BENELLI TAR­GET BMW’S RT

New 1200cc triple en­gine set to power af­ford­able new tourer

Motorcycle News (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

Last year we brought you the first de­sign draw­ings of Benelli’s forth­com­ing 1200cc three-cylin­der tour­ing bike (far right) and now we’ve got im­ages of the new en­gine that’s set to power it.

Branded ‘Qjiang’ on the sides in def­er­ence to the com­pany’s Chi­nese own­ers, Qian­jiang, the cam cover of the new motor re­veals its real in­ten­tions with the word ‘Benelli’ cast into it. And although largely hid­den by an oil cooler line, the right hand side of the cylin­der cast­ing ap­pears to be marked ‘1200’ – con­firm­ing sus­pi­cions about the en­gine’s ca­pac­ity.

The im­ages show that the new en­gine car­ries over the same de­sign think­ing as the ex­ist­ing 1130cc Benelli triple, but it doesn’t ap­pear to share any com­po­nents. The crankcases, cylin­der, cov­ers and head cast­ings are all new. As on most triples, there’s clearly a hefty bal­ancer shaft mounted ahead of the crank­shaft.

Un­like pre­vi­ous Benelli triples, this one uses a shaft-drive trans­mis­sion. That’s be­cause it’s to be used ini­tially in a tour­ing bike, and is also likely to ap­pear in a large ad­ven­ture-style model – mim­ick­ing Tri­umph’s use of a sim­i­lar shaft-drive, 1200cc triple in both the Tro­phy and the Ex­plorer mod­els. That means it’s not de­signed for out­right power; in­stead it will make some­where around 140bhp with a wide spread of torque.

The Benelli 1200 is one of three ma­jor big-bike projects from the com­pany. Be­fore it, we’ll see a 750cc par­al­lel twin – due to be re­leased later this year – and a new 900cc three-cylin­der naked.

‘Un­like pre­vi­ous Benelli triples, this new en­gine uses a shaft-drive fi­nal trans­mis­sion’

All new en­gine is branded ‘Benelli’ on the cam cover

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