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Here is a post from a Motebi Benelli writer:


Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:19 pm Post subject: Misano 2006

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Here it is my trip to Misano and what a trip it was, first I was surprised how many people turned up on Saturday it was total chaos! For sure Benelli didn’t expect the numbers they had and that showed by the organisation. The Italian press totally took over and everyone wanted to ride the new models but it wasn’t to be for many people. However after lunch the officials got a grip on proceedings and the day started to run better. Benelli had provided 4 new 1130 Tornados 6 TNT’s, 4 Café Racers, and 8 TRE-K models. I was pleasantly surprised to find at the end of the weekend not one bike had broken down or given any problems! It was a fantastic step forward for Benelli to silence some of there critics as I watched myself these bikes took a fair hammering from hundreds of different riders and the only time they stopped was for fuel! Amazing…

The input from China is there to be seen but the real investment will come when the factory has proven to the new owners that it can deliver the goods! On this showing the general feeling is that it can…

TNT Test ride (in brief)
Just climbing on the bike you feel like a stunt rider the riding position and the controls all fit perfectly. With the rumble of the 3-pot engine under your butt you know you in for a treat. The motor pulls like a steam train the front end bias that Benelli build on all there bikes make it drive forward hard but resist the temptation to wheelie un less you pull on the bars that is. The gear box is slick and smooth and the brakes, well the name Brembo say’s it all, if there good enough for Ducati enough said…. I’ve ridden a TNT before on the road but never on the track, I was amazed how far you could push the bike, at full lean angle the suspension never faltered I expected the bars to wag and twitch but none of this the bike held a line though a corner and never ran wide only problem was the foot pegs were on the deck too much for my liking. It was hard to try and learn the track as the local track day gang and press were out to show me a lesson…. The TNT held its own and made it easy for me not to get swallowed up by the other two-wheeled revellers, the grunty engine and the fantastic brakes made it a dream to ride.

Café Racer Test ride
The look of this bike has had a lot of people foaming at the mouth; it’s basically a TNT with clip on bars and a belly pan but the classy gold colour schema and the rear seat pod really make it stand out. When you set off on this bike it doesn’t feel much different to the TNT but as the speed increases the Café Racer comes into it’s own the clip on bars instantly want you to lean forward and enjoy the ride. At 5ft10” I would say I’m average height and I found it very very comfortable to ride at speed on the twisty Misano circuit the only problem is that the red line cut’s in a little too soon maybe on the road this won’t be a problem as it ‘s around 9500RPM. As for the handling the characteristics are similar to the TNT, brakes and suspension are really suited to the track with the Café styling allowing you to push the front end more than the standard TNT with no protest at all. All in it’s all about your own personal taste and style TNT or Café Racer! It’s down to you.





Tornado 1130 test ride
This was the model which most people wanted to see and ride we all know how good the 1130 engine is but how would it fair in a sports bike? Well if the journalist kept on them and stopped riding like idiots and crashing then more people would have had the opportunity to enjoy this new model. When my chance came the top brass at Benelli had already asked/told me to bring the bike back in one piece, thanks for the extra pressure boys. After spending time riding the 900 Tornados I was expecting something along the same lines, how wrong I was! This bike has real stomping useable power it pulls like all the 1130 models but doesn’t stop it just gets faster and faster. The top end rush is not a GSXR1000 or a Blade but the acceleration and mid range are there to match any of the Japanese big boys. The massive radial mounted Brembos and purpose built Marzocchi forks make the front brake feel awesome. The bike is slightly weighty compared to the Jap 1000cc bikes but by the same token this helps on the road as the Jap bikes are slightly flighty on the front end can be a little twitchy the new Benelli never moves and all round handling, brakes and engine are a real treat. The faults which haunted the early 900 Tornado models are gone the feel from a controls point of view are very Japanese style which is fantastic. This bike is going to be a bike to watch next year.

TRE-K test ride
When this bike hits the sale’s floor it will have the largest target audience of all the Benelli’s. In my opinion, the bike has the style of the Yamaha TDM850/900 sort of sports, tourer, trail, but it would fit almost every style of rider it has again the super punchy 1130 engine and all the parts of the TNT but this bike has the bonus of the extra styling which takes it to new levels. The riding position is perfect the handlebars are placed to perfection the mirrors, which have been criticised on the sports Benellis are well placed, and visability is very good. The added built in indicators make the mirrors special, the three-stage flip up screen also stands out although at full extension the screen does shake around a little, this is not a problem when the screen is lowered. Givi have already designed a full range of hard luggage as they see it being strong compatition for the BMW GS models as an all round tourer. The bike pulls fantastic and a roll on in top gear from 3000RPM is done with ease at it goes forward the torque of the engine comes good yet again. Riding the costal roads close to Misano you really find out that this bike has a bit of everything the suspension is slightly softer than the TNT which makes it a very comfortable ride the pillion position has a nice wide seat and the option of fitting the TNT rear footrest makes leg position variable. This bike is the jewel in Benelli’s collection this is the model which will help to reinvent the famous Italian brand.

So with the first paragraph in mind maybe the Nelli pisture is looking better....no breakdowns in a harsh thrashing weekend!!
 

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Hi Johny,

This was Rusty's write up after the Misano weekend, which I'm sure was posted on the Forum some time ago.

To answer your Post Title "whats happening at the Factory", I was at the factory a couple of weeks after Misano and It is clear that the current unit is far too small.

They have two production lines that swap between bike and engine assembly but bearing in mind they now have three mainstream models plus a scooter range, not to mention the option of the additional models previewed at the Intermot show, I can see them moving to new premises in the next year or two.
 

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If Benelli can regain/restore a grade A+ built quality and quality control as well as reliability and parts availability to an acceptable level (and update the TRE Bazooka exhaust canister to something up to the current millennium) they will be able to gain/regain the trust of the buying public.

The next year or two of hard effort from Benelli will allow the brand to "save face" (a good term since the Chinese now own them). I hope Benelli get the act together soon.

Im taking a sit back and see attitude. If Benelli optimizes its potential I will be more than happy to buy more of the product. Im holding my breath to see what they/Benelli come up with once the AMA decides the diaplacement limits for the WSB series. If Benelli comes out with another WSB Homoligation (limited edition), that may be the net bike for me.

It seems like so far Benelli is headed the right direction .


:)

:soapbox:
 

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Nice one

:p

:hiya: Johnnyrottin

Nice artical, I was not lucky enough to go to last years Benelli weekend but as some of you know, I went to the 2004 event. My experience of the weekend was almost the same as the editor of that artical. Not one bike broke down and there was over 200 bikes, jurno's crashed three of them!:mad: :mad: I was lucky though as I had my own bike there and had over 12 sessions during the weekend.:jig:

I have ridden the standard TNT, and the Cafe Racer and I would go along with the artical in all it's entirety. They are great bikes, I would love to try the 1130 out and hope to do so in the near future. :excited:

Hopefully Benelli looks as if they are now getting their act together, I just hope they do not fall at the same hurdle the last owners did.
 

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We have great expectations here in italy for benelli's future.

It seems that chinese owners now really want to push up the brand quality, they are putting loads of money into Benelli, they are building a new factory and improving quality controls.

The 2ue is the first sight of a grat future, IMHO.

Benelli is also trying hard to fix the many mistakes they did in the past.

Here in italy, the feeling betwen Benelli owners is that Benelli is going to improve more and more in the next years.

Oh, and there a new Supersport project going on. A person i know, really close to Benelli, saw the prototype and told me than :"I've never, ever seen a bike as beautiful as it".

I think it will be out in 2008/2009

....but maybe it was a secret... :D
 
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