Benelli Imperiale 400 Vs Royal Enfield Classic 350 Vs Jawa: Spec Comparison

Modified On Feb 22, 2019 By Benjamin Noel Gracias for Benelli Imperiale 400

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We compare the upcoming Benelli Imperiale 400 with two other retro bikes in the segment

Benelli Imperiale 400 Vs Royal Enfield Classic 350 Vs Jawa Spec Comparison

Benelli will be launching quite a few bikes in the near future. Among them is the Imperiale 400, a retro-styled motorcycle that is expected to heat up competition in the entry-level classic bike segment dominated by the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and the Jawa. The plan is to bring the Imperiale 400 via the CKD route, but Benelli wants to heavily localise it for better pricing. So how does the Imperiale 400 stand against the other two heavyweights here? We find out.

Also read: Benelli TRK 502 vs Kawasaki Versys-X 300 vs Kawasaki Versys 650: Spec Comparison

Benelli Imperiale 400 Spec Comparison

Design & Features:
All three bikes here have been follow a retro theme. The Benelli Imperiale 400 is styled along the lines of the MotoBi Imperiale, a 125cc bike from the 50’s. The classic round headlamp, chrome fenders, spring seat and tank pads all make it look properly retro. The Benelli logo is inscribed on the cylinder head of the vertically laid out motor. It is the only bike here to get a tachometer. You get a twin-pod instrument console with digital displays inside the speedometer pod and a fuel gauge between the two pods. In addition, the Imperiale 400 gets ABS and hazard switch as well. The Imperial 400 is the largest and more modern looking of the three.

Also read: Benelli India To Launch More Bikes This Year

Benelli Imperiale 400 Spec Comparison

The Jawa, of course, is styled along the lines of the bike sold in the sixties. Like the old-school bike, the Jawa gets fork covers integrated into the headlamp cover, full-size fenders, and a chrome fuel tank. In comparison to the other two bikes here, the Jawa gets a flatter seat with small grab rails mounted on the side. A single pod houses an analogue speedometer and fuel gauge. Overall attention to detail is impressive and it shows in the design of the motor and even small things like the horn that sits between the front forks like the 60’s bike.

Benelli Imperiale Spec Comparison

The Royal Enfield Classic 350 gets fantastic gloss and matt paint schemes and has minimal stickering. Like the Jawa, the Classic’s headlamp casing also houses the front fork covers. You get a teardrop shaped fuel tank, full-size fenders and a spring seat. The analogue instrument console gets a speedometer, ammeter and trip meter. It misses out on a fuel gauge.

Powertrain:

SPECIFICATIONS

BENELLI IMPERIALE 400

JAWA

ROYAL ENFIELD CLASSIC 350

Engine

373.5cc single-cylinder, fuel-injected, SOHC air-cooled engine

293cc single-cylinder, fuel-injected, DOHC liquid-cooled engine

346cc single-cylinder air-cooled, carburetted engine

Peak power

20.4PS at 5500rpm

27.2PS

20.1PS at 5250rpm

Maximum torque

28Nm at 3500rpm

28Nm at 5000rpm

28Nm at 4000rpm

Transmission

5-speed

6-speed

5-speed

Benelli Imperiale Spec Comparison

Though it might seem as if the Benelli Imperiale 400 has the advantage of more displacement compared to its rivals, but the result is just 0.3PS of more power than the Classic 350 and that too at 250rpm higher up the rev band. All three bikes here deliver the same amount of torque, but the Imperiale 400 makes it 500rpm and 1500rpm lower in the rev range than the Classic 350 and the Jawa respectively. Like the Classic 350, it gets a 5-speed gearbox.

Benelli Imperiale Spec comparison

The Jawa’s motor has been derived from the Mahindra Mojo and has been tuned for a more relaxed style of riding. Despite having the least displacement, the Jawa’s motor is the most powerful among the trio and is also the most modern powerplant with liquid cooling and DOHC setup. It also is the only motor here to get a twin-exhaust setup.

In comparison, the Classic 350 uses old-school construction and still uses pushrods instead of valves. It also misses out on fuel injection and uses a carburettor setup instead. Also, the RE and Benelli offerings employ a 5-speed gearbox, while the Jawa gets a 6-speed unit.

If it is performance you are looking for, the Jawa is the bike to go for and for a proper old school experience, the Classic 350 is your best bet.

Benelli Imperiale Spec Comparison

Underpinnings:

SPECIFICATIONS

BENELLI IMPERIALE 400

JAWA

ROYAL ENFIELD CLASSIC 350

Front suspension

41mm telescopic forks

Telescopic forks

35mm telescopic forks

Rear suspension

Twin gas-charged shock absorbers

Twin gas-charged shock absorbers

Twin gas-charged shock absorbers

Front brake

300mm disc with dual-channel ABS

280mm disc with single-channel ABS (standard)

280mm disc with dual-channel ABS

Rear brake

240mm disc with dual-channel ABS

153mm drum (Optional dual-channel ABS with rear disc)

240mm disc

Benelli Imperiale Spec Comparison

The Benelli Imperiale 400 gets a dual cradle frame and like the others, gets telescopic forks and gas charged shock absorbers. It, however, gets large diameter 41mm forks with 110mm of front wheel travel and 65mm of rear wheel travel. Like the Classic 350, it gets 19-inch front and 18-inch rear spoked wheels, albeit shod with fatter 110/90-19 section front and 130/80-18 section rear tyres. The Imperiale 400 sold abroad gets China-made Cordial tyres but we can expect the bike to be launched here with locally sourced tyres. In terms of braking, the Benelli is better equipped among the three with its large front disc and standard dual-channel ABS setup that can be switched off if desired.

Benelli Imperiale Spec Comparison

Like the Imperiale 400, the Jawa too uses a dual cradle frame setup. However, it gets smaller 18-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels shod with 90/90-18 front and 120/80-17 rear MRF tyres. While the smaller tyres endow the Jawa more agility through corners and despite having a smaller wheel size, its well-tuned suspension offers a comfortable ride through all road conditions. When it comes to braking, the Jawa has the least amount of kit here. The standard bike gets disc brake at the front and a drum unit at the back. You now also have the option of a dual-channel ABS which adds a rear disc and Rs 8,942 to the price tag.  

Benelli Imperiale Spec Comparison

The Classic 350 gets a single downtube frame that uses the engine as a stressed member. It has 35mm forks with 130mm of wheel travel and rear shock absorbers with 80mm of wheel travel. It sports a similar wheel setup as the Imperiale 400 in terms of size, but gets narrower 90/90-19 front and 110/90-18 rear MRF tyres. Braking is via 280mm front disc and 240mm rear disc with dual-channel ABS as an option.

On paper, all three bikes offer similar hardware (with the exception of wheels). And while the Jawa impresses both in terms of ride and handling, it remains to be seen how the Imperiale 400 fares in the real world.

Dimensions:

SPECIFICATIONS

BENELLI IMPERIALE 400

JAWA

ROYAL ENFIELD CLASSIC 350

Kerb weight

200kg (dry)

170kg

192kg

Wheelbase

1450mm

1369mm

1370mm

Fuel tank capacity

12-litre

14-litre

13.5-litre

Benelli Imperiale Spec Comparison

In terms of dimensions, the Benelli Imperiale 400 is the largest motorcycle here, ahead of even the RE Classic 350. The bigger dimensions also mean it is the heaviest here, weighing a whopping 200kg (dry). In spite of the large dimensions, the Imperiale has a small 12-litre fuel tank and that could take a toll on its range. The Jawa has the smallest dimensions of the lot and given its low kerb weight should be more manageable to ride than the other two here. In spite of the small dimensions, clever packaging means that the Jawa has the largest fuel tank here. The Classic 350 has the tallest seat height of 800mm here which could be cumbersome for shorter riders. In comparison, the Imperiale 400 has a more manageable 780mm seat height while the Jawa has the lowest seat height of 765mm.

Benelli Imperiale Spec Comparison

Summing it up:
The Benelli Imperiale looks impressive and has its larger size going for it. However, its heavy weight is a compromise. It does look promising in the braking department, but then you miss out on performance. This is the bike to go for if you want that big bike look. When launched, the Imperiale 400 is expected to be priced at around Rs 2 lakh (ex-showroom).

In comparison, the Jawa feels quite compact. Its low seat height and low weight should make it accessible to even novice riders. Plus performance should be ample given its more modern motor. This is the bike to go for if you want an old school look but none of the old school hassles. Prices for the base-spec Jawa start at Rs 1.64 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Benelli Imperiale Spec Comparison

The Classic 350 over the years has evolved into more reliable machines (there is still more scope for improvement) but still offers the best old world charm and experience. It still has a huge fan following and understandably so. Also, given the service network and simple mechanicals that can be fixed anywhere the Classic 350 remains the bike of choice for many when it comes to touring. Buy this for the old school charm. The Classic 350 is also the most affordable bike here with prices starting at Rs 1.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

 

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