After a long period of communication and discussions, DSK Motowheels and Benelli have finally announced their partnership venture to enter the Indian two-wheeler market. Alongside the announcement, the tie up has also revealed five brand new big motos that hit the showrooms just a few weeks after Diwali. The joint venture marks a giant step in the market progress with a huge fleet of premium motorcycles from Benelli waiting to be delivered for assembly in India by DSK. It also marks the biggest two-wheeler tie up of 2014, following neatly in the footsteps of the TVS-BMW Motorrad and the leading Bajaj-KTM tie ups. As can be seen by the business gurus, this collaboration holds great success and financial gains for both the participating firms.
Among Italy’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers and in the business for almost a century, Benelli have a colourful history with quite a few rise and falls and a rich racing heritage. Like most European automobile manufacturers, Benelli too has changed ownerships and managements multiple times. Since 2005 however, it has been under the European division of the Qianjiang corporation, China.
Extensive DSK-Benelli line up
The DSK-Benelli motorcycle line up covers all segments, ranging from the 300 cc light sport category to their thoroughbred 1130 cc superbike. Some of the bikes to launched include the Benelli TNT 302, TNT 600i, TNT 600 GT, TNT 899 AND TNT 1130R. The name “TNT” stands for “Tornado Naked Tre’ “, a term that’s over the years become associated with Benelli. The TNT 302, TNT 600i and the TNT 600GT are produced in China but with strict Italian quality control, and the TNT 899 and 1130R are manufactured in Italy.
The tie up will commence sales of its motorcycle range by end of 2014. The company aims to open exclusive dealerships in over 20 cities across India in the next one year – the first few will quite obviously touch the metros of Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai and Kolkata. The sales will be on constant support by well trained after sales service.
Of the lot, the most significant motorcycle for the Indian market is the TNT 302. Equipped with a twin cylinder engine, a steel trellis frame and the build of a muscular naked, it is an obvious choice on Indian roads and the success of the KTM 390 only pushes the fact further out in the open that India is infact the perfect place for small capacity performance bikes.
The TNT 302 is powered by a 300 cc parallel twin, liquid cooled four stroke motor that produces 36.2 bhp at 11,500 rpm. It is fuel injected via a set of 38mm throttle bodies and hits a peak torque of 2.75 kgm at 9000 rpm. The naked twin employs upside down front suspension with a horizontally mounted mono shock in the rear. The exhaust pipe is cleverly concealed under the engine area.
The TNT 600i is a naked sports motorcycle with very clean and smooth styling cues. It is powered by a 600 cc four stroke, inline four cylinder liquid cooled engine that produces 80.5 bhp at 11,500 rpm. It manages a torque output of 5.3 kgm at 10,500 rpm. Like the 300, it uses upside down forks in the front and a side mounted offset from the centre, monoshock in the rear. Twin underseat exhausts peek from the rear.
The 600 GT is a slightly more visually sober version of the 600i. It comes with projectors encased in a half fairing in the front and a deeply dished single saddle seat for the rider. The smooth surface lines flow all the way back to the rear giving it a very touring friendly sort of a character. The power however, is far from just friendy. With a 600cc inline four cylinder, liquid cooled, four-stroke engine that churns out 80.5 bhp at 11,000 rpm and 5.6 kgm of torque at 8000. Like the others it deploys an upside down set of forks on the front and a monoshock in the rear.
The 899 is a naked sports motorcycle that has a slightly “bug eyed” face, a red steel trellis frame and a crisply sculpted body, all of which give it the attention grabbing looks of a concept motorcycle. It runs on a peppy 899 cc inline three cylinder liquid cooled four-stroke engine that produces 123.4 bhp at 9,000 rpm.
Last but definitely not the least, the 1130R is powered by a massive 1131 cc inline three cylinder, liquid cooled engine that produces a big 155.6 bhp at 10,200 rpm and 12.2 kgm of torque at 8,400 rpm. The figures are true blue superbike numbers and the bike is at par with any competition whatsoever in the segment and some even beyond.
Tapping the Indian market
The Indian motorcycle enthusiasts should be rejoicing since the last two years have proved to be full of surprises and the ones coming will be much more so. With Benelli coming to India, it hardly leaves a few more manufacturers who will, in time surely tread into the Indian market.