Benelli's local lineup is set to gain an attractive LAMS sports bike option with the soon-to-be-released Tornado 500.
Set to go head-to-head against Honda’s freshly revised CBR500R and Kawasaki's Ninja 500, Benelli’s 500cc range gains a modern-looking sports bike option in the form of the new Tornado 500.
Benelli was the original Sino-Italian brand to make landfall in New Zealand, and after a relatively quiet period, it is aiming squarely at the Japanese LAMS sports market with the Tornado 500.
This fully-faired sporty not only looks hot to trot, it's got some great equipment as part of its build package that will make it a competitive option against its more established rivals.
Powering the Tornado 500 is Benelli’s 500cc parallel-twin engine which is now Euro 5+ emissions compliant. The engine features wet-sump lubrication, a wet clutch, and a six-speed gearbox with chain final drive. Despite the strangling nature of emissions regs, Benelli is claiming a maximum power output of 47.6 hp at 8500 rpm and peak torque of 46 Nm at 6000 rpm which will be plenty for LAMS class riders looking to get their thrills.
The chassis should also leave little on the table. The frame is an appropriately Italian steel trellis design, while the suspension system comprises a 41mm Marzocchi upside-down fork at the front with spring preload, compression and rebound hydraulic brake adjustment. At the rear is a central adjustable monoshock on the swingarm, which Benellis says ensures a smooth and controlled ride.
Pulling the 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels to a halt is a set of twin Brembo 4-pot monobloc brakes clamping down on 320mm discs at the front matched to a 260mm single piston unit at the back with the mandatory ABS backing it all up.
Benelli is claiming a kerb weight of 186 kilos for the Tornado 500, which is lighter than the Honda CBR500R, so it should match up well against the other bikes in its class.
Pricing and arrival are yet to be confirmed by Benelli's New Zealand distributor Urban Moto Imports so we'll update you once these have been locked in.