Small-capacity adventure bikes have been popping up left and right lately. Aimed squarely at beginner riders and those on a budget, they seek to offer the ADV experience to a wider audience. What was once occupied by machines with displacements in excess of 1,000cc can now be purchased at a fraction of the cost, and with engines as small as 125cc. That being said, Asia—India, in particular, is a lucrative market for these machines.
Benelli has been making waves in the international market, especially at EICMA 2021, where the Chinese-owned Italian company unveiled some exciting new bikes for 2022. For India, Benelli is stepping into the growing small-displacement ADV segment with the TRK 251. Up until now, this segment has been dominated by the likes of the KTM 250 Adventure and the Royal Enfield Himalayan. The TRK 251, with its Italian styling and premium features, will likely stack up nicely against the competition.
At a glance, it can be easy to mistake the TRK 251 for its bigger sibling, the TRK 502. It gets similar styling consisting of sharp, angular bodywork and a distinct front beak. Unlike the TRK 502 X, the 251 gets alloy wheels as opposed to the wire-spoke units found on the bigger, more premium machine. There are a few styling cues that set the TRK 251 apart from its siblings, specifically a redesigned, more rounded LED headlight complete with DRLs. On the tech side, the TRK 251 gets a monochrome LCD instrument cluster devoid of any navigation and connectivity features, suggesting that this bike is built to a budget.
Performance-wise, the TRK 251 packs a 250cc single-cylinder motor generating 25.6 horsepower and 15 ft-lbs of torque. It sends power to the rear wheel via a six-speed manual transmission. Given the TRK 251’s featherweight 164-kilogram dry weight, it will surely make for an enjoyable machine, especially in the hands of a skilled rider. It does, however, lack off-road goodies, as it rolls on standard 17-inch wheels with road-oriented rubber. Suspension consists of an inverted front fork with 135mm of travel, and a preload-adjustable monoshock offering 60mm of travel. The bike comes to a stop by way of ABS-equipped disc brakes on both ends.
The final price tag of the Benelli TRK 251 has yet to be announced. However, the company has opened bookings for the entry-level adventure bike with an initial deposit of Rs 6,000, which translates to around $80 USD. Deliveries are expected to commence within the first half of 2022.