Benelli unveiled their new first fully faired Tornado 302 motorcycle since the Tornado 1130 at this year’s EICMA. The new baby Tornado is one among the four new bikes unveiled by Benelli in Milan. The new budget sports bike takes on the iconic name of the Tornado but you could say lacks the visual appeal associated with the legendary name.
The styling of the bike feels sort of out dated. However, it might just be the effect of the base white paint scheme with bad graphics. We would love to see the new Benelli Tornado 302 in some other colours that might enhance its design lines. The front fairing features a single wide housing for the dual headlights which appears to be inspired by the bigger naked TNTs. The side profile gives us a peak of the bespoke frame of the bike like all other bikes from Benelli. The only styling part that will surely be liked by anyone would be the exhaust which is very elegant looking.
The new Benelli Tornado 302 is built completely from the ground up except for the 300 cc parallel-twin engine that it shares with the TNT 302. The high revving 4-valved liquid-cooled DOHC engine is slightly re-tuned for the baby Tornado. It manages to deliver 36 hp at 12,000 rpm with the peak torque of 27 Nm coming in at 9,000 rpm. It also features electronic fuel injection with 38 mm throttle bodies. Power from the engine is transmitted to the rear wheels through a smooth wet sump 6-speed gearbox.
The Benelli Tornado 302 has a newly designed trademark trestle frame from Benelli. The chassis, as Benelli claims has been designed to guarantee maximum manoeuvrability in all conditions. It features 41 mm USD forks at the front with a laterally positioned offset monoshock unit with adjustable preload like on the TNT 302.
The braking setup on the Benelli Tornado 302 comprises of twin 260 mm floating discs with 4-piston callipers at the front. The rear has a 240 mm single disc with a single-piston calliper. The wheels are 17” aluminium alloys with rubbers sized 110/70 at the front and 150/60 at the back.
We understand that Benelli is trying to expand its brand portfolio with new smaller capacity models chasing higher sales numbers. But unfortunately, there are many established manufacturers who have filled the market with appealing 250-300 cc category motorcycles. Not to forget that even BMW stepped into the smaller segment category with the new exciting G310R. All the factors considered, the road ahead would not be an easy one for Benelli, but surely they are on the right track.