DSK-BENELLI HAS CONFIRMED THE LAUNCH OF THE BENELLI TORNADO 302 IN INDIA BY DIWALI, WHILE THE TRK 502 WILL FOLLOW SOMETIME LATER.
Rejoice, sportbike zealots! DSK Motowheels has confirmed the launch of the much awaited Benelli Tornado 302 in India sometime this year. Chairman of DSK-Benelli, Shirish Kulkarni said that the company is planning to launch the bike by Diwali, which is coming in the October-end. The fully-faired bike was first showcased in the country at the 2016 Auto Expo in February 2016, where it was much liked by the visitors.
In talks with Autocar Professional, Shirish said, “We plan to launch the Benelli Tornado 302 by Diwali. The model is already in homologation and its components are already cleared. However, we are still a month away before we secure all necessary certifications. We are planning to begin the retail sales of this model around October-November this year. The TNT 300 has been performing well in the market for us and, hence, it made sense to bring this model to our showrooms.”
The Benelli Tornado 302 is a faired sibling of the TNT 300 which is already available in the Indian market. Both the bikes share many components like suspension, brakes and, most importantly, the 300cc parallel twin engine. The high revving motor makes 38.2PS at 11,500rpm and delivers a peak torque of 26.5Nm at 10,000rpm. The naked bike is doing good in the market, however, the Indian market has a better scope for faired sportbikes.
But better scope means bigger competition too. While the existing naked model competes with offerings like the KTM 390 Duke and the Kawasaki Z250, the Tornado 302 will have to face the challenge from the Yamaha YZF-R3, Kawasaki Ninja 300, KTM RC 390 and Hyosung GT250R.
Like its naked sibling, the Tornado 302 will also be assembled locally at the DSK Group’s new Talegaon assembly facility. Currently, the plant operates in single-shift and both Benelli and Hyosung models are assembled there. So, the company also plans to increase the production capacity as the current capacity at peak is up to 480 motorcycles per month, which could be insufficient in the coming days.
“Our highest monthly production stood around 480 units when our production teams had to work very hard to accommodate that number in our assembly operations to cater to the demand. Now we know where we stand in terms of utilising the plant’s existing capacity. We will make appropriate investments as soon as we ramp our capacity and bring new models. Post the launch of Tornado 302, we will begin installing another assembly line at the plant,” Shirish added.
The upcoming Benelli Tornado 302 features a trestle frame along with 41mm upside down forks up front and a lateral shock absorber with adjustable preload at the rear. The 17" wheels in aluminum alloy mount a 110/70 section tyre up front and 150/60 section rubber at the rear. The bike uses twin 260mm floating discs with a 4 piston caliper brake at the front, while a single 240mm disc with a single piston caliper brake works at the rear.
Though the Benelli Tornado 302 is launching in October 2016, launch of the TRK 502 has been pushed to the year-end or early-2017. Sirish stated that the company is currently operating on updating its model line-up for BS-IV emission compliance and the mandatory ABS norms.