The Benelli TNT 25 was shown to the world in 2014. It understandably borrowed a few styling cues from the 200 Duke, like the headlamp and angular tank. It has retained a lot of its own heritage, however – the little rhombus at the front of the seat is something that has been taken from the TNT 899. There are some absolutely lovely bits on the TNT – for example, I want to remove the foot pegs from this motorcycle and mount them as showpieces in my house. The seat cover has the company name embossed on the pillion seat. The brake discs also look like they’re from a segment above, too. That’s because they really are. They’re from the TNT 300. There are an equal number of disappointing aspects in the TNT – the brake levers look great from a distance, but edge closer and they look cheap. The front number plate mounting is an eyesore, the instrumentation while legible, is from a bygone era and the mirrors aren’t usable. The rider foot pegs don’t even get springs to keep them open. The exhaust muffler is a plain-Jane unit, in contrast to the rest of the motorcycle. There are a lot of accessories available for the TNT, and some are must-have items, like the swingarm spools,for example.
The Duke looks like the love child of Wolverine and the Super Duke. And right now, there are few things which we find more attractive aboutthis little boy. The headlamp is a mix of the 390
and 200 Duke
, so it gets running lamps with light guides on the sides that seem inspired by Salman Khan hairdo in ‘Tere Naam’ anda regular tungsten filament bulb and reflector for the headlamp. The indicator mounting has moved to a spot just below the instrument cluster, quite like Shrek’s ears. The headlamp mounting is such that it appears to have no neck – the tank extensions form hulking ‘shoulders’ that almost cover the front forks. Even the belly pan has sharp points to its leading edge. The bodywork has become so minimal, it’d make a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model blush. What little frame isn’t exposed is hidden by the tank and the plastic bits under the pillion seat. The frame is a new one – the (orange) sub frame is now bolted onto the (black) chassis. The ‘inside-out’ swing arm remains, but KTM has strangely gone regressivewith itsquality of foot pegs and their hangers. The quality of the gear shift lever on the KTM is a lot better than the Italian’s, though. We’re not too sure about that exhaust end can – while it is a necessity for the new emission norms in Europe, the old underslung muffler would have been a much better fit for this design. One thing that makes Ranjan very happy and annoys me to no end about the 250 Duke is the stickers. KTM has put stickers on the rims, tank extensions, radiator guard, and even on the underside of the plastic bits under the pillion seat. While the TNT design is aggressive, you get the feeling that it will age quite well. The Duke probably won’t.
Here and now, the Duke inches ahead on looks, since it attracts far more people.