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Benelli is scheming to launch a motorcycle that can turn the tide around for them. They say the Benelli Imperial 400 is likely to be launched in India some time in March 2020.
According to The Hindu, the Benelli Imperial 400 features a steel double-cradle frame that sport a 373cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine. The engine produces 19.7bhp of power and 28Nm of torque. While the engine looks old-school with cooling fins and chrome finishes, it does feature a fuel injection system.
The front end of the Benelli Imperial 400 features a 19-inch wheel and 41mm telescopic forks, and the rear features an 18-inch wheel with dual spring suspension. Braking duties are handled by a 300mm disc in the front and a 240mm disc at the rear. ABS is offered as a standard.
Benelli is trying to bite into Royal Enfield sales with the Imperial 400. Competition could be either the 350cc series or the 500cc series of Royal Enfield, depending on how Benelli decides to price the Imperial 400.
Motor and mechanics wise, the Benelli Imperial 400 is set to compete with the Royal Enfield 350cc series. Royal Enfield offers a string of models featuring a 346cc airl cooled single-cylinder engine that produces 19.8bhp of power and 28Nm of torque. These numbers match the performance of the Benelli Imperial 400.
Pricing will play an important role of Benelli wants to take on Royal Enfield. While we do not know what the price for the Imperial 400 is, the Royal Enfield 350 series ranges from Rs 1.18 lakh to Rs 1.63 lakh, ex-showroom, India. Benelli will need to price the motorcycle close to these figures if they want a piece of the Royal Enfield dominated segment.
Another part Benelli will have to cater for is simplicity in the mechanics of the Imperial 400. The simplicity of Royal Enfield engines makes it a motorcycle that can be fixed by anybody, any where. Benelli will have to retail high quality, low maintenance machines that have the same simplicity of the Royal Enfield.
Thoughts About The Imperial 400
The Benelli Imperial 400 has aced the cosmetics parts. How the motorcycle performs on road, the demand vs the supply ration, delivery strategy and a host of other bits and pieces will be key factors for how the Imperial 400 does in India. Having said that, we've already signed up to test ride this machine.