The Benelli TRK 502 will be one of the first all-new models to be launched by Benelli India, in the Italian brand's second innings in India, with a new partner. Benelli has now tied up with Hyderabad-based Mahavir Group's Adishwar Auto Ride International (AARI), and Benelli India will be looking to ramp up some interest in the Indian motorcycle market with the TRK 500. The middleweight adventure touring motorcycle was first showcased at the Auto Expo 2016 as the TRK 502, but the model is quite likely to be called the TRK 500 once it's launched in India.
The launch of the TRK 502 was delayed several times and with Benelli's former partner, the DSK Group running into financial crisis, the Italian motorcycle brand's India operations came under a question mark. But now with the new partnership in place, Benelli will be looking to enthuse the adventure touring fraternity in India with a slightly affordable offering. The TRK 500 will be offered in two variants - one a road-oriented model with road tyres and alloy wheels and an off-road oriented model with a different suspension system and spoked wheels.
Also Read: Benelli To Launch 300-500 cc Bikes In India
Design and Features
The Benelli TRK 502 gets proper adventure tourer looks with the front beak, high windshield, flat handlebar with standard hand guards and a large 20-litre fuel tank. Front suspension is handled by a fat and adjustable 50 mm upside down fork with 135 mm of travel, while a spring preload adjustable monoshock with 45 mm travel handled the rear suspension duties. Front wheel will either be a 17-inch aluminium alloy (for the road-oriented model), or a 19-inch aluminium spoked wheel for the off-road oriented model. The rear wheel will be a 17-inch, with a spoked option for the off-road oriented model. Twin semi-floating 320 mm discs gripped by four-piston calipers on the front wheel will handle braking duties on the front wheel, while the rear wheel will come with a single 260 mm disc with a single-piston caliper. Dual-channel ABS will be standard.
Engine and Performance
The Benelli TRK 502 will be powered by a 499.6 cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine which is tuned to put out 47 bhp at 8,500 rpm and peak torque of 45 Nm at 5,000 rpm. The engine has four valves with double overhead camshafts and mated to a six-speed gearbox. Benelli claims fuel consumption figures of 25.6 kmpl and with a 20-litre tank, that should be good for around 500 km of range on a single tank fill. With an unladen weight of 213 kg, the Benelli TRK 500 isn't exactly the lightweight adventure bike, and with the modest power output, it's not expected to be a 'quick' bike, if outright performance and acceleration is what one is looking for.
Also Read: Benelli May Manufacture Bikes In India
Price and Launch Date
Now, Benelli India has been quite categorical about the company's plans in India, with a lot of localisation for the bikes which will be launched from now on. Benelli has now set up a task force to look into various aspects of its India operations, including setting up a R&D facility in India, as well as including quite a bit of local manufacturing and sourcing of components. For starters, the TRK is expected to be a CKD (completely knocked down) assembly, but with increased localisation, expect the bike to be priced competitively.
Pricing will be key to the kind of market response TRK 502 generates in India. For now, Benelli India is looking to launch the bike by the end of 2018, but the actual launch date could well be pushed to the first quarter of 2019. Expect the Benelli TRK 500 to be priced between ₹ 5.75 and ₹ 6.5 lakh (ex-showroom) once it's launched. Benelli has also stated that the TRK will be a complete family of bikes with several engine options, so expect a 750 cc, as well as a smaller 300 cc model to be introduced later, once the manufacturing and assembly facility is set up in Telangana.