Benelli's showcase of four new bikes at the 2016 Auto Expo was of keen interest to enthusiasts. While there were no launches announced at the Expo, at least two of these motorcycles will be launched in India later this year. Of interest to many enthusiasts, and the motorcycle touring community in particular, is the latest adventure tourer from Benelli - the TRK 502.
The TRK 502 gets proper 'adventure' looks with a large 'beaky' front fairing, high windshield, flat wide handlebars with hand guards and large, spoked wheels shod with dual sport tyres. A large 20-litre fuel tank will provide long range between fuel stops. Overall, the TRK 502 fits the adventure look perfectly and just on looks alone, it's certainly going to attract attention.
The TRK 502 also gets a long list of features befitting an adventure tourer. The front wheel is a 19-incher, spoked and shod with dual sport rubber. Front suspension is high quality, adjustable upside down forks with over 150mm of travel. Rear wheel is a 17-incher, again spoked, and suspended from a swingarm with a monoshock with 150mm travel. An alloy wheel version is also expected, with 17-inch wheels at both ends.
The engine is a new four-stroke, liquid-cooled 500cc parallel-twin unit. It's a double overhead cam unit with four valves per cylinder, so expect a refined unit from Benelli. The motor makes just about 47bhp of power and 45Nm of torque; not jaw dropping figures, but good enough for decent performance - on the highway and off it. Power is delivered using a six-speed gear box and braking is taken care of by twin 320mm discs at the front and a 260mm single disc at the rear. ABS is standard.
The power figures may vary slightly once the bike is homologated for India, but pricing will be crucial. According to soures in Benelli, the TRK 502 could be priced between Rs 6-6.5 lakh and that could well make it the most affordable adventure tourer in India, since most adventure tourers on sale from European and Japanese brands right now cost northwards of Rs 10 lakh.
So, what is to be expected then? If priced around the Rs 6 lakh mark, the Benelli TRK 502 could well turn out to be a very good offering in the adventure tourer segment. Of course, the discerning buyer will keep a keen eye out for quality and engineering. And if Benelli delivers on that, together with a competitive price tag, the TRK 502 could well turn out to be a winner.