Benelli Tornado 252R Officially Debuts As Honda CBR250RR Rival

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Qianjiang Group-owned Benelli has launched the Tornado 252R in the Chinese market, powered by a 26 PS, quarter-litre, twin-cylinder engine

Benelli has introduced a new fully-faired motorcycle in the Chinese market, dubbed Tornado 252R. The design of the motorcycle takes inspiration from the 2021 Tornado 302R; it gets the same vertically-stacked headlamp setup, sporty fairing, muscular tank, sleek tail section, etc. The paint options and graphics are different though, with the Tornado 252R looking less flashy.

Despite being just a quarter-litre bike, the styling of the Benelli Tornado 252R makes it feel like a much larger motorcycle. It gets plenty of impressive features and equipment as well, like a full-digital LCD instrument cluster (with smartphone connectivity), LED DRLs, LED turn indicators, adjustable levers, slipper clutch, and a USB charging port.

The suspension duties are handled by 37mm USD forks at the front and a non-adjustable monoshock at the rear. The bike gets single disc brakes on both wheels, and dual-channel ABS is available as well, for improved safety. The rider seat height is on the lower side, at 785mm, and the motorcycle has a kerb weight of 177 kg.

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The riding position is quite aggressive, thanks to low-set clip-on handlebars and centre-set footpegs. As for the powertrain, it consists of a 249cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin motor, mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission (with slipper clutch). The peak power and torque figures are rated at 26 PS (at 8,500 rpm) and 24.1 Nm (at 6,500 rpm), respectively.

In the Chinese market, Benelli Tornado 252R has a starting price of CNY 25,800 (around Rs. 2.94 lakh). The price isn’t too high, but the performance won’t set your pants on fire either. We doubt that Benelli would launch this motorcycle in the Indian market, but its elder sibling – Tornado 302R – could arrive on our shores in the near future.

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Currently, Benelli India’s line-up consists of the following models – Imperiale 400, 502C, TRK 502, TRK 502 X, and Leoncino. The addition of the Tornado 302R would help the brand expand its presence in the (relatively) lower end of the spectrum, and upon launch, the bike will compete with the likes of KTM RC390, TVS Apache RR310, and Kawasaki Ninja 300.