It’s a good time to be Benelli at the moment as sales soar in its Italian homeland on the back of its good value TRK 502 adventure tourer smashing every other rival in the sales charts… and now the next steps of its growth appear to have been revealed with a new V-Twin adventure bike.
Spurred on from significant financing from QiangJiang Motor, though the 2005 acquisition of one of motorcycling’s most historic brands took time to find its stride, the last couple of years have seen Benelli not only reassert itself in its country of origin, but also find a foothold in the competitive Chinese market.
Unsurprisingly, QJ have been keen to capitalise on this success with a slew of new models being launched over the last 24 months, many of which won’t see the light of day in Europe despite its heritage.
However, one model that would surely be bound for Europe – a mid-range adventure motorcycle – has emerged in patent renders, as reported by Cycle World.
A market that is enjoying a growth spurt itself recently – ever since the Yamaha Tenere 700 came to prove you don’t need to be big and complicated to provide quality off-road thrills at a reasonable price – it has been joined recently by the new Aprilia Tuareg 660, while the production version of the Ducati DesertX concept is waiting in the wings for December.
Not wanting to miss out on the action, a third Italian midi-ADV will therefore come from Benelli.
As yet unnamed, though it isn’t ‘officially’ a Benelli since QJ registered the patent and there is no clear branding, there are a few design traits and clear inspiration from both Yamaha and Aprilia that would indicate this will be part of the European range.
Interestingly, though Benelli has a number of engine configurations in the portfolio to choose from, this would indicate a brand-new direction with a 650cc V-twin. This will come as a delight for fans of the Suzuki V-Strom 650, a model that will be phased into parallel architecture when Suzuki gets around to finally replacing it.
Appearing to lean towards a more hardcore ADV approach than the more adventure touring element of the smaller but still slightly overlapping 502 TRK, while we will have to wait and find out what this will mean in the flesh, chances are – based on the recent examples from Benelli and QJ – we could see this at EICMA next month.