After a long wait, Benelli is finally gearing up to introduce its much-awaited motorcycles showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo, and now, we have a timeline for some of its launches. The bike maker has lined up three more launches for the 2017-18 fiscal including the Benelli TRK 502 adventure tourer. Speaking to Carandbike.com on the sidelines of the Benelli 302R launch, Motowheels - Chairman, Shirish Kulkarni said, "That's [Benelli TRK 502] happening in January 2018. The bike will be launched before the Expo."
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Benelli first showcased the TRK 502 at the 2016 Auto Expo after its global unveil at the 2015 EICMA Motorcycle Show and is seen as an affordable middleweight adventure tourer. In fact, the Benelli TRK 502 was expected to lead the charge in the segment, but the launch was indefinitely delayed for a number of reasons. When asked about the delay, Kulkarni clarified that while Benelli was ready to introduce the non-ABS road spec version, only wanted to get the ABS-equipped, off-road version to India.
Kulkarni elaborated, "The TRK 502 is ready, everything is done. We have to get it certified that's all. I said I'm not even taking it because there is no ABS. So you [Benelli] give me an off-road ABS version and I will pick it up today. People want the off-road ABS version."
With ABS to be mandatory on 125 cc and above two wheelers starting April 2018, it also makes little business sense to bring the non-ABS model, Kulkarni explained. "Why should I launch it and sell it and then keep the normal braking system in stock as a spare part forever. I might as well wait one year and they give me the product that I want," he added.
Shirish Kulkarni also confirmed that there are no immediate plans to bring the TRK 302 to India, contrary to speculations. The bike was expected to be a direct rival to the Royal Enfield Himalayan and a smaller version of the TRK 502. However, given that the price difference between both models won't be huge, the company isn't keen on bringing the 300 cc version.
The Benelli TRK 502 garnered positive feedback when showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo and will draw power from a 500 cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine tuned for 47 bhp of power and 45 Nm of torque. The motor will be paired to a 6-speed gearbox, and will come with studded tyres and spoked wheels. In fact, a ground clearance of 230 mm seals its credentials of being an off-roader.
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The suspension setup includes USD front forks with 150 mm of travel and a monoshock setup at the rear. The 20-litre fuel tank also promises lesser fuel stops on the ride. Braking performance comes from 320 mm twin front discs and a 260 mm single disc at the rear, along with a Bosch sourced ABS unit. The off-road version will come with 19-inch front and 17-inch rear spoked wheels, wrapped in studded tyres.
The Benelli TRK 502 is on sale in the UK for around ₹ 5 lakh while prices in Malaysia start from ₹ 4.5 lakh (India equivalent) onwards. In India, prices are expected to above ₹ 5 lakh (ex-showroom) for the TRK 502 with the bike arriving as a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) unit. Have something to say about the TRK 502 or about other Benelli bikes? Connect with us on social media or do drop a comment below.