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BENELLI TNT300: THE NEW ITALIAN STALLION

There are three things we’re grateful that come from Italy that we’re thankful for : their Pizza, the automobiles and Monica Bellucci. While we haven’t been able to enjoy all three of our fancies for ourselves, two out of three isn’t too bad of a deal.
This month we got to ride one of the things from our list of Italian things we love, although it wouldn’t be our first choice we accepted it with open arms: the Benelli TNT 300. The Italian designed entry level performance bike finally gets a home for its own at Naxal along with its scooter sibling. And that means it is officially launched and we get to test it out.

Now, while we all love Italian machines, it is not always affordable. However, the Benelli is manufactured in China under the scrutinizing supervision of Italian engineers on the site at all times. Therefore, it is not exorbitantly priced and is within reach of the general public. Now that doesn’t mean you won’t pony up a decent amount of money, but when it comes to performance motorcycles (although an entry level one) this claims to fall amongst the cream of the crop. Of course we weren’t just going to take their word for it.BenelliNepalTNT300a

STYLING

The Benelli TNT 300 is well designed motorcycle. It doesn’t scream for attention but it has all the right things going for it. While there are some youngsters who still can’t look past anything but a fully faired motorcycle, the aggressive naked street look that the TNT 300 sports is gaining more popularity. In true naked street fashion,
the Benelli has a muscular tank with a front bikini fairing along with an exposed trellis frame in red contrasting with the black paint of the bike we were testing.BenetlliTNT300241mm fat inverted forks with dual 260mm petal discs and vertically stacked headlamps make up the front of the bike. The Bikini fairing merges well with the sculpted 16 liter tank. Also integrating well with the exposed frame is the unique side mounted mono shock you will notice on the right side of the TNT 300. On the console front, the Benelli gets a part analogue part digital instrument cluster which displays the fuel gauge, rpm meter, speedometer, trip meter and a clock.BenelliTNTNepal6The underbelly exhaust, which does tend to scrape on speed bumps and step ramps, do look in tune with the design. The alloy wheels look great and it gets
a single disk in the rear. The LED tail lamps don’t have too much to talk about, but we loved the massive 160mm rear rubber.Overall, the design is simple yet striking. It doesn’t intend to go over the top
and has a decent mature element to its styling.

ERGONOMICS

This is a motorcycle you could ride on all day without complaining. The wide stepped seats are very comfortable and in unison with the high flat bar gives you a nice upright riding stance. It isn’t an overly aggressive affair and we like it that way.BenelliTNTNepal2The rear set foot pegs do help slightly with the case when it comes to providing that extra oomph when required. All in all, it is an extremely comfortable set up which is perfect to undertake the city rides on a daily basis or on touring duties if need be.

PERFORMANCE

If the Benelli 300TNT were a contestant
at a singing talent show, it would receive a standing ovation. Straddle the low seated machine and put it into ignition with a blip
of the throttle and you’ll get where we are getting at. The four-stroke, parallel twin, liquid-cooled, 300cc engine, which makes 38bhp power at 11,500rpm and 26.5Nm of peak torque at 10,000 rpm is a well tuned piece of engineering and it croons with as sweet of an exhaust note as you could possibly expect. The inline twin really comes to life when you step up the revs.BenelliTNTNepal11It doesn’t just sound good though. Shift into gear and you’ll roll off to a nice sprint. You won’t feel like you’re being flung off the bike, in fact it is a more controlled and linear power output that will get you rolling on the tarmac. It is extremely well behaved at the lower rev ranges and you can lug it through traffic without breaking a sweat. Although not very flickable in terms of maneuvering it does a decent job of slaloming through traffic and bends.

Suspension, with an inverted front telescopic fork and hydraulic monoshock, is supple and it is evident from the get go how smooth of a ride the Benelli TNT 300 promises. Braking duties are well supervised and perform well to bring the bike to a halt.BenelliTNTNepal10The tame nature though is blown to bits when you get a little rev happy. Open the throttle wide and it will shed its relaxed demeanor and pounce into action. Even at low to mid revs the engine continues to produce a lovely whine, but at higher revs it transforms into an entrancing howl that pleads for you to rip through the tarmac. This is where its performance genes truly kicks in. Open up the throttle and the 300cc engine will aid you in reaching triple digits at an extremely brisk pace; and then some. And because it is so comfortable to ride, you won’t notice the kilometers go by. Also, the grippy rubber inspires confidence in corners so you will be looking forward to as many of them as you can get.

VERDICT

Benelli brings in an extremely great offering in the dorm of the TNT 300. With an 
Italian heritage combined with the Chinese production it is a combination that seems to have done things perfectly right for the motorcyclist. Let’s face it, for the average Nepali motorcycle enthusiast what the world calls entry level performance is as good as it gets; and this bike is perfectly suited for our roads. A reminder though, it isn’t
an extremely torquey affair at low revs. It provide a more linear power output through the revs and does make up for it as you go.BenelliTNTNepal9And for what it offers, you might consider saving up for this motorcycle that can get you from point A to B on a daily basis as well as provide the thrills when desired. So while we wait to tick off the last item we’d like to ride on our Italian wishlist, we’ll have to make peace with the Benelli 300TNT.BenelliTNTNepal5For specifications & pricing, click here

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