The 302R is the first lightweight fully faired sports bike of Benelli. It was launched internationally in 2015 targeting the A2 license market of Europe. It took 2 years for the Italian maker to introduce this motorcycle in the Indian premises. Here it targets young Indian riders who are looking for small capacity premium bikes.
The Design and Features
At first glance, there is nothing special about this bike. It doesn't have those modern looking fairing or body panels of the new gen bikes. The Benelli has imposed a simple and minimalistic design approach here. The V-shaped headlamp is separated by a small gap in the center. The fairing starts from the headlamp cowl and reaches down all the way to the engine cowl as a single unit. Rear view mirrors are positioned above the headlamp fairing. The split sports plush and aggressive tail section are too good. Benelli even tries to expose a very little portion of the steel tube frame underneath the saddle.
The stylish, aluminium finish twin pod exhaust is visually good and replicates race exhaust note. The fully digital instrument read out displays all relevant information.
The Engine and Performance
The 302R is powered by 300cc, in-line twin cylinder which is teamed with 6-speed manual gearbox to derive a maximum power of 38.26 bhp @ 11500 rpm and a peak torque of 26.5 Nm @ 10000 rpm. It is the same powertrain found in the TNT 300 and BN 302 with BS4 and Euro 4 emission standards. Therefore, the 302R is expected to generate the same power and torque figures on the roads. However, 302R will have an upper hand over the TNT 300 with the extra aerodynamic aids up front. The DSK has also gotten rid of the TNT's underbelly exhaust to a much sporty and good looking twin pod pipe.
The Chassis, Suspension and Braking
The primary chassis of the 302R is constructed on a rigid frame of a steel-tube trellis design, which links steering head and swingarm pivot directly. It offers high-speed stability and supreme balance on taking turns. This same frame work can be also found in 600i and 600 GT. The suspension system consists of 43 mm USD fork at the front and hydraulic monoshock with adjustable preload at the rear, while the braking duties are managed by hydraulic double disc and single disc brakes at front and back respectively.
As we mentioned earlier, the 302R is the first entry-level full faired sports bike from Benelli. The Indian, as well as international market, has been already flooded with similar, 300cc sportbike. Therefore, the first question to arise will be, is it looks and styled better than its competitors? The other one will be, is it performs well enough? For the first question, the answer will be varied. It isn't as good as the Ninja 300, RC 390 or the forthcoming Yamaha R3. However, on paper, it seems it is a better performer than Ninja 300 and equally good as the R3. Therefore, the time will tell the fate of this young blooded faired Italian beauty.