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Benelli TNT 300

27 May 2015, 10:37 PM Ninad Ambre

Introduction

Benelli TNT 300

There was a time when the only way for Indian consumers to get high-capacity motorcycles was to import them. Now that we have such bikes being made in India and also two-wheelers whose parts are brought here and assembled. The way the biking scenario has changed is phenomenal and it has changed for good.

One such addition to the Indian motorcycling scene is the Benelli TNT 300. The TNT 300 is the most affordable motorcycle one can buy at present from the Italian Superbike brand’s official offering in our country. The motorcycle is designed and engineered by the Italians, manufactured by the Chinese and assembled by the Indians. It is also the most crucial Benelli product for India. 

So, has it managed to grab some attention of the buyers and enthusiasts? Is it good looking? Is it fun to ride? Will it be able to carve a niche in its segment? Does it have something that the current motorcycles in this segment don't offer? Can it do something spectacular to stand out?

And most importantly, with so many cooks in the kitchen have they spoiled the broth? Let's find out.

Looks and Styling

Benelli TNT 300

The bikini fairing and front mudguard of the TNT 300 comes with no nonsense stickering, which looks neat. A similar plain design approach has been applied to the tank which sports the embossed Benelli logo. As a 2015 update, the motorcycle now comes in three colours – rosso, verde and nero. The earlier model didn't have that flare, but the new verde metallic colour has enhanced the look of the bike. The carvings on the meaty tank give it a nice chiseled look and the large seat’s texture looks good. It comes with red stitching and Benelli badging that further add to the appeal.

The three colours (red, white and green) of the Italian flag are used at places (frame and tank) where they do not have a loud appearance, but show their subtle presence. The chrome on the exhaust can is just about fine, unlike on some other bikes where it becomes an eyesore in a bid to add to the bling. The well-sculpted tail section holds the tail lamp that neatly incorporates the LED units and the sleek side indicators, just like the tapered out mirrors, go well with the design of the bike. 

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Benelli TNT 300 BS4

Benelli TNT 300 BS4

  • Displacement300 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported25 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)37.7 bhp
  • Kerb Weight196 kg
  • ;

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 3,05,315

Benelli TNT 300

Apart from giving the bike a nice touch, the tank extensions and the side mounted rear monoshock give it a distinguishing character. The silver-coloured upside-down and twin discs with petal-type rotors for brakes are like the icing on the cake. Another thing to be specifically pointed out is that most motorcycles get five- or six-spoke alloys; however, the TNT 300 gets 12-spoke alloys in black. They differentiate it in design amongst the horde of alloy wheel designs available on motorcycles today.

Sure, the motorcycle has enough cuts and creases and visual bulk to make it look big, but it is neither that sharp looking nor it is very pretty. In terms of presence, it doesn’t look that big when compared to other 250-300cc motorcycles. The bike doesn't look very impressive at first glance but it’s a bike whose looks start growing on you.

Features

Benelli TNT 300

The headlamp might not be the best looking part of the TNT 300, but it just about does the perfect job. The throw of light is adequate and the spread is good enough to light the road ahead of you. Similar is the case with the tail lamps. The LED lamps give out bright light on braking. This light is sufficient enough to indicate the vehicle from behind, both, during night as well as day.

Benelli TNT 300

Benelli has equipped this motorcycle with a flick-to-open key, which is supposed to add to the delight of the customer, but the quality of the same isn’t something that one can boast of. The part analog and part digital instrumentation is pretty practical. The simple font and layout make it easy to read on the move. The digital odometer is standard with a speedometer, trip meter, fuel gauge and a clock. Apart from this, there is an addition of a temperature gauge which shows the temperature of the engine. You can switch over to indication modes like kmph to mph, kms to miles and degree Celsius to degree Fahrenheit. The bike comes with an additional practical parking hazard button as standard and the palm grips are nice to touch and adequately soft on the skin.  

Benelli TNT 300

The large and firm single-seat is comfortable for both the rider and the pillion. In fact, with the perched pillion seat, it not only looks good, but provides utmost comfort. The build quality and attention to detail on the TNT 300 is phenomenal. This Benelli never makes you feel that it is an entry-level motorcycle from the manufacturer or that they might have skimped on anything to keep a tab on the price.

Benelli TNT 300

Performance

Benelli TNT 300

The TNT 300 is powered by a 300cc twin-cylinder four-stroke liquid-cooled mill that comes equipped with fuel-injection. This engine produces 37bhp of power at 11,500rpm and 27Nm of torque at 9,000rpm.

The most impressive thing about this powerplant is the engine note. This parallel-twin mill makes a sweet sound which puts all its competitors to shame. The engine revs smoothly up to the red line. Though a little sluggish at the start, the mid-range is good enough for cruising at speeds of 100kmph easily. And whenever you feel like going flat out, one can keep the engine running at around 8,000 rpm and the TNT runs like a horse on steroids. Even when the revs are built up at high rpms, the engine doesn't show any indications of running out of steam. A fuel efficiency of 30kmpl for a combined riding in the city and on the highways is not really bad for a 300cc motorcycle.

Well, there are slight vibrations but one can stay with them as they do not become a matter of concern at any point of time. This motor comes mated to a six-speed transmission and this gearbox has a nice crisp feel and provides effortless shifts.

Benelli TNT 300

Ride & Handling

Benelli TNT 300

The TNT 300 does not have an aggressive seating ergonomics like its competitors - the Z250 or the Duke 390. This is in a way good as the wide and tall handlebar along with the foot pegs, which are slightly rear set, providing a comfortable stance. The overall seating is more like a commuter bike or touring motorcycle and not like an aggressive street-racing naked motorcycle. This upright riding posture and high placement of the handlebar gives the rider a feel that he is going to be very comfortable, until he puts his legs on the foot pegs. Their placement is a bit weird and the rider has to find a spot on the seat to adjust with the odd posture for his comfort.

The stubby looking motorcycle on visual inspection gives a feel of being a lethargic mule that will not budge. But they say looks are deceptive and it is right in this case as the TNT 300 surprises the rider when the beast within is unleashed. Though at 200kg, this beast is quite flickable and doesn't make you put in a lot of effort to make it move to different co-ordinates on the horizontal plane.

Benelli TNT 300

The braking power comes from the first-in-class twin 260mm front discs and 240mm single rear disc brakes. The motorcycle is shod with Pirelli Angel GTS 160/60-17 section rear tyre, which is the widest amongst its rivals and a 120/70-17 section front tyre. The overall braking is good, but there isn’t enough feedback and hence fails to inspire confidence in panic situations. Nevertheless, the combination of these brakes and tyres helps keep the bike stable and stick to the road even in corners.

The front suspension includes 41mm inverted forks and comes with rebound adjustment. Similarly, the rear shock absorbers come with spring preload and rebound adjustment. The ground clearance would have been really good if not for the exhaust can which is a bit low slung. It didn’t create much of a problem on speed breakers and rough roads as the suspension is tuned more towards comfortable riding making it a relaxed ride on the rough terrain. This suspension can be tweaked according to your usage. So, if you are planning to ride solo or with a pillion, on the race track or in normal riding conditions, you can adjust the settings according to your need.

Benelli TNT 300

Verdict

Benelli TNT 300

So coming back to our original question of the Benelli TNT 300 being a good recipe or a failed attempt, it is definitely not the latter part. A good knife is any chef’s most important tool and Benelli has used their tools just about right. The establishment of a level of competence and what the buyer really wants is being taken care of. In fact, with all the inputs from the Italians, Chinese and Indians, the final product priced at Rs 2.91 lakh (ex-showroom) is a good quality, refined and feature-rich motorcycle giving a sense of reliability to an owner.

The looks of the TNT 300 might not be that attention-grabbing, but it is a good looking motorcycle. The quality has improved a lot with the 2015 iteration; everything is top-notch and gives a premium feel. But then if we were to compare it with the Kawasaki Z250, the Kwacker surely looks and performs better. Nevertheless, the TNT gains points for the customisation of its suspension setup and a price lesser than the Z250. If price is the matter of contention, nothing can beat the KTM Duke 390, but knowing how common it has become, it won’t stand out in the crowd. 

So keep building the revs of the TNT 300 and it will tell you how sweet the tone gets, needless to talk about your smile then, when everyone looks at you as you arrive in style!

Benelli TNT 300

Gallery

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