A fitting rival to the likes of the Yamaha MT-07?
Benelli has been making quite a bit of noise lately in the international market. After making its North American debut late last year, the Chinese-owned Italian company has been steadily launching updates to its model lineup across Europe and Asia. Last week, we saw leaked images of their upcoming entry-level sportbike. This time around, it would appear that we could soon see an aggressively styled street bike from Benelli.
Expected to launch in the Chinese market first, the soon-to-be Benelli currently goes by the QJ SRK 700 moniker. For those not in the know, Benelli is owned and operated by Chinese manufacturer Qianjiang Motors (QJ Motors). As has been the case for several years now, Benelli’s bikes go on sale in China under the QJ brand, and eventually make their way to the rest of the world, subsequently carrying the Benelli name.
Now, what can we expect from this 700cc naked bike? Well, on paper, it looks like it could stack up nicely against the other bikes in the lucrative 650cc class. Bikes like the Yamaha MT-07, Suzuki SV650, and Kawasaki Z650 are loved thanks to their versatility and sporty nature. Lately, the CFMoto 700CL-X has been making waves in Asia and Europe, as well. So, the QJ SRK 700, with its 693cc parallel twin and 76 horsepower, will definitely sit on the upper end of the performance spectrum for this segment. Marzocchi suspension is likely to be found on this bike, too, as has been the case with the likes of the Leoncino Trail 800.
Now, as far as styling goes, the QJ SRK 700 bears a resemblance to the sharp and edgy styling of KTM’s Duke range of motorcycles. Unlike the Leoncino, the SRK bears thoroughly modern styling akin to that of aggressive, low-slung, naked streetfighters. If and when this bike becomes a reality for the global market, chances are it’ll offer quite an enticing dollar-to-performance ratio, just like the other bikes we have seen emerge from the Chinese market.