The Chinese-owned Italian brand is upping its game in terms of performance.
Benelli is lucky to have a powerhouse of a motorcycle manufacturing company as its parent company, as we’re surely in for an exciting 2023 with all the new Benelli models that have recently been introduced in China. The brand recently introduced two new TRK models—the 800 and the 702, apart from having new naked models in the pipeline too. The latest news from the Chinese-owned Italian brand? Well, it turns out they have a new engine in the works.
I think at this point, it’s safe to assume that the 800cc to 900cc class of motorcycle is indeed the new middleweight category. Most 650cc models are now considered by many as novice machines, although their performance figures and specs may lead you to believe otherwise. Regardless of what I, or others think, nearly all manufacturers have been focusing efforts in the 800cc to 900cc class, with the likes of KTM, Yamaha, Triumph, and Ducati all centering their mid-market offerings on this segment. Benelli looks to join the game, as well, with a new engine displacing 799 cubes.
German motorcycling publication Motorrad Online got first dibs of info from QJ Motor in China, that a new engine, speculated to power future Benelli models, is under development. Now, it’s important to note that Benelli already has a solid parallel-twin engine in the form of the 754cc unit found in the Leoncino 800 and TRK800. It would make sense that a slightly larger, more powerful evolution of this engine would eventually make its way to reality.
Although it’s not exactly clear whether the new engine is a revised version of Benelli’s existing engine, or a new one altogether, we do know that it has a parallel-twin configuration of 799cc, and pumps out around 95 horsepower. Now, if these displacement and power figures got you thinking of KTM, well then chances are you’re not the only one. After all, KTM has already issued the rights to the 790 LC8 engine to Chinese manufacturer CFMoto, who is also believed to be supplying the engines for the TRK702—the same engine found in the CFMoto 700 CL-X range of bikes. Now, if you connect the dots, then you probably get what I’m trying to say.
Should Benelli eventually come up with an adventure bike sporting this engine, then it would go squarely against the CFMoto 800MT, BMW F 850 GS, and perhaps even hold a candle against the KTM 890 Adventure. Meanwhile, should Benelli enter the naked bike game with this engine, bikes like the Ducati Monster, Yamaha MT-09, and KTM 890 Duke could be given a run for their money. To add to this, Benelli has always had the edge when it comes to pricing, so we can expect whatever models this new engine will come fitted in to seriously undercut the competition in terms of pricing.