Biking culture in India is on the upward rise; motorcycles with engines from 200cc to 400cc are becoming popular day by day. The KTM Duke 200 and 390 are extremely well known in this category, not too far behind are the Kawasaki Z250 and the Ninja 300. DSK-Benelli is looking to enter the Indian market with a bang and for that they have an ace up their sleeve, the TNT 300.
Benelli TNT 300 Looks
Just looking at the bike invokes a badass feeling in any viewer. It has quite the mean and muscular stance and is along the lines of edgy, modern and to sum it up in one word- European. The black paint option with the red trellis frame and an offset mono-shock makes this bike stand apart among the stiff competition it faces. It has more of an urban sports look than that of a thoroughbred sports bike. Feature wise the Benelli TNT300 has quite a lot to offer. The bike gets beefy inverted shock absorbers at the front, disc brakes for the front and the rear, a stubby underbody exhaust pipe, unique looking rims and some meaty tires. Apart from all this there are some small cosmetic additions Benelli has added to the bike, such as the chrome engraved logo on the side of the engine, these really add to this motorcycle’s premium appearance. The TNT 300 is designed in Italy, built in China and assembled here in India, but that doesn’t mean there has been skimping on quality. The Benelli feels as premium as any of it’s other big cc bikes.
Benelli TNT 300 Engine
Getting down to the details of this bike, the TNT 300 gets a liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder 300cc motor that produces 36bhp and 125Nm of torque. That is quite a bit of punch, yes it may be less than the 43bhp of the RC390 but it is more than enough to have a lot of fun with on weekend rides and quick maneuvers in the city.
Hit the start button and the bike comes alive with a distinct parallel twin-cylinder grunt. Hitting the toe-shifter down puts you in first gear, the rest of the gears are shift-up. The TNT 300 is going to be quite the competition for the existing bikes in this segment. Riding around on this bike feels very comfortable, even at low (3000-4000) rpms. There is enough power when needed and this can be achieved by gently twisting the throttle. Crank the throttle hard and this bike will put a smile on any bike enthusiast’s face. The exhaust grunt gets louder and is unique enough to make onlookers question which bike it is.
Benelli TNT 300 Riding
Tackling corners on the TNT300 is a lot of fun. This motorcycle is light and extremely agile. It falls into corners easily and one can really power it out of hard bends. The seat is plush and comfortable and is great for both city as well as highway riding. Leaning into corners is quite easy on this bike too as the handling is predictable and hence this gives a lot of confidence to the rider. The disc brakes in the front and rear have enough bite to bring the Benelli to a halt.
The best aspect of this bike is the easily adjustable rear suspension. Twist the dial a few clicks to the left or right on the rear mono-shock to change the settings from soft to stiff depending on your riding style. This is a great addition as it allows the rider to change the suspension setting based on the type of riding he/she is going to be doing. This in turn changes the handling of the bike too. Stiffen it up for sharper handling in the twisties and soften it up down for easy comfortable riding in traffic.
There is enough torque to make any kid of rider enjoy this bike. It gets up to speeds quickly and can really allow the rider to make quick maneuvers in sharp twisties and corners. Riding through traffic should be no hassle at all.
The only issue I felt with this bike was that the clutch lever was quite hard to pull in, and this can get quite tiring or annoying when shifting quickly through the gears. Maybe it was just the test bike that I rode, but nonetheless this should not be a downside to stray buyers away. The Benelli TNT 300 has a 16 litre fuel tank and has 12-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels.
Benelli seems to have done quite a bit right with the TNT 300. There is plenty of power and fun element to this bike aside from its unique looks. When compared to its competition this bike does stand out quite a bit. The exhaust note can be quite intoxicating, giving the rider the need to constantly push the bike to the top of its rev range. At the same time the bike can be poised and pleasant to ride.
Benelli TNT 300 Price in India
Having said all of that, it all comes down to what DSK-Benelli decided to price this bike at. I have a feeling that it should be around the Rs.3 lakh range, as the bike will be assembled locally. In my opinion this is a perfect bike for anyone looking for something other than the solely known KTM Duke 390 and RC390.