Entry-level performance motorcycle segment in India has been taken a notch higher, thanks to KTM. The Austrian motorcycle manufacturer has given India good performance motorcycles at a very affordable price.
The KTM wins hands down, when we compare the Duke 390 vs the Benelli TNT 300, and so does the KTM RC390 when compared to the Yamaha YZF-R3. Leaving the KTMs aside, let's focus on other motorcycles in this category — the upcoming Benelli Tornado 300 vs the Yamaha R3.
The Benelli Tornado 300 that is yet to make an entry into the Indian market is based on the TNT300 that is already on sale here. The fully faired motorcycle features rounded, rather more curvaceous lines, something not seen on many motorcycles these days. The overall design will remind one of the Tornado 900 that has been discontinued.
The exposed frame and the side mounted exhaust add to the overall design language of the Benelli Tornado 300.
The Yamaha YZF-R3, unlike the Benelli features sharp, angular characteristic lines, inspired by its older sibling, the R1. The R3's fairings make up the entire motorcycle's bodywork, exposing very little such as the clutch casing and the exhaust. The pointy tail section blends in well with the overall design of the R3.
Engine Specification And Gearbox
The Benelli Tornado 300 makes use of the same power plant the TNT300 uses - a 300cc, liquid-cooled twin-cylinder engine that makes 38bhp and 27Nm of torque. Power is delivered through a 6-speed manual gearbox and since Benelli claim a mileage of 25km/l on the TNT300, the Tornado is expected to return marginally less owing to the extra weight the fairings provide.
The Yamaha R3 uses a similar engine layout — a 321cc, liquid-cooled twin-cylinder engine that makes 41bhp and 30Nm of torque. The power plant comes paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox and Yamaha claims that the R3 returns a mileage of 22km/l. The Benelli and the R3 come with electronic fuel injection.
The Benelli Tornado 300 will sport upside down front suspension, along with a monoshock at the rear, while the Yamaha R3 comes with traditional telescopic front forks. Apart from the mentioned key difference in features, both motorcycles have disc brakes at both ends, semi digital instrument cluster, dual headlights, and 17-inch wheels.
The Yamaha R3 does not feature ABS, even as an option. The Tornado 300 could have ABS since the TNT300 does not have the safety system either. Benelli could introduce ABS on the Tornado 300 keeping the Indian safety norms in mind.
Verdict — Tornado or the R3?
Well, the answer between the two is simple — the Yamaha R3 clearly has more performance compared to the Tornado 300. In terms of pricing, the R3 is priced approximately at Rs 3.6 lakh on-road (Delhi) and we can expect the Benelli to be priced around the same.
The R3 is better choice if you are looking to buy a fully faired motorcycle apart from the KTM RC390, but be reminded, Benelli has some sort of magic that makes a twin-cylinder sound like a four. So, the choice is further simplified: Performance - R3; Exhaust note - Tornado 300.