Review: Benelli Imperiale 400 or Royal Enfield Bullet 350? Buyers spoilt for choice – Times of India
NEW DELHI: Benelli has tossed a star within the galaxy of Royal Enfields. Sure, it is a light-weight fashionable traditional and in addition essentially the most inexpensive Benelli out there to take the Bullet 350 head-on.
Priced competitively, the Imperiale 400 is the third product in as many months from the steady of Italian bike producers. We had a run on the Benelli from Delhi to Bulandsahr, a city in Uttar Pradesh virtually 150 kilometers from the NCR — a journey totally on the highways, adopted by patches of damaged countryside roads. Right here’s how issues unfolded throughout the first experience:
Seems to be:
The design language is polarising. If you happen to’re a contemporary traditional fanatic, the timeless format of Imperiale 400 would rank excessive among the many crop of funds machines on the market. But, take that badge and brand off the physique, most would fail to differentiate it from the …
A retro-themed physique carries two essential design elements: Sturdy components and ample use of chrome. The entrance homes spherical halogen headlamps surrounded by a chrome bezel, flanked by round indicators in chrome casket. There may be nothing flimsy concerning the spoked wheels, full-size mudguard and 41-mm entrance forks, reflecting Benelli’s dedication to holding issues uncomplicated.
The instrument cluster is easy and simple. Two round dials docked in chrome instances show odometer, velocity, tripmeter, gear place and different readouts. Curiously, the gas gauge (absent in Bullet 350) is marked in a spatula-shaped digital sprint within the center.
The only-unit handlebar is flat in profile and also you wouldn’t discover too many unfastened cables across the cluster. The blacked-out switchbox is rock-solid but bland to have a look at.
As you progress, most detailing on the physique is finished in black. The bare engine compartment has two separate chrome covers on the exhaust, exuding a touch of a premium really feel.
The ribbed pads on 12-litre gas tank look refreshing. Your consideration would rapidly shift to the seats, traditional spring-loaded arrange for the rider and a separate one for the pillion. The saddle mixture works effective to your each day commute, nevertheless, you’ll be tempted to interchange them in case you want to exit touring usually.
The identical design language is carried ahead to the rear third of the Imperiale 400. With none gimmicks, you’ll discover the brake mild and indicators encased in chrome instances.
Whereas the general design is agreeable and lives as much as the retro theme, I might have preferred just a few tweaks right here and there, no less than after recognizing the Bullet 350 on the highway for therefore lengthy. With the scope of experimentation, Benelli might have tried an non-obligatory flyscreen or bench seat and even another therapy to the console.
The 374-cc, air-cooled motor pumps out 21 PS energy at 5,500 rpm and 29 Nm of peak torque at 4,500 rpm whereas mated to a five-speed gearbox. The ability supply is linear and you may experience the Imperiale 400 at 80-100 kmph all day lengthy with not a lot vibrations on the footpegs or handlebar.
The motor performs the very best within the mid-range, slicing off at round 8,000 rpm. Talking of prime velocity, you possibly can push the Imperiale 400 to 130 kmph, which takes a good bit of time and an open stretch.
|Engine||374-cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled|
|Max energy||21PS at 5,500 rpm|
|Peak torque||29Nm at 4,500 rpm
|Gasoline tank||12 litre|
The gear shifts are clean and exact, nevertheless, clutch motion on the lever is barely on the heavier aspect, leaving your fingers sore in bumper to bumper site visitors. We might cowl over 250 kilometers in a full tank of gas with a few bars left of the meter. Count on a gas effectivity of 33-35 kmph (mixed), except the throttle is wrung to the purple line too usually.
Cycle components and dealing with:
In flesh, you’ll be stunned to see how accessible Imperiale 400 is. Because of 780 mm seat peak, 20 mm shy of the direct rival Bullet 350, slinging your leg over the seat is easy. Having stated that, manoeuvring the 203-kilo bike in parking is considerably tiring.
The centre-set footpegs and broad handlebars mix with additional cushiony perch to present an upright posture. The experience high quality isn’t precisely plush, slightly I felt the bike to be extraordinarily bumpy on dangerous roads at excessive velocity. The 41-mm entrance forks soak bumper simply over the stiffly suspended pre-load adjustable rear coils.
|Entrance Suspension||41-mm telescopic|
|Rear Suspension||Pre-load adjustable coil|
|Entrance Brake||300-mm single disc (ABS)|
|Rear Brake||240-mm single disc (ABS)|
|Entrance Tyre||100/90-19 inch|
|Rear Tyre||130/80-18 inch|
Fortunately, the 300-mm disc upfront and 240-mm rear disc are ABS-equipped and are spot on with their braking duties. Imperiale 400 makes use of TVS Remora tyres, 19-inch entrance and 18-inch rear, which get the job completed however are vulnerable to leaks and breakdown extra usually, and Benelli might have absolutely used CEAT as an alternative. Price-cutting most likely!
Pricing and verdict:
We’ve an immense liking for contemporary classics. If you happen to assume that was an announcement shot within the air, look no past Royal Enfield — no less than their unparallel gross sales within the 350-500 cc section suggests the identical.
What Benelli has completed exactly appropriate is pricing — at Rs 1.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Imperiale 400 slots proper in between Bullet 350 and Bullet 500. Additionally, the trump card for Benelli has been the back-to-back launch of merchandise – Leoncino 500, Leoncino 250 and now the Imperiale 400, assist develop the model’s presence.
The Imperiale 400 is a product I can absolutely advocate somebody who desires to shift from Royal Enfield. Nevertheless, to compete virtually and logically towards RE, Benelli has to ramp up its market technique, throw open showrooms and widen its aftersales community.