An average Indian looks at a commuter bike as a stepping stone into the motoring world. Most Indians then gradually go on to purchase cars - hatchbacks, sedans etc. While this might be the case some years back, but there is a new trend emerging. The scene has already changed quite dramatically with the introduction of powerful Harleys, Hondas etc. in the past which cost the same as some of the entry level hatchbacks. The increasing number of powerful bikes available in the market surely lures the young buyers and they look at them as radical alternatives to the entry level cars. At present, only few of the powerful bikes are being manufactured in India and most of them follow the CKD route to India. With the sales number gradually increasing, manufacturers may even get encouraged to manufacture the bikes locally which would reduce the prices even further and change the scene altogether.
The Benelli TNT 600 GT was introduced by the DSK group sometime back in India, and it competes with the Ninja 650R, Hyosung GT 650R in the market. Soon, Kawasaki would be launching the Versys 650 which would compete with these bikes in the same space. In this comparison, we compare the specifications of the Benelli TNT 600 GT with the about to be launched Kawasaki Versys 650 and see how they fare against each other.
Design and looks
The 600 GT from Benelli is a tall bike by any standard. Not only does this bike stand out in terms of its height, it also is the most radically designed bike. In fact, it would not be wrong if we say that it is true for all the bikes that we have seen from this Italian manufacturer. The 600 GT uses a projector headlamp in a single headlight cluster, the Versys 650 on the other hand uses twin headlight cluster. The headlight on the Benelli looks as if it has been mounted higher and it gives the impression of it comparably taller height.
The handlebars at the front of both the bikes are wide and would give the rider a very comfortable riding stance. The stretched out rearview mirrors have been well shaped on the Benelli and should cut the air at high speeds. Unlike some of the other bikes in this segment, the fairing of both the bikes does not hide the engine and exhaust completely and this provides both the bikes, a more masculine look. There are split seats on both the bikes which are wide enough to seat the riders in comfort.
The ground clearance of the Kawasaki Versys 650 is impressive – 170mm, the TNT 600 GT offer only 150mm of ground clearance.
Features and Engine
The Benelli 600 GT uses an inline four cylinder motor that produces a peak power of 84bhp, the Kawasaki Versys uses a larger capacity, two cylinder motor that produces comparatively lesser power 71bhp. Kawasaki’s engine delivers the peak power at a low rpm of 8500 whereas the Benelli needs to go 11500rpm to produce the peak power.
The Versys motor is torquier and produces 64Nm of torque at 7000rpm, the Benelli on the other hand produces peak torque of 55Nm of torque at 10500rpm. The Versys uses a slipper clutch while the Benelli does not which puts the Versys at a clear advantage in this area. The chain drive system on both the bikes is used to transfer power to the wheels.
Suspension, Wheels and Tyres & Brakes
At front, both the bikes use inverted telescopic forks. The forks of the Benelli are wider at 50mm in comparison to the Versys which uses 41mm wide forks. At the rear, the bikes use adjustable monoshock suspension system which is adjustable in both the bikes. The front suspension though is adjustable only on the Kawasaki Versys and not on the Benelli.
Both the bikes use 17inch alloy wheels all around, the front has the same tyre size on both the bikes (120mm width). The Benelli uses a comparatively wider tyre (180mm) at the back than the Kawasaki which uses 160mm wide.
Both the bikes use dual discs at front. The TNT 600 GT has wider discs – 320mm. At the rear too, the Benelli uses 260mm petal disc which is wider than the 250mm disc that the Versys uses.
The Benelli TNT 600 GT is a worth competitor to the Kawasaki Versys 650. The TNT 600 GT is marginally more expensive than the Versys 650. But the comparatively higher price tag is justified considering that you get a four cylinder motor and a bike that matches if not betters the Kawasaki Versys 650 in every respect.