Is This The KTM RC390 Killer From Benelli We've Been Waiting For?

Modified On May 12, 2022 12:56 PM By Ishan Lee

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The Italian bikemaker has filed a design patent for a 400cc sportsbike that’ likely to join the Tornado family 

Benelli and its parent company Qianjiang Motors have been hard at work of late. After a series of adventure bikes, the duo are now bringing the focus back to Benelli’s penchant for sports bikes. A recent set of patent drawings suggest a 400cc sports bike is in the works. The architecture of this proposed motorcycle looks familiar to the existing Benelli Tornado 252R, a quarter-litre sports bike currently retailing in China.       
By observing Benelli’s motorcycle naming habit, this 400cc bike will likely be called the Tornado 402R. Hence, keeping to the Tornado style sheet, the 402 wears a vertically stacked headlight flanked by neat DRLs, a full fairing, a chiseled fuel tank and an aggressively designed, upswept sub-frame housing a split-seat setup, like any respectable sportsbike.

Interestingly, however, while it features a USD fork like the Tornado 252R, at the back the monoshock is linked to a single-sided swingarm setup. How this will affect the pricing is something we’ll have to wait and see. The braking setup features a single disc both front and rear.

Given the platform sharing model between the two companies, the Tornado 402R is likely to borrow the 400cc, twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine as seen on QJMotors’ SRK 400 RR. If so, the Benelli has an engine that makes 44.8PS and 37Nm, which puts both the undisputed KTM RC390 and its Japanese rival, the Ninja 400, in its crosshairs.

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If Benelli can make the 402R as light and nimble as the KTM RC390, price it well (under four lakh rupees), and of course bring it to India, there would finally be a worthy challenger to the Austrian which sits comfortably as the king of the hill that is this segment. 

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