We’ve some basic requirements when we do long distance touring, right? Like, the ability to ride for hours without fatigue, minimum fuel stops, and yes, not to forget, ease of riding. The Benelli TNT 600GT manages to tick a few of these. You can comfortably ride the bike for hours, and the fuel tank range complements it too. It has a capacity of 27 litres. But, the suspension setup could play spoilsport, not just for the rider, but for the pillion as well. It gets non adjustable USDs upfront and a side mounted monoshock with pre-load and rebound adjust for the rear. The travel is limited. Also, when set in full soft mode, the GT wallows. Turn up the pre-load, and the ride gets bumpy and jarring. No matter what one does, it’s always a compromise.
The engine – the 600cc inline-four cylinder – though is likeable. Fire-up the bike, and the sound of an inline-four will bring a grin to your face. This mill produces 84bhp at 11,5000rpm and 55Nm of peak torque at 10,500rpm. The gearbox is a six-speed unit and is slick to operate, if not exactly light. Open the throttle and the 243kg (kerb weight) motorcycle instantly shows that it means business. But, it lacks low-end torque typical of a tourer. In fact, the power delivery is so blunt on the 600GT till it hits 7,000rpm, it feels a little too docile.
Rev past that though and the surge in power and the sound is something you’ll love. Revving it higher up the band also ensures you don’t have to live with the low rev vibrations of the GT that can be felt via the footpegs, the tank and the handlebar. The engine doesn’t even feel stressed higher up the range making you want to ride it hard, all the time. And you can, because even though the GT doesn’t come with ABS, the brake feel, bite and progression from the floating dual rotors upfront and the radial mounted calipers, is good. The tyres work well too.
In terms of ergonomics, the GT is sportier than a tourer needs to be with its rearset footpegs and a hard seat. It’s also not the easiest bike to stand up and ride, if that’s your thing. The Benelli TNT 600GT could do with better wind protection as well. When a bike is capable of cruising easily at three digits speeds and has upright handlebars, it must provide some protection against windblast. The tiny windscreen on the GT is useless in this regard.