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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, I'm a newbie to the site but was hoping to obtain your collective experience of Tornado ownership. I dare say you've heard it all before so apologies if you have a sense of deja vous!

I was at the NEC show at the weekend & found myself drawn to the Benelli stand. I had always regarded the Tornado as a stunning looking bike, but thought it was exotica beyond my reach. However I was intrigued by the quoted price for the 900Subsequent browsing on the net has found various dealers quoting around £6,250 to £6,500.

I'm thinking about changing my bike next yr ( a 2003 Yam R6) and now the Tornado looks like a tempting proposition. The thing is I'm accustomed to Japanese reliability so I'm trying to ascertain whether it would be a wise choice for me. Horses for courses I know, but would appreciate any advice you can offer.

I use my bike mainly for fair weather use & do around 5,000 miles a year. This is likely to inc a 1,500 mile trip through europe plus 3 or 4 track days. Therefore I need something that is happy to both scratch & cope with a long run without breaking down! How does the finish hold up after a few yrs use? What's your general experience of build quality as I tend to keep my bikes for 4-5yrs?

How good is dealer support & spares availability? Is servicing more pricey than for other marques? My local dealers would be Forza Italia or Red Dog I guess, perhaps On Yer Bike - any comments?

I read something on here about tricky neutral selection. Any other common probs that I need to be aware of? How well does the underseat cooling system cope with hot weather? One of the chaps I spoke to on the NEC stand stand assured me that faults that had affected earlier models had been ironed out - he also mentioned something about them replacing clutch assemblies...

Obviously there is a massive price variance between the 900 & the 1130. Is this largely down to clearance of old stock, or does it go deepr than that? Also whilst the 900s are still shown as new models is it likely thay they were manufactured some time ago & have been sitting around in storage? Has this in itself lead to problems.

Sorry for rambling on but hope you can help me.

Regards

Greggy
 

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Hi Greggy, you buy a Benelli with your heart not your head, but the UK dealers are sorting the older bikes out.
 

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Hi Greggy, you buy a Benelli with your heart not your head, but the UK dealers are sorting the older bikes out.
Yip, heart over head every time - had 22 bikes (all Jap) before owning my Tornado, but never felt like this about any of the Jap bikes, so I say go for it Greggy! :clap:
 

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Re buying the benelli brand.

get used to a few niggles etc as you probaly had a great time ala yamR6 but enjoy the tornado . I dont regret buying a Tornado but think i should of bought newer than a 03 one to get a good warranty cover. it looks fantastic and i've now got used to foibles on mine but i loved milles that much i bought three !. i'd say buy a new one and if cash is available get the 1130 version as the 900 will feel like your R6 for speed(see below for tornado in a dealers in case moneys tight). not told the missus yet but
I've put a deposit on the RC8 Ktm but dont want to sell my tornado as i like it just going to keep for blasts and probaly use the Ktm for a couple of european trips in 08,you could arrange a test ride just depends where you live in the country. Ps ive just come across a tornado in a dealership i go to once a week in irvine(MV dealers) and its a nice clean 04 version and not dear,along with that is a GSXR1000K5 thats so trick its unreal ,carbon wheels,bodywork,tuning parts, uprated 6 pot radials and paintwork that understates the carbon till you get close - it was very very nice !. and cost 18k to build but is for sale at 10k -bargain...
 

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what to buy?

Many moons ago all I would own was Hondas. They were the best bikes on the planet hands down and no person could convince me otherwise. Somewhere along the line I grew up. I learned that it’s not always about being or having the best; it’s about the feeling that whatever you have gives you inside. You can call it pride in ownership or whatever you want. I then went out and tried Kawis and Zukis and Yams (Jap trend here) and they were great fun! I bought a Harley...bloody fantastic! It is one of the best bikes out there for what it does. Then I tried a Duc and loved it. A little over two years ago I bought a Benelli LE. I can tell you this: I will always have one. There has never been a bike that has stirred my soul the way this does. I find myself mesmerized by it. The sound, the look, the feel...all of it. So my stable will always consist of:

My 2003 Harley 100th Anniv Road King Classic
My 2005 Benelli Tornado LE
My 1987 Honda Hurricane
All are spotless machines that are timeless and classic in their own rights.

I can also tell you this. There is no person on any forum that can tell you what is in your heart. They can only tell you what is in their own, just as I have done. So, the true question is this: Where are your passions? To follow the other lemmings over the "I have the fastest bike on the planet" and "Mine is the newest with 1.2 hp more than yours" edge of a cliff or to try something new and different to find where your passions truly lie? When we die it won’t matter what we rode or how we rode it, what we will take with us into the netherworld will be the feeling it gave us in our heart and more importantly, our soul.

John
 

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Go for it Greggy. One ride and ya hooked.. :D


So my stable will always consist of:

My 2003 Harley 100th Anniv Road King Classic
My 2005 Benelli Tornado LE
My 1987 Honda Hurricane

John
I have a 'E' reg (1988?) Honda Hurricane CB250R sitting in my garage, waiting for me to restore / sell it. :)
 

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Amen John,
Couldn`t have put it better myself.
Bought the TNT and have had a rush ever since, even when she blew her guts out all over the road:doh:
been there done that with all other make and still have others in the shed but the TNT just does it in a different way to all the other bikes i`ve owned over the years and there have been a few!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies so far guys - much appreciated. I hear what you're saying & it kind of echoes with what is in my head or should that be my heart!!

If I buy the Tornado it will be the only bike in my garage as I can't financially justify running two bikes at the moment (so my wife tells me:) ). I can accept a few minor faults as 'character' but I guess my nagging doubt is the likelihood of major probs. If it's in for warranty work I'll be bikerless 'til its fixed - the summer months are short enough as it is! Also I don't fancy it breaking down on my trip through France/Spain next yr. I appreciate that nothing in life is guaranteed but just trying to gauge current owners experiences. Can you answer any of the questions in my original post? Once again thanks for your input.

I'm keen to get a test ride - any suggestions as to a dealer who might have a demo or used bike that I might be able to try? Red Dog?

Also I'm a little confused by model designations. So there's the LE with the carbon fibre and magnesium goodies, but what about the others? At the NEC from memory they had the 1130, but in terms of the 900s they had the stnd model & the RS - the latter having oz(?) wheels, radial brakes, some carbon parts & slightly more power/torque - these were decribed as 906s(?) Are these the only two other 900cc models? Elsewhere I've seen reference to a Novecento - is this the same thing? Also in view of the 1130, have the 900s ceased production & stock just being cleared or do they remain as a current model?
 

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test ride

Greggy, I had an 05 tre which had no major faults during the two years i had it, the only reason for changing was the fact that it was classed as a cat d write off because a van pulled out and it went down denting the swing arm. This bike is now Rusty Russ's:bow: demo bike and everyone that have had it say there is no faults with the bike. If you are around south yorks Bennetts are the place to go. I have now bought a tre-k to replace the Tre and again have had no major problems other that a dead battery. Kurt p has had the same reliability with his, but there has been quite a few with major problems but speaking to Rusty the bikes registered as new now have extensive PDI works before handover to the customer and the problems are becoming less.
Having said all that it is Italian (look at Alfa, lovely car but can be troublesome)

If you want to be different and stand out from the mundain go for it.:ele:

I recently went to the Butlins bash all them bikes and just 2 nellis:clap:
 

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I have owned a TRE 900 since September this year could not be happier, they definately have some quirky behaviors like the neutral thing or lack there of, but once you own one it becomes like your kids, theres plenty of them out there but none quite like yours. My advice to you is
NIKE- Just do it
Shogun :)
 

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models

The LE's are 02 and 03 limited editions with mag wheels, Ohlins suspension and CF body panels, they may have Ti conrods and they do have a dry slipper clutch , apart from that they are identical to the Standard Tornado 900, The RS is a 04 and 05 "improved up spec Base Tornado with different cams, valves, slightly different head and velocity stacks than the LE and Base Tornado,plus 04's had OZ forged aly wheels and the 05's seem to have forged ally wheels from Marchesisni. They have CF front and rear guards and upgraded rear suspension with BOTH Hi and Low comp damping, up front a RS runs radial brakes and 50mm forks as opposed to the LE's 43mm Ohlins and the Base tornado's 43mm Marzoochi's. they are all the same capacity, of 900cc. The Novecento refers to the # of valves, 12, which is Novecento in Italian. The 1130cc Tornado is a Stroked motor over the 900cc unit, its runs different crank, rods, head, ecu, exhaust powervalve, airbox flaps , etc etc over the 900cc units, look as my post of engine pgrade in this section to see the differences as stated from the PR man and test rider at the Factory. 900cc units make about 115 to 120 RWHP acording to what dyno is used. All of the TnT 1130cc bikes make about the same, even though they have a 1130cc motor its a midrange tuned unit, the 1130cc Tornado motr is the current powerhouse unit and makes about 140 to 150 HP, i have seen results of tuned 1130cc Tornado's making 160 at the RW. 900cc production ceased in 05 when the factory closed down, the last of the 1130cc Tornado's have just finshed being built, no more will be mae. Benelli continues with the Dirt bikes new twin and the various TnT and Tre-K models while the factory develops the next generation superbike, due for 09, various engines configuration of 1000cc are being tested, rumours of a V5, V4 and a inline 4. I guess whichever makes the best hp versus weight will power the new Superbike for WSK duties, i know Benelli whats confirmation from the WSK people on engine capacity limts and cylinder rules before they commit :)
 

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Weel that was a good start:doh: posted twice & now can't work out how to delete - sorry!

Firstly, welcome Greggy - enjoy the site and if you make the move, you will not be disappointed (once all the issues are sorted)

Secondly, Dealers - whereabouts are you? If you are in the East Sussex/Kent area, then Red Dog In Edenbridge is the place to go. If you are in West Sussex/Hampshire/Greater London, Red Dog in Edenbridge is the place to go. If you are in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex/Bedfordshire/Suffolk, Red Dog in Edenbridge is the place to go. In fact if you are closer to Red Dog in Edenbridge than you are to Bennetts in Barnsley, then go to Red Dog in Edenbridge!

On the other hand, if you are closer to Barnsley, then go to Bennetts!

I have used Three Cross in Dorset, Moto Corsa in Dorset, OnYerBike in Aylesbury and Red Dog in Edenbridge, and it was only by using the latter did I get all my problems sorted!

That said my bike may well be heading to Bennetts next year for a little special work once Rusty has finished his 'designs'!

Finally, Big Brother has granted your wish and removed the duplicate post!;)
 

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I would pretty much echo everything said so far. I was also scared of owning one, but loved the looks so much I did my research and took the plunge. Despite some niggles I have never regretted it and love the tornado more than any other bike I have owned (and theres been a lot!). May change next year, but if I do it will be to an RS and only if I can convert it to a green / silver one :rolling:

Bottom line, do your research, buy with warranty and / or from one of the 3 reputable dealers recommended by this site and buy lots of polish cos u will want to stroke her all the time :rolling: If you can, get a longish test ride or ask them if you can have a days grace to get ur money back as some of the niggles, such as intermittent stalling, may not show up immediately and are a bitch to fix it seems!

Col
 

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LEs

Not to be argumentative but LEs do not have magnesium wheels but they do have magnesium engine components. They are aluminium Marchesini's and the Novecento name is Italian for Nine Hundred which refers to the engine cc size (898) and not to the 12 valves which would be dodici. Also, there was an article about V-6s being run by Benelli in WSB. They currently produce V-6s and run them in jetskis taht make in the realms of 300 hp but not sure how many cc's they are. That v-6 article was in MCN with a schematic that was seen showing the design of the bike at the Nelli factory. I would love to see that in action!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Wow, what a response, thanks for that, some really useful info:bow:

I'm in Bedford so Red Dog not too far away. There's also Taz in Peterborough I guess.

Will try & get a test ride sorted & take it from there then.:)

Greggy
 

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Wow, what a response, thanks for that, some really useful info:bow:

I'm in Bedford so Red Dog not too far away. There's also Taz in Peterborough I guess.

Will try & get a test ride sorted & take it from there then.:)

Greggy
Oh and thats another great thing about being a nelli owner - this forum is the friendliest most helpful forum you could hope for!

Col
 

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I use my bike mainly for fair weather use & do around 5,000 miles a year. This is likely to inc a 1,500 mile trip through europe plus 3 or 4 track days.

How does the finish hold up after a few yrs use? What's your general experience of build quality as I tend to keep my bikes for 4-5yrs?

Is servicing more pricey than for other marques? My local dealers would be Forza Italia or Red Dog I guess, perhaps On Yer Bike - any comments?
For what it's worth :

Mine is fair weather, continent and track day bike too. Luggage can be a challenge, but can be solved if you hunt around. I use a silver and black Oxford tank bag that looks like it was made to match the bike :) and a set of cheap "no brand" throw overs that once I'd sorted out the height to clear the exhaust have been great. Wouldn't want to tour with a pillion though... Great on the track (once you have sorted out the appropriate level of coolant to avoid looking like a rolling sauna :confused: ) - the mirrors can be removed without leaving the fairing flapping and if you swap the spaghetti wiring under the tail unit for a quick release connector the rear indicator and number plate assembly unbolts with only three allen bolts.

It is over 4 years old now (owned from new) and the finish is holding up well. I haven't had any real trouble with peeling belly pan paint (but many on here have), but the gold finish on the forks (upper part) has started to wear through in places.

I've used Red Dog for servicing and they were great - can recomend them. Servicing can be expensive, but IMHO this is mainly due to labour charges to take off and replace the bodywork.

Listen to your heart :D (oh - and take a test ride then make sure you get a warantee just incase)
 

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Ditto - I have never known a bike like it - top value, great looks, awesome sound, brill bunch on this forum - 'just do it' I say -

Whats the worst that can happen ?? - you dont like it, you have several issues and go back to Jap bikes - you see, its not like you are gonna walk round your in law house naked at Xmas dinner is it !!! ???
 
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