There seems to be a growing popularity for cruisers among Chinese manufacturers. A lot of them have been rolling out new cruiser models in recent months, with the likes of CFMoto’s CLC 450, Jonway’s V400, and the QJ Motor SRV range of cruisers. Indeed, in the context of the Asian market, small-displacement cruisers make a lot of sense, as they’re easier to mount for shorter riders, and can be easily maneuvered in traffic.
That being said, there’s yet another new cruiser model in the Chinese market, and this time, it’s from Benda. We’ve talked about Benda quite a bit in the past. The Chinese manufacturer has always been one to go crazy when it comes to design, and indeed, the Napoleon, as it’s called, is no exception. Right off the bat, this cruiser is clearly designed as a neo-retro two-wheeler, with a round headlight and streamlined bodywork.
What stands out right away are its massive dual-purpose tires, which contrast sharply with the bike’s low-slung and sleek appearance. To add to the voluptuous front end, the Napoleon features fork covers that give off the illusion of a cantilever front end, however, in reality, it’s sporting a set of telescopic forks. Over in the cockpit, the Napoleon features low-slung drag bars, mated to forward-set foot controls. This will undoubtedly give the rider a hunched-over riding position like that of a bobber.
When it comes to performance, the Benda Napoleon is powered by a 488cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, V-Twin engine. With a bore and stroke of 67 millimeters and 63.6 millimeters respectively, the engine pumps out 50 horsepower, putting it at par with the likes of the Rebel 500 in terms of performance. The entire bike tips the scales at 190 kilograms, although Benda doesn’t state whether this figure is dry or wet weight – I’d guess that this is the bike’s dry weight.
Naturally, when bikes like this hit the Chinese market, it’s often a question of if rather than when these bikes will ever make it to the global market. Pricing for the Benda Napoleon has yet to be announced, but it’s expected to be made available in the Chinese market by the end of June 2023. At present, Benda already has a dealership network in Europe, and the Napoleon could very easily be adjusted to fit A2 licensing regulations.
As for the U.S. market, well, cruisers of this nature aren’t exactly popular, as they’re seen primarily as beginner-focused models. Plus, bikes like the already popular Rebel 500 and the upcoming Kawasaki Eliminator 450 will surely assert their dominance.