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Benelli in USA

5441 Views 24 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ducboyjr
I just heard that there are at least 400 TNT's of all flavors in a warehouse in the US at the moment with the US importer. :)

Heard also that production of the new 1130 Tornado will begin shortly.

Yay! :D :D
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Bob Smith and assoc. are the USA Benelli importers. I got my Benelli Tornado TRE LE from Bob this last year.

These are the same guys that Imported and support Bimotas in NA....

Great people to work with. I encourage everyone to check them out, if you have not already.

Tell them Doug sent you....

Thanks! I have been in touch with Bob for a while. They even have a link to us on their site. Very cool!
Benelli in the US and your opinions on them


I have some general questions for Benelli lovers and owners in the USA (and abroad). Sorry this is long.

I am new to this forum.

Very short personal background (not that it is important): I'm a long time motorcycle fanatic. Currently I run a very small business in Florida that sells specialty motorcycle/powersport components of my own designs. I do a lot of other things also (not MC related).

Currently, I am gearing up to start a new dealership in North Florida with some ideas that haven't been tried before in any dealership in America (or in any Japanese dealership I have ever been in). I have a strong background in the motorcycle industry. Business plan is 90% done, financial backing is in place, commercial/industrial property already purchased, new building general layout done..."green light". I am considering Benelli as a potential brand in this dealership. I feel they will be a viable brand in 18 mo. to 2 years and regularly in magazines quickly. As I don't believe there is any Benelli dealerships in the USA, I think this is a risky (maybe rewarding) proposition.

Now some questions, I have been admiring Benelli motorcycles (and MV Agusta's also) since they shot onto the seen a few years ago. I saw a MV Agusta serio oro when they first came out and most everybody around it thought it was the most beautiful bike they had ever seen. This wasn't just any group, this was a group of designers from a well known MC mfr. Now that Benelli has firm backing in a very well financed Chinese venture with final assembly still in Italy, I feel they will do very well. In fact, I was astonished that the Chinese are not screwing this one up. They really have it together with the new R&D center, new designs, etc.

Are the old Tornado 900s reliable? What major problems do they have? Is there a Benelli dealership in the USA (not including the importer in PA)? What kind of other problems do you have? I assume that getting parts and service is nearly impossible and regular dealers don't like to touch the things.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I want to hear the good, the bad and definitely the ugly on Benelli before "I potentially dive into the shallow end of the pool".
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Re: Benelli in the US and your opinions on them

Firstly, a big welcome to the forums Kurt:D I'm sure this won't be the last visit you'll have here as these forums are very addictive mate:p

So, you're looking at the Benelli brand in the US as a possible market that you feel you could benefit from?

Well first of all, we all know the bike is stunning to look at and I'm including most models in that catagory (some just cut it more for me than others) so I think that would be a major selling point as a starter for 10.

Yes, the chinese have invested a serious amount of cash into the Benelli brand but it's not all about having a deep wallet in this case, as you will see for yourself later. Is that a selling point? Sure, I reckon so.

Are the Tornado's reliable? :rollin :rollin

I think they are (and I'm saying this through clenched teeth) depending on what year of manufacture we're talking about. The early Tornado's were riddled with problems (or at least so I'm told) and even today I would imagain that Tornado's that are coming off of the factory floor today will have problems:(
I have an 03 model Tre and so far I've had a clutch basket let go on me, an oil pump let go on me, the clocks have reset themselves on numerous occasions before they were exchanged, I've had 2 sets of dodgy lower fairings where the paint has peeled off in chunks but the ones I've got now seem to be perfect (so far), coil sticks have been replaced, core plugs have been replaced due to the amount of corrosion on them and the odd little nick knack here and there has gone wrong. In saying that, some guys on here have had no trouble with their bikes or maybe I was just unlucky ... who knows.
Of course these problems seem to filter through to people just like us and word gets around that the Benelli brand is a brand to be wary of. Who could blame people for thinking that when there is a great deal of truth in that statement. They (Benelli) have recognised that these problems exist and they are trying to rectify them, so we should hopefuly start to see the mechanical side of the brand becoming stronger and stronger as time goes on.

Remember the bit about 'it's not all about having a deep wallet' part of this post? What I meant by that was the level of customer service that dealers and customers seem to be experiencing from Benelli directly. You could have the best level of customer care of any Benelli dealership, but you are still at the mercy of the Italian workforce. (Jeez, I hope you're not Italian ;) )
Customer care is an area which Benelli seem to fall flat on their arses whenever the subject is mentioned. To be honest, it's crap but maybe that's because dealers and customers have let them get away with it. If I was looking at getting a Benelli dealership up and running I would want Benelli to commit themselves to some form of service level agreement to me. A firm structure in place where parts are delivered on time, emails answered promptly and something to at least indicate that they are listening and are willing to go that extra mile when they need to. For me this area would be my greatest concern. If you take on the dealership then good luck to you Kurt as I think you'll need it when you're trying to get something from Benelli direct.

The bike sells itself and you only have to look at the number of people on here who are willing to put up with those little niggles (and big ones) in exchange for a bike that looks and sounds absolutely stunning:eek

I would seriously consider taking Benelli on board but you'll really have to be a thick skinned kinda guy for when customers start shouting at you because their bike has been off of the road and the parts won't be arriving for another 6+ weeks:( Not your fault, but one that is rectifiable by Benelli if only they would listen to what their customers are saying.

Good luck in your new venture anyway mate and all the best regardless what you decide to do;) :hat

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Re: Benelli in the US and your opinions on them

Hi Kurt and welcome to the best place there is for the low down on Benelli.<img border=0 src="" />

I guess your due Al a beer, as he has just saved you hours of time trawling through the various posts to obtain some sort of cocensus of what Benelli ownership is like.

Good luck and please keep us informed on what you decide to do at the end of the day.



I have a Benelli Tornado TRE LE (#101 of 150). I love the bike, everything about it. Its my understanding that the LE bikes (mine is 2003 on the MSO) are not plagued with some of the reliability problems of the later models.

Personally Im just waiting for Benelli to get the parts and service and customer service part of the business up to speed. Most of the bad things you may read/hear of Benelli revolve around the fact that for a few years they (The Benelli owners/management) were in a twilight zone up until they sold the company to the Chinese.

Now that there are new owners and money and effort again going into the Benelli firm, I hope that they get the Dealer network up and running, improve parts, service, customer service, and bike reliability up to par.

Ill be buying more Benellis if/when they get their S--T together.

I see that they could be a player in the Exotic MC field, right up there with MV and Ducati and Aprilia....maybe even out do them....

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Re: Benelli in the US and your opinions on them

drop me line and I'll tell you all I know about the landscape of doing business with Benelli in the US. I am in Austin, TX.

Wish you the best in your ventures.

[email protected]

Hi Kurt,

Welcome here. Let us know more about you, where in Florida, what products of own design you market and what kind of motorcycles you do.

I will be in St. Augustine end of December, beginning of January and two of my Benelli bikes were of US specs.

Like a rose, a Benelli is very nice to be admired from a close distance. Grabbing it can be painful.

Speak to former dealers and you will have a lot tu learn.

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Thanks for comments & Glad there is life on this board

First, I would like to say, "Thank you for all your input. Without customers, dealerships would not exist." I think some dealerships and mfrs have forgotten that.

This may shock some of you...Anyways, I have never started or operated a dealership before this new venture, BUT I have been in hundreds of them (and know how people should and should not be treated). No really, I do have lots of professionals from other industries lined up to help in this venture and I might be overqualified (MBA/Engineering degree/capital lined up/Bus. plan/background/teach business classes/etc.). Lot of employee perks, numerous innovative ideas incorporated coming from the different dealerships I have visited in North America and Japan, etc., etc. No doubt though, I likely be eating some "humble pie" before this gets completely off the ground. It is really time to "shoot the engineer and start this whole idea off" Hey that engineer would be me!

Also, I used to design motorcycle and ATV frame and chassis components for "Big Red". I keep in contact with them also. And, yes I was the only American MC frame designer in the USA for them. I'm not Italian. If you have a Honda (mostly design) question, I can get an answer if I don't know it myself. However, since I don't work for them any more (lots of great friends still there and a fabulous company to work for), I have to say they (top mgmt in Asakadai & US) have really dropped the ball on new models being released. Nothing of interest to me coming out from them. Also, where is the production V5? Now that they stopped racing a V5, you may see a V5 in a model. The term "double vanilla" accurately describes their current offerings in my opinion.

My last "non-project" motorcycle was an Aprilia Futura which I designed a couple of components for. So, I am familiar with Italian bikes in general. They tend to have numerous electrical issues and quirks (for lack of a better term). My Aprilia had issues. For starters, the battery AH was about 4 AH too small for that twin. If it didn't have a tip-top battery, you had a good chance of walking. Wiring burnt up in spots, regulator changed, And I digress.....

My take on Italian motorcycles, "Beautiful to look at, but difficult to live with on a daily basis".

I would assume (and it sounds like it is true) that Benelli's are more prone to electrical issues (battery size may be insufficient, regulators fail, etc.) and fit/finish problems. BTW: The electrical issues won't get better immediately with the Chinese at the wheel, but the other problems will.

Since I am considering Benelli as part of a larger picture of a dealership, I wanted to know issues with the earlier Benelli's as they (bikes and disgruntled owners) would be the first to show up at the doorstep.

Also, should this proceed as planned, I would personally visit the distributor in PA to tour the facility. Also, I would visit ex-benelli dealers and existing Italian make dealers in the SE USA.

Also, has anyone noticed how the Japanese4 liter bikes have crept up in price relative to Italian makes? I can remember when you could buy 2 GSXR750s for the price of a Ducati 916. Now, the difference is a lot less (sometimes less than $3K). I have a number of theories/reasons for this, but some other time. I expect you will see Benelli's either coming down in price in the next 2 years or not increasing in price with huge improvements now that China is involved.

My info: Company website:
Not all products are on that site. 8mm race spools and 24 mm Suzuki axle tool (simple $4 tool to take your front end off your Suzuki) are not on the site yet, but available on Ebay. Update needed on DCI website.
Dealership will have a different name (already decided) Tallahassee, FL open in new facility in early Spring 2008.
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Benelli in the USA

We just signed an agreement to sell Benelli in Texas. Let me know if you have an interest in a bike and I will order it for you.
Re: Benelli in the USA

Congrats! Where are you guys located? Please give us details! I'll be giving you a call!

Re: Benelli in the USA


Hey you guy's how come it's all happening over there all of a sudden? In good old blighty (hum:| ) nothing is happening, the only dealers that are selling Benelli are ones I don't think I would want to do business with judging by the experiances others on this forum are having.

Would any of you from the USA like to open up a dealership here as you seem to have more of a customer orientated mentality rather that sell em and forget em!>:

Seriously thought, we only have one or two good Benelli dealerships here, perhaps you might like to come and show others here how it is done!:lol :lol :lol
Store Location

Our store is located about 20min south of San Antonio, Tx. right on Interstate Hwy 35. Call us if you have any questions. I should recieve the first two bikes in a couple of weeks. One is a Cafe Racer and the other is a Sport. We are really looking foward to selling Benelli.;) Phone 210 579-0565 or 877 624 6318 toll free
Re: Store Location

We should have an online dealership! Or a Benelli co-op store!
Re: Store Location

sounds good to me!:rollin
Sounds good to me too!


I will be the first one to place an order!:D

Can I have a Tornado Tre LE for £7500.00 please. I am willing to pay up to £500.00 delivery charges! :rollin :rollin :rollin
Benelli is really close to completeing everything needed to begin shipping bikes to their dealers. I know that they have about 6 to 7 dealers in the US right now (including our store)and I should recieve my shipment real soon. I will post once they call me to confirm shipment. :D
Benelli in Arizona

Ton-Up Motorcycles in Phoenix, Arizona is in the final stages of becoming a Benelli dealer. Three bikes will be in the first order. Ton-Up is an independent, small, enthusiast's shop strong on camaradarie and service - all makes, all models, vintage to modern. Moto Guzzi, Royal Enfield and FlyScooters are our existing lines.


Ton-Up Motorcycles
Sales - Service - Parts - Unity
2729 East Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016
602-77TONUP (778-6687)

[email protected]
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Welcome thmpr,
Great to have a new dealer in here! You are very very welcome here. Hope to hear lots abt your shop and your experiences with Benelli. This forum is first and foremost here so serve the end users so input from folks like you are invaluable. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.

:ele: :ele: :ele:

PS I will be adding a link to your shop in the Links section. I will be working on a rotating featured dealer banner soon so this will send some business your way.
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