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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon gentlemen,

In July of 2006 I purchased a new Benelli Tre Novecentro from a company called GP Star in California "ZBNB3TRB35P100026". Although I live in the Dallas, Texas area and fully understanding that there was not going to be any factory service avaliable I proceed with caution. I am not new to Italian bikes or even exotic bikes as I have an extensive collection.
The bike arrived in Austin, Texas and was set up by an Aprillia dealer for pick up a few days later. Upon arrival it was noted that there was some lower faring damage which was replaced immediately by GP Star. (The factory parts warranty was in effect.) Upon starting the bike for the first time I noticed that it smoked heavely, and continued smoking until the motor warmed up, or at least I thought it did. At about 100 miles I pulled the drain plug to check the oil. The oil was grey in color with a lot of whiskers sticking to the magnetic drain plug. Hoping this was "normal" I continued with the gentle break in as required. At about 400 miles I had a complete instrument failure. This too was replaced under warranty. Now, approaching 500 miles the bike began to be very hard to start. Finally the bike just quit while riding along at about 55mph.
I ended up taking the bike to an authorized Ducati mechanic to see what the problem was. First we drained the oil. It was again grey in color with a very large amount of whiskers sticking to the drain plug. Then we pulled the valve covers only to find that the timing chain tensioner had failed sending debree throughout the motor. Then we decided to pull the oil pan. It was full of the same particles plus a large amount of berring material. The motor had self distructed in less than 500 miles.
GP Star replaced the entire motorcycle. They sent me a brand new bike "ZBNB3TRB05P100033." I have had the new Tornado for about four months now. I started it up and it does not smoke plus the motor sounds a lot quiter than the first one. This tear down and check cost me over $800.00dollars.
I have not been able to bring myself to take the new bike out for a ride fearing another desaster. I have seen on this list that certain models require a clutch basket upgrade from the factory but have not been able to find out if this effectis my bike. There is no help on the horizon as far as a dealer starting up in the states or much less Texas. So what do you guys suggest? Should I sell the bike, keep it because it looks good, or get on it and ride?

Captain Commando
Dallas, Texas
 

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Hi CC and welcome to the Forum.

Sorry to hear about your tail of woe and I can appreciate your dilema but I thought that there was a Benelli Dealer in Texas http://www.benelli-america.com/texas.html

I'de be dropping them an email if I was you Phil, which might mean that you'll be riding that lovely new bike of your's sooner rather that later :D

Let us all know how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, yes there is a dealer? in Texas.

However, this is relly a Suzuki dealer with no trained Benelli staff or any parts stock. Just trying to sell a few bikes.

Capt. Commando
 

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Sigh..

Sorry about your woes man. Unfortunately there is not much recourse for you except to deal with GP Star. From what I have seen they have been pretty supportive of the bikes they bring in. I would press the issue with them first. Then maybe call Benelli USA and hope for the best.

Don't let this put you off Benellis. The Merloni era bikes have had some serious problems. Back then they did not care if substandard components were installed on the bikes when they left the factory. That was when their responsibility ended and was transfered to the dealers/importers. Post Merloni era bikes promise to be much better. The official US importer is a stand-up outfit and will do their utmost to deal with any issues with the bikes that are officially imported by them, including some Merloni era bikes that have.

I am still waiting for my 1130 Tornado from the US importer. I have great hopes that it will be a decent bike. We'll see what the long term review from a major US magazine has to say.
 

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First of all, I'm sorry to hear of your misfortune, mate, but you've been around for 6 months or so, so I expect you're aware that this is not an isolated event.
Now, to the issues....
At about 100 miles I pulled the drain plug to check the oil. The oil was grey in color with a lot of whiskers sticking to the magnetic drain plug. Hoping this was "normal" I continued with the gentle break in as required.
Although the first service is slated for 1000km, the oil should be changed much earlier, as residual swarf from manufacturing will still be present. 100mls would have been a good point to do this.
At about 400 miles I had a complete instrument failure.
Not uncommon. Beginning of the life cycle failure. Can happen with anything electronic or otherwise. Mine started acting up having only traveled 5km from the dealer.
Then we pulled the valve covers only to find that the timing chain tensioner had failed sending debree throughout the motor. Then we decided to pull the oil pan. It was full of the same particles plus a large amount of berring material.
The workshop manual specifies checking the cam chain tensioner every service, but it doesn't say how. I've developed a way of doing this without dismantling the engine, and keep records of how it is wearing. You can read up on it on my website, HERE. There's lots of other worthwhile info there as well. Check it out.
I have not been able to bring myself to take the new bike out for a ride fearing another desaster. I have seen on this list that certain models require a clutch basket upgrade from the factory but have not been able to find out if this effectis my bike.
Again, have a good look over my website. It describes what to look for, but you may have to open it up to find out for sure.
Finally, armed with the knowledge of what can go wrong, and that you have followed the good advice available on this forum, and, dare I say it, on my website, get out there and enjoy it. it rewards you in spades!
Good luck, and have fun with her.
 

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Captain,

You VIN sounds like an '05, mine ends with 100023. Your clutch basket should be good. You will want an updated map to improve the midrange. If the Suzuki dealer has the Axone adapters for Benelli my dealer (Ton Up in Phoenix, ask for Jim) can email you the map that the US distributor's tech did for my bike. You will also want to raise the idle to about 1500 to help with stalling. letting the rpms drop below 2000 on decel will also help with stalling. My dealer also did the wiring update you will find on this site which helps with starting. Other than the stalling early before the US tech tweaked my bike and one reset of the cluster, mine has been trouble free for 2,000 miles. You should be safe to put on some extended miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To Binellie or Not

Guy's thanks for the posts and the encouragement. I guess what I was rely looking for was some feed back from other Tre owners concerning long term reliability etc. How many miles have you put on yours and what other problems, if any, have you encountered?

Capt. Commando
 

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:hiya: Capt. Commando and welcome to the forum. I know of bikes that have done 12,000.00 miles or more without any major problems, they have had some minor issues but otherwise problem free!

In 2004 there was a Benelli owners track weekend at Misano, Italy and of the 200 + bikes that were there not one broke down! ( 5 crashed though!:doh: )

The main issues were rotting core plugs,(replaced with better quality ones and cost about 2 dollars each!) primary gear failure (yours should be ok as they where upgraded in 05.), stalling at idle, (increase the idle speed to 1500 rpm.) difficulty in getting neutral (not really a problem), tilt switch fault, (remove,discard and loop the wire.), faulty dash (replace with upgraded one) and flaky paint (only on the green lower fairing panels.)

Many of these problems were cured on the 05 models but some problems persisted on a few early ones.

Hope this helps.
 

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I guess what I was rely looking for was some feed back from other Tre owners concerning long term reliability etc. How many miles have you put on yours and what other problems, if any, have you encountered?
Capt. Commando
I've had my Tre since December 2004, and put 33,000 km on the clock.
I did 1,000 km in the first week, and the only thing that went wrong was the dash, which was replaced at 4,000km.

At 6,000 km, the loom shorted out under the ECU bracket - fixed myself, as the nearest dealer was 3 hrs away.

At 25,000 km, I replaced the cam chain & back tensioner, as per the maintenance schedule. It was worn, but not badly.

All of the clutch related recalls were done before delivery.

I keep a close check on the depth of the cam chain tensioner, and document it HERE for all to see.

I also get my oil analysed every time I replace it. After the first change, it has been pristine, up until the last. It's now showing some signs of ferrous, which may be left over from the cam chain chain, but that's a long shot. I'll test it again at the 1000 km mark, and if it still shows up, I'll be checking the clutch gears, and perhaps remove the sump & have a look.

My view on the Tre is, if you keep a very close eye on it, you'll keep her running, and perhaps head off any problems that may arise. The more you know about her, the better.

I still can't think of another bike I'd rather have.
 

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I still can't think of another bike I'd rather have.[/QUOTE]


An MV Agusta F4R ?:rolling: :rolling: :rolling: Seriously though, as much as I love my MV I really miss the sound of my Nelli when getting a move on. I hope to get another one when I get my compensation for my accident.
 

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To B-enelli or Not to B-enelli

Hey Captain, I also bought my Tre from GP Star back in October 2005. Mine is VIN #ZBNB3TRB15P100011 and it's also a 2005 model. I now have about 5,000 miles on mine with no problems at all other than the clock/trip resetting issue. If it weren't for having been unable to ride for about 8 months (with a broken leg) I'd probably have a lot more miles on it....

I'm about to send mine in for service at the dealer (Munroe Motors in San Francisco).

Sorry you've had such a bad time with the bike, I must be one lucky SOB to have avoided any big problems. I hope the new one gives you a better experience.

mark
 

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Tre

Hi Captain,
Welcome to the forum. Hopefully you sort out the issues with your Tre through the dealer or by other means. When you do sort it out, I highly recommend you take a big long ride on your Tre. The therapy of the ride will cure all woes, it's worth it.
Not a bike to be stored away in a garage.

Go and see what those fans do to the general public.
Cheers, Dave :D
 

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this seems to be an ongoing problem.since the chinese have bought out benelli in 2004 after the factory had trouble(finances)hence thats why they are more at a relistic price!now moto GB (UK) the uk official Benelli importer,identified several niggles on the tornado and found solutions to them.moto GB now spend a full day on each bike,reworking certain areas and replacing parts with modified versions before the bikes go to dealer network and of course this has made the model a true bargain:it is cheaper and more reliable than ever.originally the price for tre 900 on the road was £11,999 and now it is £5,999 plus £350 otr.this was taken from the mcnews uk.I'll try and email them (moto GB)to find out when they started to do this mod also if poss frame no etc before I buy next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
To Benelli or Not to Benelli

Can you find out from Moto GB what modifications and parts they are using before sending out the new Tre's? With this kind of information I might be able to get some of the work done here in Texas.
I did find out that Benelli America has set up a distribution center in Irving Texas, just about a half hour from me. I spoke to a guy named Frank, told him of my problems etc. Frank stated that they were having a Benelli technician arriving sometime this month at their location. They offered for me to bring my new Tre over and let him have a look at it to make sure it was set up correctly. While not offering any warranty, bike was not bought from Benelli, the seem genuly concerned that I am happy with my purchase.
So armed with and info from Moto GB, I might get this technician to do any upgrades necessary.

Thanks, Capt. Commando
 
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