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Old 23rd March 2015, 14:57   #46
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

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Originally Posted by Khodays View Post
Doc, the GT doesnt come with the side boxes, the GTS is with side boxes, the revs of the engine was something, a tourer with a superbike engine, that sure is drawing me very close to the GT, infact, am pretty much decided, waiting for a test ride two up and will finalize.
Thanks for confirming Lepp. Even the Versys has the LT which has a taller windscreen, side boxes, and a slightly bigger tank.

You done already with the multi-fuel-stopping 390? Though methinks the "two up" part played a bigger role.

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Old 23rd March 2015, 15:33   #47
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

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Thanks for confirming Lepp. Even the Versys has the LT which has a taller windscreen, side boxes, and a slightly bigger tank.

You done already with the multi-fuel-stopping 390? Though methinks the "two up" part played a bigger role.
Your spot on, mrs not happy with my lone wolf thing, she wants in on the action, this looks kinda right up my alley, not too exorbitantly expensive and and also comfortable for two up, but the after sales service is surely a worrisome bit.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 15:52   #48
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

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Your spot on, mrs not happy with my lone wolf thing, she wants in on the action, this looks kinda right up my alley, not too exorbitantly expensive and and also comfortable for two up, but the after sales service is surely a worrisome bit.
Then why not wait for the Versys and the V Strom - both of which are around the corner (different sources for each, and pretty good ones at that)?

Is it the lure of the inline four alone?

Yes I agree that neither the Versys nor the V Sttrom will come in at less than the Benelli.

Either way I do want to hear about your test ride once you get a chance!
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Old 23rd March 2015, 16:24   #49
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

Am losing patience waiting for the right bike, while time keeps flying by and we miss out on some good times, moreover all the manufacturers keep giving dates which they never meet, not to mention the cost, Versys was the first choice, but the availability of the bike being right away is very attractive, having said that, I will post my feedback post my ride and then see.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 17:56   #50
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I have read some of the comments and I think People we need to realize that Benelli is the first manufacturer to offer a proper inline 4 cylinder famed 600cc mill with adequate power and torque and a wonderful 6 speed gearbox. It is the Benelli TNT 600 GT I am talking about. Chinese or not I dont give a hoot, even if people are calling it a Chinese contraption they need to understand Chinese manufacturing and technology prowess before making such baseless comments. Benelli although owned by a Chinese company still has Italian designers. I mean come on who is it today who gives a motorcycle with a proven inline 4 engine(read Yamaha R6) with oodles of power and torque, superb seating position, proper riding saddle boxes, sticky tires, 27 litre fuel tank, and many more. Only fly in the oinment for this wonderful offering is the lack of ABS. But as Haroon has aptly put up this one motorcycle is a wonderful tourer and has gathered a lot of recognition in the international riding communities. It has got a lot of rave reviews from international biking magazines and test riders.

I give a to this particular motorcycle. I am a budding Adventure Tourer rider and have been researching such motorcycles. It is while doing this research that I came across the Benelli TNT 600 GT before it even made it here. I also got an opportunity to sit on it and see it in person during Autocar show in Bombay. People who are talking without seeing the bike dont know about what it is all about.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 18:35   #51
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

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Not a bad thing per se. The trllis frame and swingarm look the part. And R6 engine is an R6 engine, does not really matter which generation it belongs to.
Going by the same logic, the Ford Endeavour wasn't a bad product. Therefore the same crowd should be lining up for the Foday Explorer a.k.a Force One.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 18:45   #52
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

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Originally Posted by Khodays View Post
Doc, the GT doesnt come with the side boxes, the GTS is with side boxes, the revs of the engine was something, a tourer with a superbike engine, that sure is drawing me very close to the GT, infact, am pretty much decided, waiting for a test ride two up and will finalize.
Any other difference between TNT GT & GTS? 40k for just sideboxes? They don't have details about GTS even on their website.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 18:56   #53
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

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Benelli although owned by a Chinese company still has Italian designers. I mean come on who is it today who gives a motorcycle with a proven inline 4 engine(read Yamaha R6) with oodles of power and torque,
Its a highly detuned version of the old R6 engine. The redline is only till 10,500 rpm. The pre 2004 R6 has a redline of 13,500 and makes around 120 ponies. This Benelli makes around 80 ponies (if I recall correctly).

Having said that, yes, it does not have any direct competition from the Japanese 4. However, that may change within the year.

Had been to the showroom to see the bikes and my initial impression was that these bikes look good. However, while the paint job looks good and things are not so rosy under the paint job. The headers have machine marks from the bending machine. The weld marks are think and crude. Quite simply not upto the Japanese standard.

Also got to know that the 300 will cost on road approximately 3.6 lacs. At that price its not value for money. For 45,000 more the Ninja 300 will beat it hands down in every department. So basically this is non starter.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 19:30   #54
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

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Going by the same logic, the Ford Endeavour wasn't a bad product. Therefore the same crowd should be lining up for the Foday Explorer a.k.a Force One.
I see your point and much of the reservation I have expressed earlier is along similar lines.

That said, a huge amount of commercial traffic on Maharashtra roads is being transported daily by Force SUVs/MUVs.

If they are good enough for tour operators, tirelessly plying lakhs of kilometers under full load and adverse conditions, non-stop day after day over months and years, there mst be something more to them than just licensed rip-offs?

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Old 23rd March 2015, 20:27   #55
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
I see your point and much of the reservation I have expressed earlier is along similar lines.

That said, a huge amount of commercial traffic on Maharashtra roads is being transported daily by Force SUVs/MUVs.

If they are good enough for tour operators, tirelessly plying lakhs of kilometers under full load and adverse conditions, non-stop day after day over months and years, there mst be something more to them than just licensed rip-offs?
Im reminded of the old adage- the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

I wonder if this will prove to be true for the Benellis as well. In my view, more than the bikes themselves, its the after sales and service that will really determine benelli's success in India. DSK has badly messed up with Hyosung- in the GV 650 they had a product ideally suited to Indian tastes, but they royally messed up on pricing and service support.

Given their track record, I am very hesitant to put my money on the 600 GT and may end up with a Ninja 650
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Old 23rd March 2015, 20:49   #56
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

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If they are good enough for tour operators, tirelessly plying lakhs of kilometers under full load and adverse conditions, non-stop day after day over months and years, there mst be something more to them than just licensed rip-offs?
My reference was to Force One, not to the rest of the Force products. The requirements from a provider of basic transportation products vastly differ from those of a leisure/lifestyle product.

This 'Benelli' is aimed at the second market, and is not expected to replace the doodhwalla's old Yezdi or Hero Majestic. Therefore expectations tend to be more towards 'cutting edge' rather than merely 'does the job'. This is where the use of older technology is not going to pass the test, IMHO.

I just don't think that someone looking to spend a few lakhs on a motorcycle will settle for older technology that is replicated in China, because it defeats the purpose of paying so much $.

If I weren't constrained by a budget, I wouldn't even consider a Benelli. If I were constrained by a budget, I would expect to get top-tier stuff when I'm sticking my neck out and stretching my wallet so much. For a person on a budget, its a one-time purchase and not one tiny step in an 'upgrade' trail - therefore he or she would rather pay 20-30% more for the real deal.

At the end of the day, the fact is that this is a chinese knock-off that is masquerading under a questionable costume of respectability through the use of an Italian brand that was never known for producing good bikes in the first place and went bust on top of it.

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Old 23rd March 2015, 20:57   #57
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

I share everyone's apprehension on the Benny's being China made, with close to 6LK + don't want to end up with a lemon. Only thing we can do is wait for initial owner reports to trickle in. And how DSK will handle any issues that may pop up.
But I hope that Benelli's succeeded in India, it will open up a lot of options for us riders and specially me who is looking for a bike with good pillion comfort.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 21:31   #58
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

So basically there are 3 important factors that go against Benelli -

1. Benelli's new owners and the fact that the bikes are manufactured in China.
2. Absence of new technology and safety features.
3. Their tie-ups with DSK which is not very well known for their A.S.S and their dealer/service network.

For 1 - all they can do is a god advertising campaign to show the Italian heritage of Benelli (even though its made in China)

For 2 - Upgrading to new technology (as in a newer engine) would be an expensive affair and not profitable to Benelli. Regarding ABS, they can try and outsource ABS braking tech from Brembo and have their bikes fitted with ABS as standard (in the near future). But I doubt they would do this just for the Indian market - where people are not very safety minded. To address the safety factor - Benelli could provide some safety accessories/riding gear to buyers to compensate the absence of ABS. Again all this can be just a market strategy to get in more buyers.

For 3 - I dont have any experience or knowledge of DSK's service network - but going by the general opinion - it does not seem to be large. If DSK can fix that in anyway by tying up with existing Service Centers and increase their network, I dont see a problem (similar to FIAT being serviced at a TATA workshop).

If they do succeed to resolve the above factors - I dont see any reason for Benelli not to succeed in India. We have all been waiting for superbikes to be sold in India for an affordable price. I would always equate the price of a 4 cylinder with its engine size :

600cc (CBR600, R6) - for 6 lakhs
1000cc (CBR1000RR, R1) - for 1 lakh

and so on...

And finally we see a 600cc, inline-4 cylinder superbike available in India. But we are still so apprehensive about trusting an unknown brand (Benelli) with a lesser known alliance (DSK). So DSK-Benelli, you have to try very hard to remove these premonitions from peoples minds before they sign a cheque for your bikes.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 21:44   #59
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So I swung by the DSK showroom in Wakdewadi Pune today to check out the new Benellis. I was really only interested in the 600 GT so that's what I spent most of my time on.

First up, the bike looks very very good in person. Nothing looks out of place. The grey with matte finish is probably the best colour out there for this bike. Other options are white and red (they use weird marketing speak like verde army, bianco and nero for colours but you get the drift)

DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India-1.jpg

DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India-4.jpg

And the front on stance is even better. The low beam projectors look really good. And apologies for the low-res photos as I only had my phone camera with me.

DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India-2.jpg

Now having ridden a temperamental Bullet 500 for over a decade, I pretty much walk away from any bike with a sporty seating position so I got them to take the bike off the paddock stand and clambered aboard. The seating position is fantastic (at least for me). You sit straight, your legs point straight down and it is very comfortable. The seat felt good too. There is absolutely no doubt that this will be a very comfortable bike to ride long distances on.

The console is quite basic. RPM, speedo, tripmeter, odometer and some other bits and bobs. Nothing flashy. Every thing is dull but looked well built and functional.

DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India-3.jpg

Now here's the thing. I have this irrational love for Adventure touring bikes but I'm only 5'6". When I hopped onto the Tiger, I pawed the air when I had the bike upright which dashed my dreams of buying one. This one is better. I could get half of both feet on the ground so getting a planted stance with proper boots on is possible. I could easily put one foot flat on the ground with the other on the footpeg. But there is a catch.

The damn bike is very heavy. It weighs 243kgs. Add 27 litres of fuel and add those beautiful Givi hardcases and you are looking at ~275 kgs. Gulp ! So if you fall on one of those tours, you probably need a portable pulley to get the thing back upright.

And I got them to start it up. It sounds really sweet even with the stock silencers. A nice thrumming humming sound and I can see no need to upgrade them as loud silencers on touring bikes never works. The only funny thing was that I'm used to the 'dug dug' 900 rpm lumpy idle of the Bullet and it feels rather strange to sit on an inline 4 idling at 1900-2000 rpm. I kept wanting to throttle down

The Givi touring cases are very nice indeed and are also optional. They cost Rs. 40,000 extra. Fully removable, lockable and are the bees knees. The labels inside said that they were rated till 120kmph. I didn't even know what that meant (does it fly off in all directions beyond that?)

DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India-5.jpg

But there are some concerns. Some of the weld joints on the bikes did't look as finished as I'd like them to be. The quality of the exhaust was atrocious. Take a look.

DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India-6.jpg

As far as service costs are concerned, the (fairly knowledgeable) guy at the showroom said that they would do a minor checkup every 4000kms or 6 months and a major service that includes an oil change every 6000 kms. The major service would cost around Rs. 6000 - 8000 including consumables and labour. The minor service would just be greasing and tightening and checking brake pad liners and things like that. That would be around Rs 3000 - 4000. The minor service sounds suspiciously like the fear, uncertainty and doubt created by Honda service.

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And finally the OTR prices in Pune. Rs. 6.41 lakhs for the bike without the Givi cases and Rs. 6.81 with the cases. Includes zero depreciation insurance. The bike comes with a 2 year standard warranty. An extra 2 year extended warranty is available but the price of that is not yet available.

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The showroom guys did not have bikes available for test rides and indicated that test drives will be available in two days. It should be interesting to ride this in traffic to see if the weight and bulk makes it it hard to ride in the city. I'm fairly sure that this will ride well on highways.

Overall, this is a nice looking bike and is priced right. There isn't a bike like this at the price point so it's worth going down to the show room, taking a ride and forming your own opinions. I'm just happy that DSK and Benelli have given us options in this segment.
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Old 23rd March 2015, 22:06   #60
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Default Re: DSK-Benelli launches 5 motorcycles in India

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Other options are white and red (they use weird marketing speak like verde army, bianco and nero for colours but you get the drift)
Sir, the verde army shade is the matte green/grey shade. The bianco is the white color and the nero is black. There is no red shade on the 600GT. Only the 600i comes in red and white. The names verde, nero and bianco are Italian names for the colors green, black and white respectively, no weird marketing speak here considering the Italian origin of the Benelli's.
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