CHINA’S BIG­GEST MA­CHINE YET

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

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

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