Benelli TNT 300 Test Ride Review

Benelli TNT 300 Makes for a excellent touring machine as it has a large fuel tank capacity and comfort to go on for long distances

1Looks & Styling

Benelli TNT 300 is a striking motorcycle with many color options, not exactly pretty

Benelli TNT 300 is freshly made motorcycle in the year 2014 and yet it isn’t radically designed motorcycle nor a pretty motorcycle to give second glances. Sure, the huge tank, the glossy paint job and substantial dimensions of the motorcycle make it look a sport bike for the masses but there isn’t anything special about it. The Trellis frame in silver color with Green color body on our test bike was grabbing some attention, but it wasn’t making any one go wow.

The headlight resembles to the ER-6N Kawasaki and couple that with long downward sloping shrouds it manages to distinctive and striking but not beautiful and pretty. The rest of the motorcycle is pretty similar case with a single piece, ordinary set of tail-lamps which have LED bulbs in them. Fit-Finish and quality levels are good all around and overall its neat motorcycle, but there no Italian flare in it to make you go awe!

2015 Benelli TNT 300
Rs. 2,83,000/-
Ex-Showroom (New Delhi)

2Ergonomics

Comfortable ergonomics, with narrow handlebars make it easy to pilot around

The seating position is upright with rearset pegs and narrow single piece handlebar to navigate around in extreme comfort just like any other motorcycle.The pillion seat is also well contoured and the pillion has a grab handle which are well executed and great to hold on to.

The seats offer good support as they have the right balance of long distance touring and daily commuting when it comes to cushioning.

Mirrors are really good and support big size frames also in viewing of what is behind them. The tank has the right contours to hold on to while leaning into corners. You can lean to the maximum so easily that the exhaust easily kisses the ground.

3Instrument Cluster & Switchgear

Simple and sweet instrument cluster but with basic information only

When it comes the looks, the cluster does look basic with a digital pod for speedo and analogue tachometer and dated fonts. Solitary indicators are present and there is not much information on displayed when compared to the competition. The meters just two trip meters, engine temperature and rest are the usual shift lights such as high-beam, neutral, engine and FI system check. There is an analogue fuel bar with a clock with completing the meters. Switchgear is the usual affair they are tactical in feeling while are of high quality. The usual buttons are present along with hazard light switch on the LHS switchgear.

4Engine & Gearbox

Engine being smooth and refined isn’t as scintilaitng as it should be

The engine is 300cc unit which is liquid-cooled and fuel-injected and produces 38.26 BHP of power at 11,500 RPM and 26.5 Nm of torque at a fairly high 10,000 RPM. The motor is very linear all the way till redline obviously you can feel the fact that the cams open up at around 7000 RPM after which it goes berserk all the way till its 13000 RPM redline but no with the ferocity of a Kawasaki, forget KTM. The entire engine rev-range feels like a never ending flat spot. The reviving isn’t free and there is no kick in the pants when it comes to riding a big, powerful motorcycle, courtesy of the 200 kg kerb weight the bike carries without the rider and the lack of torque which comes at a stratospheric 10,000 RPM.

Fueling is good and isn’t jerky, you can stay in high gears in the city and roll on the throttle, but you will have to wait for the power to come in, which requires you to do a lot of Yoga, because you need a lot of patience if you are rider who is quick through traffic and semi-traffic highways. Downshift is the mantra to get the max performance every single time. Until unless you are not doing 120 km/hr on the highway in sixth gear you will have to wait. Even then, the performance is not as scintillating on the top-end of the rev range thanks to the non free-revving nature of the motorcycle and extremely tall gearing, even the overdrive gear is tall which is short on all the bikes it competes with.

Benelli-TNT-300-Exhaust
Exhaust note is pretty impressive and slight over the top for a 300cc motorcycle

The reason for being short on performance and engine not being free revving and being pin point precise is that the valves seem to be quite big for the size of this motorcycle and everything else in sync with that are not helping the motorcycle perform well.The engine unconsciously feels stressed because of the bigger sprocket on the front and rear. Another aspect is the over tyred factor that this motorcycle carries with it. 160 size rear tyre for a 300cc motorcycle is an overkill by miles and if you’re buying one get MRF small dimension tyres which should be equally grippy but will help in fuel efficiency and slightly more in performance.

However, when all this is happening with the engine the exhaust note is the only thing which can keep you happy. The exhaust makes a lot of noise for a 300cc motorcycle and it sounds really good too. The vroooom noise till the 7000 RPM and then shouting all the way till redline makes you feel you’re riding an inline-four motorcycle rather than a parallel twin. Gearbox is really smooth, and well calibrated throws which fall perfectly to your foot.

5Dynamics

handling is sharp but its not exactly nimble in the corners either

Armed with a Trellis frame, upside down forks and monoshock at the rear it has all the right hardware to put a smile on your face when you hit the twistiest rounds you like. The turn-in is fairly quick and accurate and tips into a corner with a little effort than usual performance bikes. Grip from Pirelli Angel tyres are good but they need time to warm up to give full potential. At the limit suspension does feel it a bit lofty, but that’s good for handling mid corner bumps which don’t un-settle the bike and inspire confidence on our broken roads. Ride quality is excellent and it glides over most bumps with ease and does not feel harsh like its competition.

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Feedback from USD forks as usual is pretty good and damping is well sorted. The problem of the motorcycle is the weight if the bike did not weight 196 kgs the bike could be a lot more fun and the dull engine could have been forgiven. Brakes at the front offer stopping power, but the feel at the front lever is quite inconsistent and despite changing settings, nothing came to what we actually wanted from the motorcycle, which is a typical industry standard feel.

6Verdict

A good looking motorcycle only lacking ABS to sweeten the deal

History has it that the confused motorcycle, motorcycles that did not focus on a particular specialty made great long distance bikes, atleast in India. Benelli TNT 300 also makes the same case. The performance isn’t its forte, the motorcycle is striking to look at and makes a good noise which already makes it ideal for the masses out there. The colors on option, the DSK badge has already promised great after sales and service experience and pricing isn’t bad for a motorcycle which has so much to offer except for ABS.

A shocking omission which DSK-Benelli says is soon to be rectified and there is very less to worry about this issue. As performance enthusiasts, we have made our choices already, but for the masses? There is no denying this is the ideal middle-weight motorcycle you need if you want bling in every aspect and don’t care about anything else.

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Pros –

  • Exhaust Note
  • Color options
  • Top-notch quality
  • Touring capability

Cons –

  • Mediocre Dynamics
  • Heavy Kerb weight
  • No ABS

Technical Specifications
Engine: 300cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, DOHC
Power: 38.26 BHP @ 11,500 RPM
Torque: 26.5 Nm @ 10,000 RPM
Gearbox: 6-speed
Top Speed: 160 km/hr
Mileage: 25-28 km/l
Chassis: Trellis
Fuel Tank: 17-litres
Suspension: 41 mm USD Forks (Front), Adjustable Monoshock (Rear)
Brakes: 260 mm Dual Petal Discs (Front), 240 mm Petal Disc (Rear)
Tyres: 110/70/17, 150/60/17 (MRF)
120/70/17, 160/60/17 (Pirelli)

Benelli TNT 300 Dimensions
Length x Width x Height: 2130 mm x 800 mm x 1120 mm
Wheelbase: 1410 mm
Ground Clearance: 160 mm
Seat Height: 795 mm
Kerb weight: 196 kgs

Pictures – Annand Sampant

2015 Benelli TNT 300 Image Gallery : 

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Looks & Style
Riding Comfort
Performance
Safety
Engine & Gearbox
Stability & Handling
Mileage
After Sales Service