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Benelli's Imperiale 400 was first showcased at EICMA Motor Show in 2017, and it drew much attention, especially from the Indian community. Benelli quickly confirmed that it would launch the motorcycle in India. We now have the first set of image of the India spec Benelli Imperiale 400 motorcycle that was spotted while on test near ARAI in Pune.
According to AutoCar India, the Benelli Imperiale 400 that is seen in the image appears identical to the international spec model. It features the same black with golden highlights colour scheme. In fact, everything on the motorcycle like the body panels, seats, taillights and even the wheels are the same as that of the international spec models.
The mirrors, turn indicators and instrument cluster also look unchanged. The only visual difference on the Benelli Imperiale 400 is the addition of the mandatory saree guard — yuck.
The Imperiale 400 was in the news recently because the company claimed it was the first motorcycle in offer that has a significant level of localisation. Benelli's current offerings basically come in as CKD kits that are manufactured and imported from China. The motorcycles are then assembled at the company's Telangana facility.
While the Benelli Imperiale 400 was unveiled with a Euro-IV-compliant motor, the company is in the process of developing a BS-VI compliant engine. The current motorcycles feature a 373.5cc single-cylinder air cooled engine the produces 19.4hp @ 5,500rpm and 28Nm @ 3,500rpm.
Suspension duties are handled by a 41mm telescopic forks in the front, and twin shock absorbers at the rear. The Benelli Imperiale 400 features a 300mm disc brake in the front, and a 240mm disc at the rear. ABS will be offered as standard.
While the Benelli Imperiale 400 is said to receive a significant amount of localisation, we are unsure if the company will be able to match prices of the made-in-India Royal Enfield or the Jawa Fourty Two. Pricing as always, will make the difference.
The Benelli Imperiale 400, we assume, will launch in India sometime during 2020.
Thoughts About The Benelli Imperiale 400
Honestly, the Benelli Imperiale 400 looks like a re-badged Royal Enfield. We're unsure is we should celebrate the launch or just shrug it away. Sure, the motorcycle will wear the Benelli badge, but c'mon, our local mech Rizwan Bhai could make your Royal Enfield look like this for less than Rs 10,000. And he'll probably take you for the best biryani in town while you're at it.