Benelli may not be a well-known brand these days, but there was a time- oh, there was a time! And, once upon that time, Benellis were considered every bit as capable as Triumphs and Ducatis at scaring the bejeezus out of anyone daft enough to race them from one cafe to the next. After decades away from the America’s motorcycling headlines, however, it appears that the storied Italian brand may be coming back!
Thanks to its relationship with China’s Qinjiang Group and Keeway scooters, Benelli has found a US distributor sell and market both the $3999 Benelli BN302 and the $6999 Benelli BN600 naked bikes.
While neither the 36 HP, 300cc BN302 (shown at EICMA, last year) or the 82 HP, 600cc BN600 are likely to set the two-wheeled world on fire, they should offer a fun, slightly different alternative for Italian bike enthusiasts who find Aprilias too temperamental to work on and Ducatis too douche-y to be associated with. If parts availability turns out to be “there”, the BN302 might even be able to challenge Harley’s newer Street models for shorter / beginner / new-rider-bike supremacy. Although, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.
Expect to hear more about the new-to-the-US Benellis, as well as their Keeway cousins, in the coming months. Until then, you can check out some photos of the two incoming bikes, below. Enjoy!
2016 Benelli USA Motorcycles
Source | Images: Benelli, via Asphalt and Rubber.