On February 18, Benelli India expanded its product portfolio with the launch of the new middleweight adventure duo – the TRK 502 and TRK 502X at INR 5 lakh and INR 5.4 lakh respectively (ex-showroom). While addressing the media queries on the stage, Vikas Jhabakh, Managing Director of Benelli India stated that the company plans to introduce as many as five models (new products and variants) in the Indian market in 2019.
Vikas Jhabakh stated that the next launch from the Chinese owned-Italian brand would be the road-focused Leoncino 500 and the off-road spec Leoncino 500 Trail. Speaking to IAB on the sidelines of the launch, Dante Bustos, Chief Marketing Officer, Benelli Global said that the company also plans to introduce the quarter-litre variant of the TRK range, the TRK 251 in the Indian market. Jhabakh, too, confirmed that the model would arrive in the country towards the end of 2019. Benelli had stated in the past that the motorcycle would arrive in India in 2019, so it's not a surprise announcement.
The production-spec Benelli TRK 251 made its debut at the 2018 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan and was displayed at the Thai Motor Expo 2018. The TRK 251 showcased at the events was equipped with a single-cylinder, 249cc engine that it shares with the TNT 25. However, Benelli India is working on a BS-VI compliant engine for the TRK 251 as introducing a BS-IV model towards the end of 2019 would not be right.
The company wants to rigorously test the motorcycle before it is introduced in the country, as the competition is very stiff in the quarter-litre segment. Once launched, the TRK 251 would compete against the likes of BMW G 310 GS, Royal Enfield Himalayan and the upcoming KTM 390 Adventure.
Benelli India is working on localisation of parts although it is a long process and may take a while before the company starts sourcing from local vendors and introduce more aggressively priced motorcycles. The company has an exclusive vendor development team that is working towards localisation although the entire process may take up to 12 months to complete.