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Thread: Anyone here still following Benelli?

  1. #1
    Honest always, feared often Micah / AF1 Racing's Avatar
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    Anyone here still following Benelli?

    Anyone here still actively following Benelli? I saw this recently http://benelli.ssrmotorsports.com which is new USA importer. I spent a while perusing the site, mixed emotions. I really like the TNT300, good to see the low price and the small bike in general. New riders are flocking to small cc machines like the CBR250/300 Ninja 300, R3, Rebel 250cc...Duke 390 and RC390. It seems to me the importer at least has an interesting bike selection for attracting newer riders, and the 600cc machine is only $6999 for a four cylinder? I know this is Chinese made stuff but so is much of motorcycling in reality...thoughts? Good or bad?
    Diminished expectations is the key to happiness in life.

    Micah Shoemaker
    AF1 Racing
    9900 IH35N
    Austin, TX 78753
    micah@af1racing.com
    @ShoemakerMicah
    @AF1Racingaustin

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert ScottG's Avatar
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    BAD, here's an Italian (formerly) bike made by Chinese slave workers. Quality control is likely non-existant. Think giant Chinese scooter. Run away, run away now!!!

  3. #3
    apriliaforum expert JAndrewG's Avatar
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    Mixed thoughts, though I guess most of mine are.

    Benelli was never a 'premier' Italian marque after all, at least not in my lifetime. Surely a good racing name in the '50s, but my memories of them were from the Sears Roebuck catalogue as a little boy.

    Chinese. Jeez I spend a lot of time bitching about the cheap Chinese made stuff we get sent our way. But, like the Japanese, they know how to create and build beautifully detailed and long lived things too.

    SSR, the site in the link, seem to be importers of inexpensive off road vehicles, with either two or four wheels. Inexpensive being the primary sales point.

    So I don't know. I like seeing an old name like Benelli come back, but would much rather it be designed and build in a small factory by people with a passion for it. I'd also love to see the Laverda name come back...

    John
    2008 RSV 1000 R, platinum/charcoal/red
    Akrapovic full system, NERA top triple clamp, Aprilia accessory rear sets, AF1 Ti bolt kit, etc. etc...


    2008 Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport, black... and stock for now

    2007 Ducati GT 1000, red
    Showa forks, Sachs shocks, Termignoni kit, lots more

  4. #4
    Honest always, feared often Micah / AF1 Racing's Avatar
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    I find the newer stuff interesting though I know it is not Italian in a traditional sense at all. The 150cc scooter they are selling IS the old Aprilia SC200 which was also made in China, like much of the consumer goods worldwide now. I am trying my best to get mentally over an anti-Chinese bias when it comes to machines. The RC390/Duke390 KTM's are made in India, I am pretty sure that none of the Japanese 250-300cc starter bikes are actually manufactured in Japan since their labor costs are similar to ours. A Toyota Camry is more American than most American cars sold here now...globalization is real and its really here to stay. I guess part of my interest beyond the business side is in the resurgence of the small bore market in general, a decade ago you really only had one or three choices in the USA for small bore street bikes, now it seems a new golden age of small bore has arrived. The motorcycle industry here at least in the USA is truly struggling to attract new riders, between the insane speeds of newer sport machines and the insane insurance premiums the golden age of sportbikes as a dominant force in market here is dwindling. All the OEM's are struggling to sell big bore supersport stuff.

    Riding motorcycles though is a timeless thing, a pursuit of unity between man/woman and machine, an oddity of disconnection in a connected world. If it takes Chinese motorcycles to get new riders or re-entry riders back on the road and enjoying themselves and their own disconnected from tech sort of way, I see the beauty in that. Just some random thoughts. I really wish Aprilia would at least get into small bores at only the level of sincerity shown by KTM but alas, I've been wanting this for a long time now and seen no progress.
    Diminished expectations is the key to happiness in life.

    Micah Shoemaker
    AF1 Racing
    9900 IH35N
    Austin, TX 78753
    micah@af1racing.com
    @ShoemakerMicah
    @AF1Racingaustin

  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert JAndrewG's Avatar
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    I get what you're saying Micah, truly. Small bikes were what instilled in me a passion that it seems, no matter how many years pass or crashes lived through, will always be there.

    I actually started on a screaming fast '60s 'sprinter' go kart. A guy had traded it in to the local mom and pop Honda dealer. It had twin West Bends, was about an inch and a half off the ground, skinny slicks, and scrub brakes. Dad 'killed' one motor when he realized how fast it was, but I still had guys come around to race me in hot-rodded VWs and the like who said they had to get over 65 mph to pass me. I was 10 years old.

    But I wanted to ride all the woods we had around us, so I got a mini bike with a Briggs and one of those stupid centrifugal clutches. Then another, then... an almost brand new Honda CL100. I destroyed that poor little bike.

    Riding a small bike every day after school was great. I rode it till I thought I was getting every tiny bit of power and speed out of it. Then cornering became the place to get faster. Then, finally, a bigger bike. It was like that till I'd worked through my CL100, a Yamaha 125, than a 175, a 250, a 465, and finally a couple of 490s.

    Starting young, and on a fun unintimidating small bike, gave me self confidence and are some of best childhood memories.

    When I was a kid, bikes got me outside and away from the TV. Now it's a Smartphone or tablet or PC, but it's basically the same thing. Get a kid interested in something outside, where he or she will get cold, warm, dirty, wet. And maybe learn there are a bunch of really fun things to do besides watch TV. Or the videos on the internet.

    John
    2008 RSV 1000 R, platinum/charcoal/red
    Akrapovic full system, NERA top triple clamp, Aprilia accessory rear sets, AF1 Ti bolt kit, etc. etc...


    2008 Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport, black... and stock for now

    2007 Ducati GT 1000, red
    Showa forks, Sachs shocks, Termignoni kit, lots more

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert sburns2421's Avatar
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    While I don't care for the new Chinese-made bikes at all, the big triples are very interesting even though they are exceedingly rare in the US. Would love to have a Tornado, I know opinions vary on their quality and performance.

    In the UK, they cannot give them away, there might still be new ones sitting in dealers with huge discounts and a decade old.

  7. #7
    Honest always, feared often Micah / AF1 Racing's Avatar
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    So we now have the new USA model Benelli bikes in stock...I think the TNT300 is my favorite so far, really hard to put my finger on exactly why but I've been playing with the green demo bike...gotta say it quite good around town, not quite as quick as the Ninja300 we have right now used but, not bad at all...hmmm...more impressions to come.
    Diminished expectations is the key to happiness in life.

    Micah Shoemaker
    AF1 Racing
    9900 IH35N
    Austin, TX 78753
    micah@af1racing.com
    @ShoemakerMicah
    @AF1Racingaustin

  8. #8
    apriliaforum expert Hellgate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micah / AF1 Racing View Post
    So we now have the new USA model Benelli bikes in stock...I think the TNT300 is my favorite so far, really hard to put my finger on exactly why but I've been playing with the green demo bike...gotta say it quite good around town, not quite as quick as the Ninja300 we have right now used but, not bad at all...hmmm...more impressions to come.
    Is AF1 a Benelli dealer now?
    Pete

  9. #9
    apriliaforum expert Stu_O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hellgate View Post
    Is AF1 a Benelli dealer now?
    What in the world gave you that impression?

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert Hellgate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu_O View Post
    What in the world gave you that impression?
    Reading. It's amazing what I learn from reading.
    Pete

  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert Stu_O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hellgate View Post
    Reading. It's amazing what I learn from reading.
    Tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, my friend. Note the rolling eyeballs.

  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert Hellgate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu_O View Post
    Tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, my friend. Note the rolling eyeballs.
    Oh I know.
    Pete

  13. #13
    Max Lean Angle / Administrator Ed / AF1 Racing's Avatar
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    Yes we are a Benelli dealer....come ride them

    They fill in an entry level need we had on the showroom. We can get someone on a TNT 300 for about $2000 less OTD than a Ninja 300 from the big place up the street.

  14. #14
    apriliaforum expert WadeS02's Avatar
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    $2000 less?

    So for around the price of a Grom you can get a decent entry level street bike. That's a good deal.
    I don't care about my apathy.

  15. #15
    apriliaforum expert laker213's Avatar
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    They're pretty sharp looking up close


    - Tim

    2015 Piaggio Fly 150 - "It's small and white?"
    2016 Aprilia Tuono 1100 Factory - holy crap
    2003 Moto Guzzi California Titanium - DungeonMaster's old steed

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