Benelli - the world leader in the premium sports bike segment is gearing up to introduce another motorcycle for the Indian market. Imperiale 400 is a retro styled cruiser and once launched, it will be up against the segment leader - Royal Enfield Classic 350. Benelli's partnership with Adishwar Auto Ride, a subsidiary of Mahavir Group is proving to have smoothened the brand's India operations. At the launch of TRK 502 & TRK 502X, Benelli stated that it is planning to launch an array of products here in India. Imperiale 400 is expected to hit the Indian market in late 2019 or early 2020.
Benelli is also working on the localization of its products and Imperiale 400 can become the most localized motorcycle out of the lot. Talking about the styling of the motorcycle, a lot of retro elements like - chrome job on the mud-guards, side - view mirrors and exhaust, split seats, dual instrument cluster, a round headlamp and a tear-drop tank has gone in the making of the Imperiale 400. The motorcycle is equipped with telescopic forks at the front and dual shocks at the rear. Braking duties are being carried by 300 mm and 240 mm discs at the front and back respectively.
The motorcycle showcased at EICMA 2017 was powered by a EURO IV single cylinder and air-cooled mill that churns out 20.4 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 28Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm. However, Benelli is developing a BSVI compliant engine to power the India-spec model, keeping in mind the nearing April 1st, 2020 deadline.
The intensity of competition between Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Benelli Imperiale 400 totally depends on the amount of localization done on the latter. It will be an uphill task for the Italian brand to contain the pricing of Imperiale 400, but, we expect it to be around the Rs. 2 lakh mark. All of this comes down to the fact that the sub-500 cc and middle-weight category in the Indian motorcycling space is going to be intense and interesting in near future.