Chinese-owned Italian motorcycle manufacturer Benelli has been aggressively targeting the Indian market and the company’s latest offering is Benelli Imperiale 400. This is the fifth Benelli motorcycle to be launched in India this year after Benelli TRK 502 and 502X, Leoncino 500, and Leoncino 250.
Priced at Rs 1.69 lakh, Benelli Imperiale 400 takes on rivals such as Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Jawa. Here’s a quick comparison between Imperiale 400 and rivals to understand its potential in the Indian market. Royal Enfield Classic 350 vs Jawa 300 vs Benelli Imperiale 400.
Design and styling: All three motorcycles come with retro-classic styling and are designed to allow users to experience the old-world charm. Each motorcycle shares a rich history that dates back to several decades. Certain features that were there in original versions could still be seen on these motorcycles such as round headlight and turn signals, chrome-infused components, analogue/analogue-styled instrument pods, teardrop fuel tank, spoke wheels and wide front and rear fenders. One has to look a bit closely at these motorcycles to identify their exceptional design and styling features, which give them their unique character.
Dimensions: Benelli Imperiale 400 measures 2170 mm in length and has a wheelbase of 1440 mm, making it the longest motorcycle in this group. Other key measurements of Imperiale 400 include pilot seat height of 780 mm, width excluding mirrors – 820 mm, unladen weight – 205 kg and usable tank volume – 12 litres. Royal Enfield Classic 350 is second longest, measuring 2160 mm and having a wheelbase of 1390 mm. Width without mirrors, kerb weight and fuel capacity stand at 790 mm, 194 kg and 13.5 litres, respectively. Jawa is the most compact in this group, having a wheelbase of 1369 mm and seat height of 765 mm. Jawa is also the lightest at 170 kg. However, Jawa’s fuel tank capacity is highest at 14 litres.
Engine: Benelli Imperiale 400 is powered by a 374 cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC engine that generates max power of 21 bhp @ 5,500 rpm and max torque of 29 Nm @ 4,500 rpm. Engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. Royal Enfield Classic 350 is powered by a 346 cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, twinspark engine that generates 19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm and 28 Nm @ 4000 rpm. Engine is mated to a 5-speed, constant mesh gearbox. Jawa has the lowest capacity (293 cc) engine in this group, but it still manages to pump 27 bhp, making it the most powerful in this group. Torque output is 28 Nm and engine is mated to a constant mesh 6-speed gearbox.
Frame and suspension: Benelli Imperiale 400 and Jawa utilize double cradle frame while Classic 350 comes with a single downtube chassis using engine as stressed member. Imperiale 400 has 41 mm telescopic forks at the front and pre-load adjustable suspension at the rear. Braking duties are performed by 300 mm single disc (ABS) and 240 mm single disc (ABS) at front and rear, respectively. Classic 350 has 35 mm telescopic forks and 5-step adjustable twin gas charged shock absorbers at the rear. Stopping power comes from 280 mm and 240 mm disc at front and rear, respectively. Customers can opt for either single-channel or dual-channel ABS. Jawa comes with telescopic hydraulic fork at the front and twin gas canister shock absorbers at the rear. Brakes comprise 153 mm drum at rear and 280 mm disc with ABS at front. Jawa customers can also choose dual-channel ABS option.
Colours: Benelli Imperiale 400 is being offered in three colours – Black, Maroon and Silver. Classis 350 offers a wider choice of colours – Classic Chestnut, Ash, Silver, Mercury Silver, Pure Black, and Classic Black. Jawa is offered in three colours – Jawa Maroon, Jawa Grey and Jawa Black.
Price: Royal Enfield Classic 350 is the most affordable in this group, priced at Rs 1.54 lakh. Next is Benelli Imperiale 400 at Rs 1.69 lakh for Silver colour. The Red and Black colour option of Benelli Imperiale 400 costs Rs 1.79 lakhs. Jawa is the most expensive of the lot, at Rs 1.74 lakhs. Unlike Benelli, Jawa and Royal Enfield offer a cheaper variant of their motorcycles, which is absent of rear disc and comes with only single channel ABS. Jawa single disc variant is priced at Rs 1.64 lakhs, while RE single disc variant costs Rs 1.45 lakh for the 350 S. All prices are ex-sh.
Benelli Imperiale 400 launch will create new challenges for Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Jawa. While Classic sales are down due to slowdown, Jawa appears to be struggling with deliveries. With customers showing increased interest in new products, Benelli Imperiale 400 could register strong sales in the coming months.