Pinoy riders have long been in love with sportbikes. Enamored by the high-adrenaline racing of series like the World Superbike Championship and MotoGP, low-displacement, commuter-friendly sportbikes offer commuters the likeness of a superbike, with the performance and affordability of a commuter bike. In the local market, 150cc class sportbikes such as the Yamaha YZF-R15 and Suzuki GSX-R150 are very popular. However, new models from relatively newer companies such as that of CFMOTO and its 300SR are also gaining traction at a rapid pace.
Having said that, Benelli is reportedly cooking up a storm with a new entry-level sportbike, the Tornado 252R. This quarter-liter machine aims to bring multi-cylinder performance to the masses—a space once filled by the Kawasaki Ninja 250, which has now matured into the Ninja 400. The upcoming Benelli Tornado 252R is a sleek and aggressively styled machine, however, offering approachable performance and an even more approachable price tag. Initially launched in the Chinese market, the Benelli Tornado 252R retails for the equivalent of P198,500, making it one of the most affordable multi-cylinder bikes currently on offer.
In the styling department, Benelli has given the 252R a very sporty and aggressive aesthetic. Featuring a full fairing, a semi-tucked riding position, LED headlights, and inverted forks, the 252R is thoroughly premium, and slots itself perfectly into the entry-level sportbike segment. While we aren’t exactly certain about the color options this bike will be made available with, the sporty take on Benelli’s classic green and silver motif is truly eye-catching. As far as tech features go, the 252R is right up there with the greats as it gets a fully digital LCD display complete with smartphone connectivity.
At the heart of the bike is a 249cc parallel-twin motor rated for a decent 25 horsepower. Equipped with a 360-degree crankshaft, this bike is sure to produce a unique and exhilarating exhaust note, similar to its naked sibling, the TNT 302S. We can expect this motorcycle to make its global debut within the year, or early next year. Additionally, since Benelli has confirmed participation in EICMA, we’ll likely see this bike on display at their booth this coming November.