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<body>The new Benelli Tre-K 899 is an important bike for the legendary Italian firm. Benelli has fallen off the radar of late. At the turn of the millennium, the firm was flying high – it had a great new motor, an inventive designer, a world superbike team and a rich owner. But the years haven't been kind to Benelli, and even after the Chinese bought in, the firm still struggles against rivals from both home and abroad. So there's a lot riding on the new Tre-K, a bike that sits right on the edge of Benelli's reputation as a sportsbike manufacturer.
<p>Adopting the same principals as its 1130 Tre-K bigger brother, the smaller machine uses the 899cc inline triple motor that started the whole Benelli adventure off all those years ago. Cams and mapping are changed, but you don't half get a fruity motor for your money - 105bhp's worth to be precise. The reasoning behind the smaller motor was the thought that the full bore 1130cc motor was probably a bit to powerful for most, but you don't feel like you get short changed with the smaller motor at all. The fuel injection is pretty good, beyond the Euro III lumpiness at around 3,000rpm, but this is easily ride roundable – if you'll excuse making up a new word. </p>
<p>The clutch is a little on the heavy side and the gearbox needs a firm engagement, but these are the most minor quibbles you'll read because the bike is an absolute pleasure to ride. <br />
Taking a trip on the new machine from Benelli's factory in Pesaro on the Adriatic coast, to the historic university town of Urbino really put the new machine through its paces. The one detraction of the winding route was the road surface which, though smooth, has nowhere like the grip of British roads. Consequently, the Dunlop Roadsmart tyres couldn't offer the grip levels that the bike deserves – although sliding out of roundabouts proved to be highly amusing. I've never really power-slid a bike before, and this says much about the TreK's feedback. </p>
<p>The riding position is extremely comfortable and the bike feels solid and well made. Steering is easy, even getting the bike to carve its way through the myriad of corners up and down the hill from Urbino was as easy you could ever wish to hope for. </p>
<p>In short, this is a very capable machine, and deserves to succeed. Whether it will or not is entirely a different matter – but Benelli has done everything in their power to achieve this – even matching the price of the Triumph Tiger - £7,999 (Read about the <a href="">Triumph Tiger here</a>). Read more in the August issue of SuperBike or head to <a href="">Benelli's website here</a>. </p>
<p>Link to original article on <a href="">Superbike Magazine Online</a>.</p>
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