Benelli may have suffered from lacklustre sales in the Indian market, but the Chinese-owned Italian brand is planning to come back with a bang. In a recent interview, Dante Bustos, Chief Marketing Officer, Benelli, & Vikas Jhabakh, Director, Mahavir Group laid down the details to revamp the brand in the Indian market.
Benelli's Indian line-up will bid adieu to the existing products and welcome new motorcycles that will compete in the entry- and mid-level displacement segments. One of the models that Benelli will soon introduce in the Indian market is the modern classic, the Imperiale.
The Imperiale range will include two variants with different displacement and will compete against the Royal Enfield Classic motorcycles. Like Royal Enfield, Benelli will offer exclusive apparel to enhance the ownership experience.
Dante confirmed in the interview that the Imperiale will get engines with new technology developed in-house. "Yes, we will launch the Imperiale in two versions – 400cc and 530cc. The Imperiale also comes with new engine technology that was developed by us last year," he said.
The Imperiale 400 will use the 373.5 cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC engine with fuel injection that generates 19.7 PS of maximum power at 5,500 rpm and 28 Nm of peak torque at 3,500 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed transmission. The 530 cc engine too, would most likely be a single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC unit with fuel injection. There's no word on its power or torque.
Being a modern classic, the Benelli Imperiale has a teardrop fuel tank, round headlight, wide handlebar, split seat and classic fenders. Chrome bits on the motorcycle include wheels, engine, mudguards and the rear-view mirrors.
The motorcycle features 41 mm conventional telescopic front forks and twin-spring shock absorbers at the rear. A 300 mm front disc with two-piston callipers and a 240 mm disc brake at the back with a single-piston calliper performs the anchoring tasks, while the safety net of dual-channel ABS comes as standard.
Report from August 2018 suggests that the new Benelli Imperiale 400 will arrive in the Indian market in 2019.