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Benelli Imperiale 400 Long Term Review Report 2: City Riding

23 February 2021, 04:56 PM Neil Nair

Introduction

Left Side View

We've been riding the Benelli Imperiale 400 for a while now- around 1800kms if we talk numbers. And the majority of those kilometres have been clocked riding in the city. While my commute mostly consists of open stretches of road and fast-moving traffic, there were more than a few times I found myself with the Imperiale in the chaos of Mumbai’s dreaded traffic. And the experience wasn't a particularly wholesome one.  

Things we liked

Right Side View

Before we get to what didn’t impress us, let’s look at the positives of the Imperiale 400 with its trump card being the 374cc, single-cylinder engine. The motor feels extremely refined and unlike the majority of its rivals, it is also pleasantly vibe-free. Moreover, the Imperiale 400’s 20.7bhp and 29Nm-producing engine feels lively especially from the mid-range to top end. 

Benelli Imperiale 400

Benelli Imperiale 400

  • Displacement374 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported32 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)20.7 bhp
  • Kerb Weight205 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,89,647

Give it the stick and the motorcycle moves ahead with urgency so overtaking is a no-brainer in the city. I also liked the smooth five-speed transmission that makes up for the heavy clutch pull. And yes, being a Benelli, the Imperiale 400 has a beautifully-loud rumble to its exhaust note giving the impression of it being a big bike to inquisitive passerby. 

Things we disliked

Rider Footpeg

It all begins with the weight of the motorcycle. At 205kg, the Imperiale is heavy enough to make maneuvering in slow-moving traffic difficult. And the heavy clutch pull isn't a savior in such situations either. However, what truly bothered me is the protruding footpegs that keep jarring in the shin when the feet are planted on the ground, making the Imperiale feel heavier than usual and a burden to move around. 

Benelli Imperiale 400 Right Side View

The other aspect which irked me about the Imperiale 400 was its high idling- something that we had fixed during its first service at 1000km. The motorcycle idled at 3,000rpm which not only put excessive pressure on the brakes while slowing down but also seemed to reduce the fuel efficiency substantially. Before servicing, the Imperiale returned a poor 18kmpl. However, with the issue fixed temporarily at the service, the idling has been reduced to 1600rpm and since then, the bike has been consistently offering a decent 26-28 kilometres per litre.  

What’s next?

Bike Seat

Well, firstly we’d be stripping the Imperiale off a few bits of seemingly unnecessary bodywork and figure out how much of a difference it would make to the motorcycle’s weight. Secondly, we will be adjusting the preload on the rear suspension to suit my weight. 

Front Suspension

We will also be addressing the aforementioned idling issue at the service center once again as it has cropped up a few times recently. And in the next few weeks, the Imperiale will also be loaded with saddlebags and off on a couple of roadtrips to see more highways and scenic mountain twisties. So stay tuned for the next report! 

Bike Stats

Odometer- 2,100km

Kilometres ridden this month- 600km

Fuel Efficiency- 27-28kmpl 

Photos by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

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