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Benelli is an Italian bike manufacturer under Chinese management. On paper, it has always been very hard to justify what Benelli has been offering in terms of performance for the given price. So, it is not surprising to see Benelli struggling in a highly competitive market where its target customers are mostly uncompromising.
However, these setbacks don't seem to stop Benelli. For 2021 Benelli has come back stronger than ever before with 3 new model launches, each trying to carve out its own set of niche customers.
Now, Benelli has revealed yet another motorcycle for Indian consumers — the Benelli 302R. The new Benelli 302R will be entering into a highly competitive segment where it will be directly pitted against the Kawasaki Ninja 300, KTM RC 390 and TVS Apache RR 310.
The new 2021 Benelli 302R will be powered by an updated 300cc, parallel-twin engine with liquid cooling that adheres to new stricter BS6 emission norms. The new engine is slightly down on power compared to its predecessor and now produces just 34.5bhp at 11,000 rpm, which is approximately 4bhp lower than its predecessor. At 27Nm, the torque is up by 1Nm.
What's lost in power is won back by the reduction in weight thanks to a new chassis that is almost 22 kgs lighter than the one it replaces, bringing the overall weight down to just 182 kilograms. This would not only translate into better handling but it will dramatically improve the power-to-weight ratio-improving the overall performance by a considerable margin.
Looks are subjective, but new Benelli 302R's design may work in favour this time around. The 2021 Benelli 302R looks much better than its predecessor, with a much more proportionate front-end. The fairing features sharper lines while the rear-end is compact and minimalistic. The twin-outlet exhaust end-can further adds to the design and styling element.
Benelli has not skimped on any features as well. It gets a 41mm USD fork at the front with preload adjustability and a monoshock at the rear. Braking is handled by dual discs with 4-piston calipers at the front. Safety is also given utmost priority with dual-channel ABS coming as a standard feature.
To further lengthen the list of features, Benelli has added new backlit switchgear and a new digital TFT screen that displays the readings from the speedometer, odometer, tachometer, temperature gauge, fuel level indicator and gear position indicator. It is priced at CNY 29,800 in China (approximately INR 3.40 lakh, we expect prices to jump slightly after it reaches our shores).
Thoughts On New Benelli 302R Being Revealed
The new Benelli 302R might be down on power compared to its most immediate rivals but it has never been a bike that you buy after reading the brochure. It is all about the feel and that gorgeous soundtrack. We're expecting it to be launched soon.