EICMA 2015: Benelli Tornado 302 unveiled
The Benelli Tornado 302 was unveiled at EICMA 2015, and this happens to be the first fully faired motorcycle from the manufacturer since the Tornado 1130, which came out in 2003. It uses a parallel-twin 2-cylinder engine that displaces 300cc, in a DOHC set-up, similar to the Benelli TNT 300. This liquid-cooled unit is mated to a six-speed transmission, and with a new map, it now redlines at 12,000rpm (instead of 11,500rpm like on the TNT 300) where it produces 35.4PS. The Tornado 302 makes 27Nm of torque at 9,000rpm, and Benelli claims a top speed of 170kmph. The reduction in power and torque and the quieter exhaust note are all to ensure that the Tornado 302 clears Euro4 norms. However, the motorcycle can be purchased with an upgrade kit for the track, where you will get an open exhaust that brings the total power output to 40PS.
The Benelli Tornado 302 is built on a completely new trellis frame with a plastic cover around the swingarm pivot. In this new set-up, the engine is more part of the frame for structural function. This helps in reducing the weight of the motorcycle to 180kg (from the 196kg on the TNT 300) and also to ensure a 50:50 weight distribution. Up front, the Benelli Tornado 302 gets 41mm inverted forks, while on the steel swingarm is a lateral shock absorber with adjustable preload. The bike has been designed for both, sporty and daily use, which means the suspension would be a little soft, while the handlebar has been lowered. To handle braking duties, Benelli has fitted 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, with ABS as an option. The 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels gets 110 section (front) and 150 section (rear) Metzeler tyres, same as the KTM Duke 390.
The final design of the Benellli Tornado 302 will be showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo along with its power parts. It will be launched in the second half 2016 and should make its way to India soon after.
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