It’s been a year since Benelli, the 104-year-old Italian bike maker, joined hands with the DSK group for its India chapter. Today, they sell an entire range of motorcycles from the TNT 300 to the TNT 1130 R and it has tasted success as far as the higher capacity bikes are concerned. However, their entry-level bike, the TNT 300, priced at ₹3.25 Lakhs is still out of reach for most enthusiasts. DSK-Benelli are now trying to address this problem with its all-new 250cc motorcycle, the TNT 25. It’s an all-new design that shares very little with the rest of the range. The bike follows a minimalist styling template of a street fighter and it looks mean. It comes with a wide 41mm inverted forks up front, holding the meaty Metlezer rubber. The headlight is borrowed from the TNT 300 with a speed screen sitting atop.
The muscular styling continues to the fuel tank, which is inspired from the rest of the TNT family. The tank pad runs all the way from the start of the fuel tank and merges neatly into the saddle. The plastic side panels have a metal finish to further accentuate the bare bones look. The only sore point being the matt back exhaust pipe. Benelli should have gone for a grey exhaust heat shield for a well-finished look.
Tightly wrapped in the bright red Trellis frame is an all-new liquid cooled, single-cylinder, 249cc motor. The engine makes its peak power of 27.67hp at 9800rpm and delivers a healthy 21.61Nm of torque at 8000rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheel via a 6-speed transmission. On the move, power starts kicking in around 3000rpm as the bike sweetly pulls away from standstill wring the throttle and the 100km mark is breached effortlessly. The dull looking exhaust sounds good once the revs cross 5000rpm. The TNT25 loves been ridden hard and it feels peppiest above 7000rpm.
However, it’s not all out hooliganism that the TNT 25 is about. It’s quite versatile as well. The engine makes power in a linear manner, letting the rider putter around town in fourth gear at 45km with ease. Ergonomics too are sorted here. The flat handle bar coupled with rear-set foot pegs give the rider a forward-leaning riding position and the well-padded saddle keeps your bottom happy on long rides as well. Sticking with everyday usability, the inverted forks upfront and the monoshock at the rear do a good job of soaking up the bumps. On highways, the bike feels well planted and even broken roads don’t unsettle it too easily.
All that riding comfort doesn’t mean the TNT 25 lacks cornering ability. Show it a series of bends and the mechanicals will work in perfect symphony as the bike attacks corners with clinical precision. Also, grip from the Metzelers provide enough confidence to push things harder. The only spoiler is the 280mm single disc up front. Though the petal disc has the looks, it feels wooden and lacks bite.
Overall, apart from the brakes, the TNT 25 comes across as a well-sorted motorcycle. It’s a head-turner, fit and finish feels nice, gets upside down forks and the grippy Metzelers. Power is more than adequate and it’s a joy to ride on winding roads. So now it all boils down to the price. According to DSK, the Benelli TNT 25 will be the bike for the masses. It will compete against the KTM 200 Duke and will be priced competitively. So expect the TNT 25 to carry a price tag of ₹1.65 Lakhs.
Performance, style and comfort; the Benelli TNT 25 seems to have it all.
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