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DSK-Benelli TNT 600GT Review: First Ride – Ride through seasons

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Benelli TNT 600GT is the chap we are talking about, a middle-weight sports tourer with the stance of an adventure motorcycle. By that very statement the 600GT makes, it implies superior versatility and the kind of riding experience you will take to your heart.

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Benelli TNT 600GT is built on steel tube trellis upfront and cast alloy swingarm at the rear.

What’s so special about Benelli TNT 600GT? For starters, it looks as inspiring as an Arabian stallion, with the distinctive front semi-fairing and the way the body flows in fashion towards the rear. Not just about looks, the TNT 600GT also imitates perseverance of horses, but limited to the soft-natured kind; not those which march boldly on treacherous pathways.

Why? It does not enter dual-sport category as, to begin with, it is not equipped with adventure tyres (not to mention spoke wheels), nor longer stroke length of front fork. But almost every other aspect vote that Benelli 600GT is a brilliant all-rounder.

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Headlamp assembly is equipped with one regular and one projector light; flanked by fairing that directs air towards the large radiator housed within.

The Italian sport tourer, despite weighing 223 kg (without fuel), feels nimble and agile while working the way through dense city traffic. High stance and commendable ergonomics help one learn the art of manoeuvring a mammoth effortlessly, and surprisingly, the (removable) panniers on either side do not come as big of a problem while flicking between auto rickshaws, as they would normally seem.

The bold presence of front end that looks like an alien helmet, along with sophisticated body work, act as magnet that attracts eyeballs, and at the same time repel the smaller kind away from the course, in city.

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The way fuel tank and seats are crafted to blend into a complex curve is sheer Italian beauty that will not go unnoticed.

Suspension is aptly tuned to iron out large speed bumps and the inverted kind on Indian roads, while chubby tyres take good care of removing the wrinkles to try and provide a skiing ride.

Benelli TNT 600GT does not have ABS but the dynamics of the motorcycle is artistically designed to almost eliminate the need for it. Even under heavy impromptu braking the wheels of 600GT do not lock easily; well that cannot be said on muddy terrain, yet for a sports tourer that is more intended to ride on tarmac, performance was admirable (if you forget that there are two rotors upfront). Need for a bit more bite on the rear anchor was felt many a times, more than the front.

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Engine also functions as a stress member. Underbelly exhaust is rather calm and soothing.

So, in short, Benelli 600GT is not a burden to gallop on through the urban jungle, when it comes to using the reins. But there is more to the machine, located beneath the massive 27-litre fuel tank, the ultra-refined in-line four-cylinder power house.

The 600 cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled engine with four valves per cylinder and Double OverHead Camshaft (DOHC) fires up to produce 82 hp max power @ 11,000 rpm and 55 Nm peak torque @ 8,000 rpm. Power delivery is silky smooth and the engine loves to rev higher and higher, mated to the exceptionally tall 6-speed gearbox, without giving out vibration of disturbing nature.

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Pirelli Angel GT 120/70 ZR17 upfront and 180/55 ZR17 at rear are sticky and enjoyable.

The engine begins to grunt loudly towards the mid range, speaking of power, and progresses smoothly till the rev limiter. Although gearing is sky-high, there is enough torque right from idle speed, to ride in city traffic conditions. At low speeds, the bike behaves more like an automatic / scooter, and one can consider gears one through six as riding modes (just a funny way of saying that engine does not get smothered while on wrong gear for the situation, you may even ignore changing gears at times).

On highways and hilly roads, Benelli TNT 600GT is a loveable machine thanks to impressive ergonomics and confidence-inspiring handling. Swerving through road-mates and diving into corners are pleasurable, and all the while, the butt-cupping seat ensures comfort without causing soreness over long rides. Almost the same can be said for pillion.

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Acceleration and handling of Benelli TNT 600GT is favourable to those who are new to bigger bikes and longer rides.

To conclude, Benelli TNT 600GT is an admirable bike best suited for those who make pretty long commutes on weekdays and travel across the state for a nice cup of coffee during weekends; and maybe across the country at least once or twice a year, come on.