The Italian cum Chinese motorcycle making brand Benelli launched their latest offering in the Indian motorcycle market, the new Tornado 302R. Earlier, our market was deprived of motorcycles in this segment but then Kawasaki and KTM stepped in and launched their bikes in the form of Ninja 250/300 and RC 390 respectively. The high demand for KTM bikes, even of higher priced RCs, proved that there is much more to the market than just Pulsars and Karizmas. Then came the Japanese twin-cylinder YZF-R3, which though comes out as a brilliant bike but kept buyers skeptical because of the premium it charged. The latest entrant, Benelli Tornado 302 was showcased at the Autoexpo 2016 for the very first time along with a couple of other new products from Benelli and now it is finally here. But how does it compare with everything else in its segment? Let’s have a look at the figures.
Starting with the KTM RC390, the Austrian hooligan packs a 373cc engine which is the highest capacity engine in its class and thus delivers the biggest output figures which are 43bhp of maximum power and 35Nm of peak torque. The Kawasaki Ninja 300, on the other hand, packs a twin-cylinder 296cc engine that delivers 38.5bhp of maximum power and 27Nm of peak torque. These figures sound a little under powered compared to the RC ones but both are world apart in terms of delivery, refinement, and precision. And Ninja will be all of the things we mentioned in the last statement.
Talking about the Benelli, it is also a parallel-twin like the Ninja 300 and hence will be more refined, predictable and linear. It delivers 37bhp power and 26Nm of torque which is neck to neck with Ninja but the green machine is over good 8kgs lighter than the Benelli and hence will be much sportier in steering geometry and handling. The KTM RC 390 and Kawasaki Ninja 300, both come with standard ABS and slipper clutch while the Benelli only offers ABS and lacks in other features. The only feature that the Benelli has over its other two competitors is the front twin-disc brakes which should naturally be better in terms of overall braking duties. The KTM is again the lightest in the segment with an overall kerb weight of 147kg, while the Ninja 300 and Tornado 302R weighs 172kg and 180kg. While talking about the fuel tank capacity, the Ninja 300 has the biggest capacity fuel tank at 17L while KTM and Benelli have a tank capacity of 10.5L and 14L respectively.
The instrument panel on the KTM is the most comprehensive which displays a vast variety of information from high coolant temperature, low oil pressure, average riding time, current and average fuel consumption too and much more. But on the other hand, it is a fully digital display unlike the semi-digital-analogue unit on its competitors. While Kawasaki and Benelli both have semi-digital meters.
The Benelli Tornado 302R charges a sum of Rs 3.48 Lakh (Ex-Showroom) while the Kawasaki Ninja 300 is priced very similarly at Rs 3.60 Lakh (Ex-Showroom). The most affordable package in this trio is the KTM RC 390 which demands a comparatively justified price tag of Rs 2.33 Lakh. The RC is a good Rs 1 lakh on the cheaper side, and for a price sensitive market like ours, this is quite enough to pull a majority of buyers to its side. The Kawasaki Ninja has always been a top notch product and is considered an epitome in its segment. Ninja 300 has proven itself over the years and it keeps on getting better with time and it is also a CKD product, not locally made one. So quality is expected to be on the top compared to its competitors. While, the Benelli Tornado 302R is the newest in all, and a little more aggressive pricing might have helped Benelli garner more buyers. In fact, at its price, it makes the Kawasaki Ninja 300 sound justified.