For those with a sporty disposition, the Benelli Tornado is making a return for 2024.
Benelli’s had a tumultuous old time over the past twenty-odd years, but since being taken over by Chinese firm QJMotor in 2005, they’ve been going from strength to strength.
While its bread and butter is no longer the seriously sexy Italian exotica which won plaudits in the ‘90s and early noughties, it’s been churning out an ever increasing array of sorted, value for money rides that seem to be getting better every year. And this one might be one of the best yet.
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Sure, it’s more of an ode to the original 898cc triple superbike which bore the Tornado name – but there’s no doubt that it looks the part; sharp, sporty and focused with a pretty funky paintjob.
It’s been designed and developed at the Benelli Style Centre in the Italian firm’s hometown of Pesaro, before being knocked into shape in China.
The beating heart of the new Tornado is a 500cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin unit. That might not sound especially inspiring, particularly when you hear that it’s the same lump that’s been the popular and proven (but slightly bloated) TRK 502 adventure bike. Thankfully, it’s had a good going over to meet the latest emissions standards while managing to churn out a respectable 46.9bhp and 34ft-lb of torque.
Elsewhere there’s a lightweight tubular steel trellis frame, Marzocchi suspension, Brembo brakes and a set of sporty-styled 17 inch cast alloy wheels, which take a 120/70 at the front and a 160/60 at the rear. There’s a colour TFT dash with Bluetooth connectivity, a tyre pressure monitoring system, and USB sockets for charging too. Nice.
No news as yet on pricing, but with the new Tornado 500 expected to be available in the first few months of 2024, we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer for the full lowdown. The big question is if it’ll manage to swipe some sales from Honda’s recently revised CBR500R…? Only time will tell.