Benelli TRK 502, 502X Test Ride Review
- Published On: 27 February 2019
- 5 min read
Benelli has launched two new adventure-touring motorcycles in the Indian market
More and more big motorcycles are being sold in India with buyers preferring to upgrade to the middle-weight category of bikes from their single-cylinder machines. Adventure motorcycles are gaining a lot of momentum in the middle-weight segment with the latest launch being of the Benelli TRK 502, offered in two variants - 502 and 502X, the latter being more off-road focussed.
Styling - The Benelli 502 looks like a bigger motorcycle than it actually is! It looks beefy, has the traditional Benelli headlight with LED DRL and a muscular tank. Even the beak extends all the way to give it purpose. The 502X gets off-sized tyres with spoke wheels while the 502 uses 17-inchers with alloys. The panniers are big enough and there is a mount for the top-box too. The windscreen visor is big but isn't adjustable while the indicators also get the LED treatment.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear - The instrument cluster is a too basic for an adventure motorcycle which costs upwards of Rs. 6 lakhs because it only offers the traditional information like a fuel meter, temperature meter, speedometer and a tachometer, no fancy stuff here like distance to empty or average speed readouts. The console is analogue digital and there is a hazard light switch too on the switchgear, quality of which is pretty good. The motorcycle also gets a USB charging socket.
Ergonomics - The Benelli TRK 502 uses a split seat set-up and cushioning is soft enough to ensure comfort on long journeys. The pillion seat is also comfy. The rider's footpegs are a big front-set and get rubber mounts which can be removed for better grip off-road. The seat height differs between the TRK 502 and TRK 502X, the former with 800 mm is more suited to short riders while the latter with 835 mm is more suited to tall riders.
Performance - Powering both the motorcycle is a 500cc, parallel-twin engine which outputs a modest 47 BHP of power at 8500 RPM and 46 Nm of torque at 5000 RPM, the motor is mated to a smooth shifting 6-speed gearbox with a light clutch. There is a good amount of punch lower down but the mid-range is just flat and the motor just doesn't rev fast enough, although there is a top-end with redline coming in at around 9000 RPM. The powerplant is refined lower down and sounds great at idle and low revs while becoming loud in the top-end, accompanied by vibrations on the handlebar as well as footpegs.
The 502X sounds better than the 502 as it uses an upswept exhaust in place of an underbelly unit. These motorcycles return a fuel economy of around 18-22 km/l, depending on the riding style with 0-100 km/hr taking around 6 seconds.
Riding Dynamics - The Benelli 502 twins aren't light motorcycles, they weigh a considerable 235 kgs but aren't as challenging to ride once you gain momentum. The front uses 50 mm USD forks while the rear uses a pre-load adjustable monoshock. Ride quality is good with the tyres offering decent grip as well. Low speed handling aside, you can't feel much of the weight and the Benelli 502 remains glued to the road at high speeds. The brakes offer very good stopping power, aided by ABS which is switchable too.
Verdict – The Benelli 502 is priced at Rs. 5 lakhs while the 502 comes at a Rs. 40,000/- premium at Rs. 5.40 lakhs (ex-showroom). While outright performance isn't the USP of this motorcycle and Benelli's thin dealer network being present in 9 cities might be a hitch to find buyers but this is a motorcycle which is among the most affordable in its category and thus offers good bang for the buck.