Benelli! There's a name you don't hear every day. Well, unless you're an aficionado of finely-crafted shotguns and sporty Italian motorcycles. Benelli made some fantastic bikes back in the day, some of which you could even get here in the States. Sadly, like many companies in the 60s and 70s, Benelli couldn't compete with Japanese imports and heavy competition from other Italian marques and closed its doors in 1988. After a few false starts, Benelli was resurrected in the mid-90s and is now owned by huge Chinese bike maker Zhejiang Qianjiang Motorcycle Group Co.
For the past twenty or so years, the new Benelli has been cranking out some really nice bikes ranging from small 125s to monstrous literbikes. In addition, the company has expanded into developing markets in Asia and India and has even started selling bikes in Iran of all places. Essentially, what I'm saying here is that Benelli is alive and kicking and still turning out some pretty handsome bikes. Its latest fiery, passionate, Italian offering is the new 752S the company announced at EICMA 2018.
Aimed squarely at the 750cc-ish market, the 752S was first seen in prototype form at EICMA 2017 and is scheduled to hit showroom floors in 2019. The bike is powered by a 754cc, water-cooled, fuel-injected, counterbalanced parallel twin mated to a six-speed trans. The Chinese-made mill makes a pretty respectable 75 horsepower and gets it to the 17-inch rear wheel via a chain final drive. The engine is cradled in a nice-looking trellis frame and has a Marzocchi upsidedown fork up front and a preload-adjustable monoshock aft. Brakes are Brembos all around, but it doesn't look like it comes with ABS.
While it's clearly designed as an affordable workaday 750, the bike does have some nice high-tech touches. The headlight is an LED unit and the instrument cluster is a full-color TFT screen perched on the handlebars behind the headlight nacelle. The 750S is definitely a no-frills kinda bike, but I dig that. Basic 750cc transportation in a good looking package is nothing to sneeze at.
There's no word on pricing yet, and honestly, I'm not even sure the 750S will come to America. Hopefully it will, and if it does, we'll be there to tell you all about it.