Benelli chose the Imperiale to be its forerunner in the BS6 era solely because it turned out to be an instant hit for the brand when it was launched a year ago. It was also meant to take on the big guns of the segment like the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Jawa. And the competition just got stiffer with the newly-launched Honda H’Ness CB350.
In terms of features, the Benelli comes with a twin-pod analogue speedometer and tachometer along with a digital instrument cluster that provides basic info like two trip meters, an odometer, and a clock. It also gets a vertical fuel gauge that looks neat. The package also includes a hazard lamp as standard- a boon for those under illuminated highway runs, as well as a pair of preload-adjustable shocks at the rear.
Now, if you compare it to the competition, the Imperiale 400 is lacking when it comes to features. Moreover, with an ex-showroom price tag of Rs 1.99 lakh, it is also the most expensive of the lot. Nevertheless, Benelli is betting big on the Imperiale's 374cc engine that churns out 20.57bhp at 6,000rpm and 29Nm at 3,500rpm.
The output from the motor is at par with the segment but the loud and bassy exhaust note, which has always been Benelli’s strong point, will put its rivals to shame. What’s more, it is loaded with chrome bits like a properly retro replicating motorcycle. And as we found out through our first ride review, the Imperiale 400 also boasts of good build quality, and with its seemingly large dimensions, it also has a significant road presence.