Qianjiang, the Chinese automotive manufacturer that owns Benelli, has applied for patent of a 1200cc bagger. While the patent describes this as a police bike, the same motorcycle will later be sold to the general public badged as a Benelli.
Internally called QJ1200GS, this bagger is based on a traditional tubular steel trellis frame with a single-sided swingarm. Under the skin is a revised version of the 1130cc three-pot engine from the TNT R. The six-speed gearbox will transfer power through a shaft drive to improve refinement. While the 1130cc engine delivers 158 bhp, we can expect the 1200 cc mill to be slightly more powerful which should bring it on par with its rivals. The laid-back ergonomics, aerodynamic fairing, panniers, massive fuel tank and the adjustable windscreen should boost the bike’s touring capabilities.
In China, it is a common practise to offer new motorcycles to the country’s police force before rolling out production models for civilians. The Benelli TNT 600GT began its life as a police bike before assuming its current guise, and we can expect the same for this bagger. Once launched, this Benelli will lock horns with the likes of the Honda Gold Wing, BMW K1600 GTL and the Indian Roadmaster. It seems unlikely that Benelli will launch this bagger in the Indian market. What we will get instead is the Leoncino 500 and the TRK-502, both motorcycles better suited to the Indian market and the brand’s positioning in it.