire size or model you recommend?)
-Fuel filter.
-Oil & filter.
-core plugs.
-Fuel lines external.
-quick disconnect for tank removal.
-replace brake lines (any source for new or aftermarket, not decade old NOS?)
-brake fluid
-check & mark each bolt for correct torque and threadlocker where appropriate.
-Clean and inspect electrical connections.
-Check clutch intermediate gear for update (where to buy?)
-Check Z25 gear for update (where to buy?)
-K&N style air filter
-Inspect cam chain tensioner is not seized.

-Recommended tank pad to avoid scratching the beautiful tank?
-Any good "Corsa" style high screens? (not crazy about double-bubble or ZeroGravity "sport touring" styles but if that is all that is available...)
-Recommended fuel injection adjustment software?
-Recommended fuel injectors for finer spray and reduced stalling?
-Source for Ohlins fork seals and tools?
-Anyone know what fork & shock model come stock on the LE?
-Recommended solution to water pump and/or overheating?
-Silicone hose kit available, does the TNT kit fit the Tornado?

-Anyone have good baseline geometry (sag, fork height) for the STREET?

-ANYTHING ELSE?

Thank in advance and I look forward to documenting this thing getting back on the road (or maybe on the road for the first time).
 

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Nice bike.

I have a new carbon tank protector for the Tornado that would protect the vulnerable part of the rear of the tank.

Send me a PM if you are interested.
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Sorry it’s taken me a while, there’s a lot I wanted to say.

Having recently started to ride one that hasn’t seen much action in recent years, here’s a few things I did:

-Battery – I for one went Li-Ion (Shido). Don’t know if this particular bike suffered from the clock reset problem with a standard battery (don’t know what version the clocks are), but with the one it has now it cranks up nicely, starts first time, every time, and clocks don’t reset. I suspect I won’t need a dash UPS in the future

-I tend to put sport touring tyres on my bikes, so I went for Pilot Road 5 for this one. I also had them on my standard Tornado until it died and was happy with them. So far I’ve done some 650 miles and I’m quite pleased with how the bike feels with them. But at the end of the day, tyres tend to be a matter of personal preference, so you do you :)

-Fuel lines external – hadn’t thought of this one, but I’m sure my mechanic would have changed them if there was something fishy going on there. Issue to be revisited in a couple of thousand of miles

-replace brake lines – I’m not near the bike now so can’t check, but IIRC it comes standard with braided ones which should be fine even now, any particular reason you want them changed?

-check & mark each bolt for correct torque and threadlocker where appropriate – be mentally prepared to lose some of them bolts whilst riding :) You might want to ‘harvest’ the nice ones (like the ones holding the fairings) that are not visible, keep those as spares and replace them with standard bolts.

-where to buy? - Maniac. 100%. Had you been based in the UK, I’d have said give Bennetts a call first, but even they recommend Maniac for stuff they don’t have. Do NOT order anything from citymoto.be or benelli.parts – I ordered something, they didn’t do anything about the order for a month and in the end I had to get in touch with pay.nl, which is the payment processor they use, in order to get my money back. Based on my one and only experience with them, I now consider them to be an online scam site. BTW, @forum mods, I’m happy to do a writeup on this incident w/ dates / succession of events if needed to back up the aforementioned.

-K&N style air filter – my bike’s air filter was in good shape so kept that, but I had preemptively sourced a fresh DNA air filter, which I’ll use when the time comes

-Recommended tank pad to avoid scratching the beautiful tank? - see Laurence’s post above. I have the exact same protector and it’s great.

-Recommended fuel injection adjustment software? - my bike runs rich but I’m happy with how it goes, especially on 98 RON. Maps here TuneECU Benelli tune list I left mine as I got it, didn’t muck about with the ECU. Try to ride it with the map that’s already there and only change it if you’re not happy.

-Recommended fuel injectors for finer spray and reduced stalling? - stalling? What stalling? Seriously, mine stalled once, at the beginning. But the more I ride it, the better it runs. In the US, I’d be more concerned about having access to quality fuel than modding maps / injectors. IIRC, the best you can get at a normal petrol station is 93 RON, whereas in the UK it’s a choice between 95 and 98/99. Mind you, our 95 has 10% ethanol, the 98/99 has 5% or 0% ethanol, depending on where you get your fuel (FWIW, Esso is supposed to have 0% ‘round here, don’t know of others; they all have to label it E5 to cover their backs, but Esso is allegedly not putting any ethanol in theirs). More to follow on the subject of fuel

-Source for Ohlins fork seals and tools? - Having done a suspension refresh front & rear, my invoice lists the following:

Front Fork Oil Seals (Pair) 43mm Ohlins -NOK
DSS-017FF DUST SEAL PAIR** 43x55.5x4.7/14 KYB BR3959-H0
205-200-072RCU SEALHEAD SERVICE KIT OHLINS 46/16
OHL-00105-01OHLINS SHOCK ABSORBER FLUID 27.7 [email protected]
O1309-01 OHLINSFRONT FORK OIL R&T43 (1 L)

If you want me to, I can get in touch with my mechanics to see where they got those parts from, let me know

-Anyone know what fork & shock model come stock on the LE? - I think your best bet is to email Alex @Maniac about this

-Recommended solution to water pump and/or overheating? - Mine doesn’t overheat, it now runs on Motocool Expert. Having said that, I’ve only ridden in sensible weather (less than 23C), depending where you are in the US, YMMV.

-Silicone hose kit available, does the TNT kit fit the Tornado? - Good question, let me know if you find out if there’s something that fits. FWIW, Samco’s silicone hoses do not fit on the LE


-ANYTHING ELSE?

Yup.

-I also changed the altrenator cush rubbers – see also Alternator Drive & Stator

-i put heat shielding on fairing lowers to prevent them from overheating and damaging the paint (it happened on my standard Tornado and a few bubbles appeared on the front part of the lowers – they didn’t break, but they’re visible and it bothered me no end)

-fuel tank – I ended up relining mine. I had the bike serviced, had E10 fuel put in it, and over a month the tank sprung a slow leak – some of the material inside the tank had turned into brittle nondescript material, I’ll post a picture when I get home. That’s why I started riding it in May not March

-oil pump – mine was in surprisingly rough shape and I had it replaced (bike had only done some 3700 miles when I got it). If I were in your shoes, I’d check it now, then check it again after some 500-1000 miles, and also check the sump for debris (now and in 500-1000 miles)

All in all, it’s a brilliant bike if you can appreciate it for what it is. I, for one, love mine. I hope you’ll enjoy yours too :)

Hope this helps, if you have any questions, fire away
 

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Nice write-up Lucian.

That carbon tank protector on Lucian's LE is a bit special as it has the Benelli name and Italian flag incorporated into the carbon weave.
These were produced in very limited numbers by the Benelli Australian importer at the time (JonnyO) on license to Benelli. I bought one from him and got him to send it to the U.K. I doubt very much if there will be another one in the whole of Europe.
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Bolts - The bolts fitted to the LE's are slightly different than those fitted to the standard Tornado. They are the same length and have the same thread but they are threaded right up to the domed head where the thread on the bolts on the standard Tornado stops short of the head. However, they are transferrable and I have a few spare, so if you need some Lucian send me a PM.

Suspension - I was surprised the front forks needed work done as they were serviced by an Ohlin dealer the last time it was down at Bennetts. Although, that was a few years ago, admittedly.

Silicon Hoses - The hoses on the TNT are completely different than the hoses on the Tornado. One of the forum members (Samuel) and I ran a Group-Buy for sets of silicone hoses for the Tornado a while back. I had kept a spare set but gave it away with the first LE I sold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Can post a follow up. Last Thursday-Friday I drove the needed 1600 miles round trip to pick the bike up from the dealer. The salesman couldn't tell me much about the bike on the phone, but when I arrived I was pleasantly surprised.
OE plastic tank came with the bike.
The tool kit actually had everything that originally came with an LE (I think). Second matching unused key, bike cover, manuals, all the unused chassis adjustment parts. Definite plus.
While I don't understand the mentality, I certainly have benefitted from someone owning this bike for 15 years but not riding it yet also keeping maintenance current. New Pirelli tires, oil and brake fluid are new. The carbon looks perfect, clearly the bike was stored in climate-controlled setting.

Haven't confirmed a few things yet: Z25 gear, battery age, clutch intermediate gear (does LE dry clutch have the same gear issue and standard model?)

The bike had 188 miles from new and is truly museum as-new quality. Still has the warning labels in place. I ride all of my bikes so it already has a few more on it now. Planning on a few hours tomorrow. Non-ethanol premium gasoline is available here and what I run in everything.

First impressions.
*Finding neutral is nearly impossible either at a stop or rolling to a stop. Gearbox is quite notchy, hopefully it improves with miles. Not a big deal.
*Clutch feel is darn near perfect, given Ducati dry clutches I had low expectations.
*Still breaking it in, but have given it a few good pulls and it sounds fantastic.
*Handling is better than I expected, very neutral. Unlike my Ducs the engine does not dominate the experience. With a 1299 or 1098 you always know you have these two giant pistons thrashing away just under you, the Nelli is a totally different experience.
*No overheating, intentionally took it in stop & go to see how it would do. Very hot day as well.
*Surprisingly comfortable even with the plank of a seat. It has an odd feeling due to the air tunnels for the radiator. Most bikes feel slimmer in the calf than knee area, this bike has the odd bugle below your knee. Not good or bad, just different.
*I'm tall and this a good thing, the width of the seat/air tunnel area means someone under 6' might be in trouble.
*Contemporary reviews had mentioned the engine vibrates and fueling was poor. Maybe I have a good one, but I don't really feel either of these are accurate. A little hesitation very low in the rev range but nothing too annoying or worth fixing.
*Have had a couple of backfires on downshifts, off-throttle (say coasting down from 8k-5k) it will burble and pop, seems like it clearly running rich.
*Fuel mileage is miserable, 25-30 mpg. Hoping that improves after riding it more but if not I will have to do something (maybe Tuneboy with O2 sensor and AFR tuner)

I have been fortunate to be in a position and place in life to have a few nice bikes at the same time to compare. I looked for a Tornado for literally years (they are very rare in the US) that was reasonably priced. Assumed I would find a standard 2005 model with miles. Lucked into this LE. As of now it is probably in my top two bikes I own to ride. It is just so different & exotic yet completely usable it is great.
 

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(does LE dry clutch have the same gear issue and standard model?)
No. The issue is with the wet clutch on the standard model. The LE does not have the same issue with the dry clutch. Yay!!!
 

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That carbon tank protector on Lucian's LE is a bit special as it has the Benelli name and Italian flag incorporated into the carbon weave.
Huh, you learn something new every day :) Had no idea that tank protector is such a rare item, I thought the Benelli name on there was just another sticker...

Bolts - The bolts fitted to the LE's are slightly different than those fitted to the standard Tornado. They are the same length and have the same thread but they are threaded right up to the domed head where the thread on the bolts on the standard Tornado stops short of the head. However, they are transferrable and I have a few spare, so if you need some Lucian send me a PM.
Again, had no idea the LE had different type bolts. Am I right to assume they first built the LEs and then the standard Tornados? I’ll follow up with an email one of these days, thanks for the offer!

Suspension - I was surprised the front forks needed work done as they were serviced by an Ohlin dealer the last time it was down at Bennetts. Although, that was a few years ago, admittedly.
The forks didn’t really need work done, ‘tis I who wanted them to have work done to them :) And for the same reason tundraphile wanted to sort out his bike before riding it. In a nutshell, I liked the bike before riding it. I wanted to like it even more after riding it as well, so I wanted to make sure there’s nothing to dislike when I went out on it. That’s why I asked for stuff to be done to it even if it didn’t necessarily need it (e.g. fork refresh) or may have seemed overkill.

Silicon Hoses - The hoses on the TNT are completely different than the hoses on the Tornado. One of the forum members (Samuel) and I ran a Group-Buy for sets of silicone hoses for the Tornado a while back. I had kept a spare set but gave it away with the first LE I sold.
So are those silicone hoses LE specific? For the record, I ordered a Samco set but they didn’t fit, as they were made for the standard Tornado. Ended up returning them. If the set you had is special for the LE, I should get in touch with haydn pronto… Alternatively, if you know the name of the supplier I could also get in touch with them
 

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So are those silicone hoses LE specific? For the record, I ordered a Samco set but they didn’t fit, as they were made for the standard Tornado. Ended up returning them. If the set you had is special for the LE, I should get in touch with haydn pronto… Alternatively, if you know the name of the supplier I could also get in touch with them
Are you sure the Samco hoses you got were for the Tornado? I thought they only did them for the TNT, as I arranged the first batch to be made with them for a Forum Group Buy. Never got around to arranging them to do a set for the Tornado. As far as I'm aware, there is no difference in the hose shapes between the LE and standard Tornado, which is why I think you may have been supplied a TNT set.

It was Samuel that arranged the silicone hoses for the Tornado with the manufacturer. I was only involved with the distribution of them to Forum members in the U.K.
 

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Are you sure the Samco hoses you got were for the Tornado? I thought they only did them for the TNT, as I arranged the first batch to be made with them for a Forum Group Buy. Never got around to arranging them to do a set for the Tornado. As far as I'm aware, there is no difference in the hose shapes between the LE and standard Tornado, which is why I think you may have been supplied a TNT set.
Well, the ad listed them as Tornado hoses... I think you're right, it makes sense.
Sooo... let's see if Samuel's still here :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another quick update.
Roughly 500 miles on the bike now.
I encountered my first Benelli glitch Sunday. In the boonies (anyone in the US military may know where Ft Leonard Wood is in MO, it is “rural” around that area).
Anyway, literally 15 miles from any town and look down to notice the temp gauge was…at the bottom of the range, three possibilities: gauge is dead, temp sensor is dead, radiator is empty and my triple will soon become an ornament.

Again, it was a couple miles before I could safely pull off the road, but nothing was wrong except the gauge. Stopped, restarted the bike. Gauges reset and worked perfectly the rest of the day. Maybe I am paranoid, or just on an unfamiliar handmade exotic with many unobtainable parts…but I had a little chuckle and shrugged it off. It is an Italian bike, 20 years old and not especially reliable when new. It just adds to the sense of adventure and occasion when riding it.
 

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Sooo... let's see if Samuel's still here :)
Samuel hasn't posted on the Forum for 3 years or so. However, I have done a bit of digging and managed to find the company that he used to manufacture the hoses for the Tornado. Not sure if they would be interested in making up just the 1 set for you tho.
 

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First impressions.
*Finding neutral is nearly impossible either at a stop or rolling to a stop. Gearbox is quite notchy, hopefully it improves with miles. Not a big deal.
Once you get used to it, switching to neutral as you approach a stop will become second nature. And as I discovered, it's a skill that comes back easily even after a hiatus of a few years. I'm going to venture a guess that the smoothness of the gearbox will improve; FWIW, mine is fairly smooth, definitely smoother than on the standard Tornado.

*Surprisingly comfortable even with the plank of a seat. It has an odd feeling due to the air tunnels for the radiator. Most bikes feel slimmer in the calf than knee area, this bike has the odd bugle below your knee. Not good or bad, just different.
Yup, as opposed to the Ducatis where you feel you sit in the bike, with the Tornado you sit on the bike. If there's a thing I dislike about the bike, this is it - at times I feel like I'm astride a barge

*Contemporary reviews had mentioned the engine vibrates and fueling was poor. Maybe I have a good one, but I don't really feel either of these are accurate. A little hesitation very low in the rev range but nothing too annoying or worth fixing.
I'm going to venture a guess those reviewers didn't ride the LE, but even so, I personally found such critiques to be... largely contrary to my own experience

*Have had a couple of backfires on downshifts, off-throttle (say coasting down from 8k-5k) it will burble and pop, seems like it clearly running rich.
It is running rich (see below). Haven't had any backfires, but having ridden mine some more (done just over 1200 miles on it now) I have had it stall a couple of times when approaching roundabouts, slowing down and downshifting. I just started it again whilst rolling - it started easily every single time

*Fuel mileage is miserable, 25-30 mpg. Hoping that improves after riding it more but if not I will have to do something (maybe Tuneboy with O2 sensor and AFR tuner)
I've accepted the fact the lady is thirsty. On my 62.5 mile run, it takes 7-7.5l to re-brim the tank after the ride (so 7-7.5l/100km). Please DO update me / the forum if you fit a tuner - I thought about doing that but decided not to go for it for the time being. I think I will fit a quickshifter though, next time I service it.
 

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*Fuel mileage is miserable, 25-30 mpg. Hoping that improves after riding it more but if not I will have to do something (maybe Tuneboy with O2 sensor and AFR tuner)
I expect you'll find that, like my Tornado, it runs rich below 6000 rpm, but spot-on above. A legacy of its racing heritage. The upside of running rich at low revs is that it keeps the engine a little cooler. The downside, on the road, is that a lot of time is spent at low revs, when you expect to get better mileage, and don't.
It can be fixed. I did it by installing a Motty AFR Tuner, sadly no longer available. If I was to do it again, now, I would be logging AFR/throttle position/ gear and speed, and carefully modifying the map until it was much closer to 13:1 throughout the used range.
 

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I have had it stall a couple of times when approaching roundabouts, slowing down and downshifting. I just started it again whilst rolling - it started easily every single time
Increasing the tick-over to around 1300/1400 RPM may help to reduce this, assuming it's not already sitting around that.
You'll need TuneECU and the associated cable to do that tho.
 
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