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Discussion Starter #1
So my wifes best friend decided to buy a quad from a the local SSR dealer in town and being the overprotective guy I am, I went down and tried to determine if she was buying a shit box on wheels. The quad seems ok for the price and ok given that it is a Chinese brand. But that is not the point of this thread. While I was down there I saw a Benelli sign and inquired about it.

I knew I recognized the name for somewhere in the motorcycle world. The owner of the shop gave me a good education on them. Started in 1911 in Italy, sold to a Chinese conglomerate in 2005, etc... He starts showing me some of their bikes and I saw the TNT600 and was immediately interested, especially for the price $5,400 after a $600 rebate through the end of May. I went home and started to research the bike. Seems mechanic friendly, reasonable power to weight ratio even though it is a fat pig at almost 500lbs. Biggest complaints I've seen is that the throttle response is lacking and the brakes are a bit mushy (things I assume an intelligent person could correct). So now here I am considering buying one of these things because a lot of people are saying it's damn good value for the money. They sell like crazy in India. And after watching a few videos on YouTube, the stock exhaust sounds damn nice.

Anyone have any experience with these Chi-Talian bikes? Should I just walk away or are they worth $5500 new?

2017-benelli-tnt600-2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Found a decent video with the stock exhaust sound. There are a few aftermarket systems that sounds ok, some good some bad. To me this sounds like a bunch of pissed off bumble bees trying to rape an F1 car, not bad for a cheap bike

 

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When was the last time you were overly impressed with a Chinese manufactured product, other then television electronics, bamboo, tung oil, silk dresses or sex toys ?
Might be better to ask if anybody has experience owning a Keeway RK600, Qfanjiang QJ600 or KSR-Moto GSR600, which is probably slim to nil. The Benelli's you are looking at have nothing to do with the Italian built Benelli motorcycles most will have previous experience with, Benelli never was a particularly successful brand moniker in north america.

"Biggest complaints I've seen is that the throttle response is lacking and the brakes are a bit mushy (things I assume an intelligent person could correct)"
Chinese people are pretty smart, if they could make it work better and stay in budget they would. Research just the brakes that are made to appear like radial calliper 4-pot Brembo's and tell me how many pistons there are in the China/Benelli front and rear callipers, then you will probably realize why the thing has mush brakes and you won't be making them work a whole lot better in a hurry.
 

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I knew a guy with a Tornado Tre 900 in the early '00s. The bike was fast, engaging, fun, and sexy - everything you want in an Italian. It was also at the dealer once a month for something, exactly what you expect with an Italian. I have toyed with buying one multiple times, and I have heard their quality has improved under Chinese management but I don't know anyone with one at the moment (or any dealers to hang around in). I have heard from a couple of local independent shops that they are way easier to work on than a jap bike.

Personally, my experience has been when the Chinese buy a brand that has name recognition and value, they really make an effort to protect that value and tend to work harder at making a good product. In this case, they seem to be selling well all over asia, and have even been the point of the spear for Quan Jing (the chinese owner of benelli) entering markets they were previously shut out of.

I will say this - a niche, chinese made bike with an italian name only bike nerds have heard of isn't going to have much of a resale, so if you can - try to buy a used one that's depreciated some instead of new.

I am not one of these people that says "all chinese stuff is junk". They used to say the same things about Japanese stuff and then they pile-drove our auto industry through the earth's crust and into it's core. I own a chinese made 3d printer that I think is fantastic (anet a8), I have bought a lot of stuff recently made in china goods and been pleasantly surprised. I have also bought really cheap stuff from there and gotten exactly what I expected for cheap stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am sure that the modern Benelli shares only the name and some styling with its previous life in Italy. When people talk about throttle response and mushy brakes, I tend to not get overly concerned because of what I am currently riding. Even the low end new bikes are likely better at stopping and going than my KZ440. My engine is sluggish, and the brakes are old and soft.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Geeto, One key selling point for me is that multiple sources (Jalopnik, Topspeed, etc...) have said that it is very mechanic friendly, so when you do need to work on it they are easy. The dealer here said they stock almost all the parts, and what they dont have they can get within a few days or I can order direct from the site myself.

I did read that Quan Jing kept the HQ for Benelli in Presaro Italy, I assume to help maintain street cred for European market. I have been following the Asian bike market a bit, and that shit is booming! India's demand was around 20 million units last year alone. I fall into the category of general mistrust in Chinese product, but I also recognize that they are increasing their quality by leaps and bounds. I believe that China wants to be a global contender in many areas and know that they need to produce a quality product, especially if they want to get a foothold in the US.
 

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When motorcycle journalists talk about throttle response and mushy brakes, I usually look for the reasons why.
As should the journalists, rather then imply the distributor 'might' have supplied them with a bike that has air in the brake lines.


So did you find out how many pistons are in the brake callipers yet? lol not so easy when they don't really want you noticing details like that is it!

The dealer here said they stock almost all the parts: lol I guess so when you can retail mail order an entire front brake calliper for 110$ US + shipping.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Front-right-calipers-for-Benelli-BN600-TNT600-Stels600-Keeway-RK6-TNT1130-Genuine-parts/32341734886.html
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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Discussion Starter #11
Typical made in China sales brochure, I love this part: "4-valve-per-cylinder heads produces over 134 hp per litre"
lol too bad the bike is only .6 of a litre ... and if it only had wings it could fly.
Well they are not "technically" that far off. By my half assed maths, I estimate 11hp per 100cc, so if it were a liter bike, it would be pushing 111bhp. Not the 134 that they are bragging, but close-ish. Now I have seen people in India saying it is putting out just over 80hp (maybe the US version is tuned down for emissions?) That would produce the 134 per liter they are bragging. Not trying to get hung up on semantics though. In the end $5500 for a 600cc bike that looks damn good and sounds pretty effing good isnt bad. For someone like me where 80% of my riding is in town and within the 35mph posted speed limits (wink wink nudge nudge eh) it wouldn't be a bad commuter bike to work and back. Would certainly give me the opportunity to strip my KZ440 down to the frame and do a full rebuild.
 

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Geeto, One key selling point for me is that multiple sources (Jalopnik, Topspeed, etc...) have said that it is very mechanic friendly, so when you do need to work on it they are easy. The dealer here said they stock almost all the parts, and what they dont have they can get within a few days or I can order direct from the site myself.
To be fair, Aircooled Ducati's and oilhead bmws are also mechanic friendly. So it's not like it's the ONLY new bike that is mechanic friendly.

I did read that Quan Jing kept the HQ for Benelli in Presaro Italy, I assume to help maintain street cred for European market. I have been following the Asian bike market a bit, and that shit is booming! India's demand was around 20 million units last year alone. I fall into the category of general mistrust in Chinese product, but I also recognize that they are increasing their quality by leaps and bounds. I believe that China wants to be a global contender in many areas and know that they need to produce a quality product, especially if they want to get a foothold in the US.
I think that actually has more to do with tarrifs and importation procedure and how the EU looks at motorcycles, than it does good will (although good will is there). Bikes coming into the EU look different on paper if the headquarters is in the EU rather than Asia, even if the parts come from Asia.

Well they are not "technically" that far off. By my half assed maths, I estimate 11hp per 100cc, so if it were a liter bike, it would be pushing 111bhp. Not the 134 that they are bragging, but close-ish. Now I have seen people in India saying it is putting out just over 80hp (maybe the US version is tuned down for emissions?) That would produce the 134 per liter they are bragging. Not trying to get hung up on semantics though. In the end $5500 for a 600cc bike that looks damn good and sounds pretty effing good isnt bad. For someone like me where 80% of my riding is in town and within the 35mph posted speed limits (wink wink nudge nudge eh) it wouldn't be a bad commuter bike to work and back. Would certainly give me the opportunity to strip my KZ440 down to the frame and do a full rebuild.

Ride it, see if you like it. All the reviews I read said it was more an up top bike than down low so that might be a factor. If you like it buy it, it's only money.
 

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Sounds like you are ready to buy into their marketing ploy, let us know how you like the bike after you spend some time on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sounds like you are ready to buy into their marketing ploy, let us know how you like the bike after you spend some time on it.
Im willing to give it a go. I cant convince the wife to let me drop $11k on a Z900RS, but $5500 is an easier thing for her to accept lol. I could be a test dummy, if I buy it and it's utter shite, then you will all get a very thorough run down. If its a decent bike, then all you will get is helmet cam footage on the twisties lol
 

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Discussion Starter #16
:cool: Then you can change your username from the acronym for Early Warning System to Chinelli
Lol, its actually my initials, never thought of any acronyms that match lol. I could have some fun with that.

Endangered Weasel Slaughterer
Energetic Whiskey Sipper
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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Did I write that down, sorry, just thinking out loud.

I actually have done a few of overnights and some really long days for bikes. If I'm money ahead after expenses on a toy for me or a profit if I'm flipping it, I'll go. That bike's a deal, he is asking a couple grand less than you could buy it in Ontario. 100,000 have been laid off in Alberta and they need to get rid of toys, so there are deals to be had. You could buy a pair of nice bikes there for what you're thinking of spending on the Chinelli.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That wouldn't have anything to do with your new PM would it? According to danger Cats he is not well liked in the Alberta area
 
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