Benelli To Launch Two 250cc Bikes In India
Expect the bikes to be launched by early next year
- At present, Benelli has three 250cc motorcycles in its international portfolio.
- However, the India-spec bikes will have completely different specifications.
- This would mark Benelli’s second innings in the quarter-litre segment.
Benelli plans to re-enter the quarter-litre segment in India with two new motorcycles. In an interview with Vikas Jhabakh, Managing Director, Benelli India, we’ve come to know that bikemaker plans to have nine bikes in its portfolio by the end of this year, and will expand further to 13-14 motorcycles in total by the end of next year. At present, there are six bikes on sale by Benelli in India, and the Imperiale is scheduled to be launched soon. Connecting the dots, it is likely that Benelli will launch the two 250cc bikes by the end of this year. However, with the recent launch of the Leoncino, and the Imperiale around the corner, it is safe to assume that the 250cc bikes will only arrive by early next year.
Earlier, the brand used to sell the TNT 25 when it had teamed up with the DSK Group. However, with its newfound business partner, Mahavir Group, Benelli does not have anything on offer in the quarter-litre space. In the international market, Benelli sells three motorcycles: Leoncino 250, TRK 251 and BN 251 (was sold as TNT 25 in India).
Of the three, we expect Benelli to bring the Leoncino 250 and TRK 251 to our shores. Benelli has also confirmed to us that the specifications of the two quarter-litre motorcycles may be different from the ones sold abroad and that both of them would be heavily localised. These measures should help the company give the two bikes a competitive price tag.
At present, there are no retro-modern motorcycles in the 250cc category in India, so it makes sense for Benelli to make use of the opportunity by launching the Leoncino 250. It would also give prospective customers a more affordable alternative to the bigger Leoncino 500. Expect Benelli to price the bike at around Rs 2.2 lakh to Rs 2.4 lakh (ex-showroom) considering that the TNT 300 is currently sold for Rs 2.99 lakh (ex-showroom India).
On the other hand, launching the TRK 251 also makes sound business sense as the ADV segment has been witnessing newfound popularity in the country in recent times. There are only two motorcycles that are competitively priced in the entry-level ADV space: the Hero XPulse 200 (Rs 1.05 lakh) and Royal Enfield Himalayan (Rs 1.8 lakh).
The next most affordable ADV is the BMW G 310 GS, which is priced at Rs 3.5 lakh. So, if Benelli manages to price the TRK 251 at around Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 2.80 lakh (ex-showroom), it would be ideal for those who want something more sophisticated than the Himalayan and offers reasonable value for money at the same time. That said, the TRK 251 is still a road-biased ADV with alloy wheels as opposed to the Himalayan with spoke wheels.
It is unlikely that the brand will launch the BN 251 in India, even though it would be the company’s most affordable bike if launched here. This is because of the dismal sales figures of the TNT 25 that was offered in the country before. Moreover, the Benelli 251 looks the same as the TNT 25 which was sold earlier. So it doesn’t really make sense for Benelli to relaunch a motorcycle that wasn’t exactly a sales hit in the first place.