Benelli Imperiale 400 will be a major product in company’s lineup in all emerging markets, especially Asia
Fancy a classic retro-looking motorcycle but want something that offers more than the Royal Enfield Classic and still undercuts your budget? Well Benelli India seems to have an answer. Benelli Motorcycles India is preparing for a plethora of launches by the end of 2018 and in 2019. There will be an array of motorcycles to choose from and Benelli is primarily focussing on the entry level premium motorcycle segment. By that we mean motorcycles up to 600cc engine capacity.
Clearly, these motorcycles will lure the mind as much as they lure the heart. One particular motorcycle that could be the highlight is the new Imperiale 400. The Imperiale is a 400cc classic that will go head to head against the RE Classic 350 and Classic 500.
Benelli Imperiale 400 Design and Dimensions
A glimpse of the Imperiale is enough to induce some serious nostalgia. In fact it also reminds us of the legendary Yamaha RD350. The simple yet classy silhouette will tempt your heartstrings. The round headlight, the old-school tank and the chrome embellished mirrors ooze flair. This bike surely will give Royal Enfield some tough competition. Benelli also will offer optional leather panniers to add to its retro looks.
The nice flat split seats mean comfort is high on the priority list. And then the 780mm seat height makes sure that even shorter riders won’t find the Imperiale demanding to ride. One downer is the weight of the motorcycle. At around 200 kgs dry this one isn’t light. In fact it is almost 10 kgs heavier than the Classic 350. Another negative is the rather tiny 12 litre fuel tank which equates to frequent fuel stops while touring.
Benelli Imperiale 400 Chassis, Brakes and Suspension
The Imperiale boasts of an old-school double cradle frame unlike the one found in the RE Classic which is a single downtube unit. The frame rests on 41 mm telescopic forks at the front and a pair of shock absorbers at the rear. Stopping duties are handled by a single 300mm disc at the front and a 240 mm disc at the rear. A dual channel ABS system is offered as standard. Adding to the retro theme are the spoked aluminium wheels. The front is a 19-inch one whereas the rear is 18-inch.
Benelli Imperiale 400 Instrument Cluster
Back to basics seems like the mantra on this Benelli and it can be easily seen here. The Imperiale gets a simple twin pod instrument cluster. There is not much to talk about this analogue instrument cluster, expect a simple RPM meter and tachometer along with usual tell-tale signs.
Benelli Imperiale 400 Engine and Performance
This Benelli gets a 373.5cc air-cooled single cylinder engine. This motor churns out a modest 19.7 PS of power and 28 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 5-speed transmission and the final drive is a conventional chain setup. It is on par with the RE Classic 350 in terms of power and torque output but the excess weight means it will lose on out breath during roll-ons.
Benelli Imperiale 400 Price, Launch and Competition
The Imperiale will most likely be launched in the mid of 2019. The fact that Benelli will be localising most of its parts, means we can expect a competitive price tag. However this being a premium product it sure will command a premium over its rivals. According to the speculations, an ex-showroom price tag of around INR 2 lacs is very likely. With that pricing it will go head to head against the RE Classic 350 and the Commando range of cruisers from UM.