Words: Aninda Sardar
Ducati might have received a standing ovation for the Desmosedicia Stradale powered Panigale V4 and all eyes may be on Royal Enfield’s reveal of the Interceptor and the GT650 but it is DSK MotoWheels that is the company on the move. Digest this, the company is planning to bring in not one…not two…but upto six new motorcycles and a brand new brand of bikes to India over the next six months or so! Here’s a look at what’s been happening at the Benelli pavilion at EICMA 2017.
You’d be forgiven for passing this off as a Chinese motorcycle. In fact, the brand is actually Hungarian. Chinese owned for sure – Keeway Motor is owned by the same firm that owns Benelli – but its pedigree is definitely European. DSK MotoWheels has confirmed that Keeway bikes will be seen being sold from DSK Hyosung dealerships alongside the Korean motorcycles in the next 6 months.
While the company sells a whole bunch of motorcycles in different capacities around the world, in India they will be selling mainly the Superlight and K-Light custom bikes and the Blackster cruiser. Although the examples shown at the EICMA were powered by 125cc air-cooled single cylinder engines, the bikes that will be seen at the DSK Hyosung showrooms will feature the 202cc single that powered the same bike in neighbouring Pakistan where they are sold. There is also a 150cc version that’s on sale in Bangladesh but that will certainly not be coming to India anytime soon. Meanwhile the Blackster cruiser, which is sold in the UK, is powered by an air-cooled 249cc twin.
Royal Enfield has been growing at roughly 50 per cent month-on-month for the past few years, primarily on the back of the success of the Classic 350, the Bullet and the Thunderbird 350. Why are we telling you this? Because this kind of growth will always attract attention. Especially from competitors. And the latest to eye this segment will be DSK Benelli with the fresh-off-the-box Imperiale. As a matter of fact you don’t even need to know that it’s powered by a 380cc air-cooled single to realise which bike is in its sights. Just one look at the styling is good enough to confirm which slice of the affordable leisure motorcycling pie DSK Benelli will be eyeing with this machine. The company has already confirmed that the bike will be launched in India in the next three months and that homologation test prototypes will be here as early as December.
First showcased to discerning Indian auto journalists at EICMA 2015, the Leoncino will finally be making it to India in the next couple of months confirmed DSK Benelli. It’s now been confirmed that bike is being tested for homologation purposes as we write. What is incredible news however is the fact that the company is also mulling a single cylinder version of this! Unfortunately, the boffins at Benelli aren’t happy to reveal much more than that on that particular subject.
Meanwhile, this scrambler from Benelli is powered by a liquid-cooled 499.6cc parallel twin that puts out 47bhp and 45Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The chassis comprises a steel trellis working in conjunction with fat 50mm dia inverted forks and a rear swingarm with lateral shock absorber. In India, a key differentiator for the Leoncino will be the twin 320mm front discs with radial four-pot callipers. ABS of course will be standard.
Benelli TRK 502
Again, another bike that was shown at EICMA 2015. This one however is an updated version and while there were no plans of bringing the old TRK to India, this new one is going to ride in on the heels of the Leoncino within the next two months. Like the Leoncino, the TRK 502 is also undergoing the rigours of homologation evaluation and a single cylinder version is planned for this one too. The TRK 502 is powered by the same engine that powers the Leoncino and produces the same peak output.
The smallest of the India relevant Benellis at the company’s pavilion at EICMA 2017, the 302S will replace the current TnT 300 six months from now, says DSK Benelli. The styling is of course heavily updated with the bike looking far more modern and contemporary than the current bike. Power will continue to come from a 300cc parallel twin but it will be interesting to see if there will be any change in delivery characteristics.