One of the perks of being a company owned by one of China's biggest motorcycle manufacturers is that you have a gigantic factory and a team of designers and engineers working around the clock to develop and produce motorcycles at an otherworldly scale. This is exactly what Benelli has going for it thanks in large part to QJ Motors, the company's Chinese owners.
We've talked about Benelli quite a bit over the past months, and it appears the company is just getting started revamping its model range. With the Chinese-owned Italian company entering the U.S. market last year, it's high time it levels up its game, in order to compete in the highly lucrative, tech-laden beginner to mid-sized motorcycle segment in the U.S. In Europe and Asia, Benelli has a rather strong foothold thanks to its affordable machines which have proven themselves as decently reliable performers. In fact, Benelli has begun launching its BS6-compliant lineup in India, as well as its new sportbike, the 302R, in the European market.
Heading way back to the east, QJ Motor has just unveiled its newest middleweight naked street fighter in the form of the SRK 600. Meant to eventually enter the global market and serve as the next generation TNT 600, it's clear to see where QJ Motors has drawn the design inspiration for the SRK 600. At a glance, I couldn't help but notice the uncanny resemblance this bike bears to that of the new Ducati Monster. It even has a tiny bit of MV Agusta Brutale going for it, too. The SRK 600 boasts a muscular fuel tank a top an exposed steel trellis frame. With the old bike's boxy design swapped out for a more streamlined and rounded aesthetic.
The front end is completely new, as well, with a new circular LED headlight sitting in the angular unit's stead. A set of inverted, gold-anodized forks gives the bike a thoroughly premium appearance, making this otherwise budget-friendly option a perfect fit in the mid-sized naked bike segment. To make things even better, QJ Motor has fitted the bike with a full-color TFT screen. Chances are this bike will feature thoroughly redesigned electronics such as throttle-by-wire, and maybe even ride modes, as well.
A common complaint about the previous Benelli TNT 600 was its lackluster power delivery from its 600cc inline-four cylinder engine. Despite having a claimed 80 horsepower, there were a few complaints about the engine's lack of power and response. Hopefully, this time around, QJ Motor's will have tweaked the engine to address these concerns. The new SRK 600 has been launched in China for CNY 49,999, or the equivalent of $7,730 USD. Now, if this price point gets carried over to the global market, the TNT 600 would likely be a strong contender against the likes of the Yamaha MT-07, Triumph Trident, and maybe even the Honda CB650R.