CHINA’S BIGGEST MACHINE YET
Think of Chinese bikes and you probably get a mental image of 125cc aircooled singles and identikit scooters but there’s a growing Chinese demand for large-capacity machines and home-grown manufacturers are stepping up to fulfil it.
This design from Benelli’s parent firm Qianjiang, set to be marketed under the Qjiang brand in China, shows how the country’s largest bike yet will look.
In case you’re wondering about the lights and sirens shown on these design patent images, yes, it’s initially to be sold as a police bike. That’s fairly standard practice in China, where the authorities often get first dibs on the latest technology. But the same bike is expected to later be offered to the public as a Bmw-rivalling tourer. It’s also expected to form the basis of the next-generation of topend Benellis.
Following on from good-looking recent releases from Chinese firms like Cfmoto, the Qjiang has clean lines that could easily have emerged from Japan or Europe.
Under its skin lies an inline triple that has its roots in the 1130cc Benelli engine but has been reworked to the point of being a com- pletely new design. Most notably it’s fitted with a shaft-drive transmission with a BMW Paralever-style single-sided swingarm designed to counter torque reaction under acceleration. It appears that the frame is tubular steel, with covers on the sides to give the impression of being an aluminium beam. Upside-down forks, radial-mount brakes and instruments with two flat-screen displays alongside a brace of conventional clocks show that the bike’s technology is to be on a par with its more established rivals. Although we don’t know exactly what kit will be fitted, a look at the bar controls shows a plethora of buttons and switches, suggesting that the tourer will have all the kit you’d expect to find on a high-end machine. Qianjiang bosses have already confirmed that there will be a new range of 1200cc Benellis, surely based on this bike. This machine is likely to carry Benelli branding for international sales and the shaft-drive 1200 powertrain is also sure to spawn an adventure model in the future. Earlier this year we revealed designs for two other new Benellis – a 750cc naked parallel twin and a new 900cc three-cylinder roadster.
Fair cop… the first bikes are set to go to the Chinese police
The shaft drive is strikingly similar to BMW’S Paralever