Benelli's faired sportsbike, the 302R also known as the Tornado 302, is expected to arrive in India by April this year. The company first showcased the motorcycle at the 2015 EICMA followed by its Indian debut at the 2016 Auto Expo.
It might appear that the Benelli 302R is just a fairing update over the naked offering but there is a lot more to it. The 302R is built on an all-new trellis frame with a cover around the swingarm pivot. This has helped the motor be an integral part of the frame. Additionally, it has made the 302R lighter than the TNT 300 by 16kg with a 50:50 weight distribution.
The sportsbike comes equipped with 41mm inverted forks, while on the steel swingarm is a lateral shock absorber with adjustable preload. It comes fitted with twin 260mm floating discs with a 4-piston caliper brake up front and a single 240mm disc with a single-piston caliper brake on the rear wheel. We believe Benelli will offer ABS as standard on the 302R. Also, it comes with 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels which get 110-section front and 150-section rear Metzeler tyres.
Powering the Benelli 302R is a 300cc parallel-twin motor that makes 35.4PS and 27Nm at 9,000rpm. The liquid-cooled unit is mated to a 6-speed transmission, and with a new map, it now redlines at 12,000rpm instead of 11,500rpm like on the TNT 300. We have already ridden the Benelli 302R and felt that it's in its pre-production form and the engine did not need to be revved high like the TNT to extract performance from it. The change in ratios seems to have improved things and delivers a little surge midway through the rev range. The 302 R does 150kmph without much strain. Read our detailed first ride report of the Benelli 302R here.
What might really work in favour of the Benelli 302R are its larger bike looks paired with an impressive styling seen with the twin-headlamp and the contrasting red frame. We expect the Benelli 302R to be priced in the range of Rs 3.2-3.5 lakh when it launches in India.