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New affordable Benelli triple


Benelli began to produce its hand built Tornado earlier this year, but at £22,000 its not really on the affordable list of 90% of riders. So they have just announced a version aptly named the Novecento (Italian for nine hundred) and it will be priced at a much more realistic level of £10,500. Yes the price is virtually half that of the limited Edition but the new model represents almost everything the hand built one does without some of the more exotic components.Missing from the new model are items such as the adjustable headstock and carbon-fibre bodywork but it doesn’t detract from the original concept, and the new Tornado is as stunning as ever.

The main differences between the Limited Edition and the Novocento are Marzocchi forks and an Extreme tech shock, rather than Ohlins, and new rear subframe that now can carry a pillion. Benelli have fitted their own alloys instead of the ultra light Marchesini wheels, but even here the style is the same so you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between them. They have also taken the full carbon-fibre bodywork off and replaced it with plastic, making the new bike a little heavier at 198kg instead of the original 185kg for the Limited Edition. The Novecento now has a conventional wet clutch instead of the dry race type clutch fitted to the Ltd Edition. With this type of clutch the clutch plates sit in a pool of oil, it does have an added advantage though making the bike quieter and a lot easier to use. The engines in both models remain the same, an 898cc in-line 3cyl unit giving 141bhp and a claimed 75lb-ft at 8500rpm.

One added advantage with the new rear subframe is that with the addition of a pillion seat it has actually lowered the overall seating height by 10mm. This will allow some slightly shorter riders greater comfort and a better riding position, it will also lower the centre of gravity a little. Benelli say that the first Novecentos will be in the dealers by Spring of 2003.


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