This is where the TRK’s aura takes a hit. Like we said at the start, this Benelli looks like a full scale adventure motorcycle. And so the first time I got on, I was careful with the throttle. I opened it progressively but gently.
However, not much happened. And so I decided to dial in the gas more aggressively. And again, although things did get a move on, it wasn’t exactly breathtaking. And before I knew it, I had hit the stop. And even then, the turn of speed was anything but exciting.
Furthermore, this engine isn’t exactly very refined. It feels smooth and well until around 5,000rpm. Then the buzzing begins, which can be felt mostly through the seat. The engine takes on a louder note as well when revved higher. But, it’s a nice note. Just like every other Benelli I have ridden (barring the 250 maybe), the 502 too sounds brawny and purposeful and very powerful.
Which, of course, it isn’t. And so, to compensate for a weak bottom end, the 502X has been geared short. As a result you will mostly find yourself between 5,000-7,000 rpm. And that works out quite well. Yes, you have to live with a buzzy seat, but at least now there’s some grunt to get this ADV to move around with enthusiasm.
And, you can always stand up and ride. We found the TRK to be quite a lovely thing off the road. It’s got good weight distribution; an instant but predictable throttle response; lots of steering movement lock-to-lock; and a pliant suspension that made it both fun and easy. Would more torque have made it better? Maybe more exciting, yes, but it’s already pretty good off-road.
However, around winding tarmac roads, the 502X feels lazy and blunt and mute. It will go around corners, of course, and at a decent clip. But, in two corners you’d know, it’s out of its depth.