Last year, Benelli began making its presence felt in the North American market by introducing its middleweight adventure bike, the TRK 502X. Benelli, despite being a brand with Italian origins, has a roster of motorcycles which see production over in China. As a result, the company is able to flip their bikes at rather affordable price points.
Benelli's motorcycles are developed and produced by Chinese manufacturer, Qianjiang Motor (QJ Motor), and are often bestowed aesthetic updates prior to being exported and rebranded as Benellis. Available across multiple markets, Benelli has seen reasonable success, particularly in Europe and Asia. With pretty decent construction, overall acceptable performance, and an enticing price tag, bikes like the Benelli Leoncino 500 and the 502C are becoming more ubiquitous as time goes by. Interestingly, it would appear that Benelli has yet another trick up its sleeve in the form of its entry-level sportbike, the 302R.
Our colleagues from Bennetts recently published an article highlighting photos of the new 302R. Benelli's Chinese owners recently filed type-approval documents for the TNT 600i naked street bike and 302R sportbike in China. If it does make its way to the U.S. market, the Benelli 302R will go up against other entry-level small-displacement sportbikes like the Yamaha R3 and KTM RC 390. On the other hand, if and when the new Chinese-Italian sportbike graces the Asian and European markets, it would play in the mid-sized segment rivaling the likes of the CFMoto 300SR and TVS Apache RR 310.
The new Benelli 302R features massively redesigned styling cues, making it look a lot sharper and aggressive. Its full-fairing has been slimmed down and given a more chiseled appearance, while a redesigned single LED headlight gives the bike a thoroughly modern aesthetic. As far as performance goes, we can expect to find a 300cc parallel-twin engine which pumps out around 36 horsepower. Now, depending on where in the world you're situated, the new bike may come in varying trim specifications. However standard componentry is expected to include ABS by Bosch out of the box.