How does the just launched Benelli TRK 502 fare against the Kawasaki Versys 650 and the Suzuki V Storm 650?
Benelli has introduced the TRK 502 in the Indian market at a very competitive price. Although there are not many adventure tourers available at this price bracket, the TRK finds itself positioned just below the segment favourite Kawasaki Versys 650 and the Suzuki V-Storm 650. Does the Benelli make the Japanese 650s look overpriced? Or is it worth spending extra over the Italian to acquire a proven Japanese? We’ll find just that out, with a quick spec comparison.
Design – All the three motorcycles look purpose built. But the Benelli being a newer design stands out and appeals with its striking design language and a bold stance. The bike looks bonkers with the signature Benelli headlamps tucked inside the beautifully designed front beak. The Kawasaki on the other hand has been in the market for quite some time now. The fact that the Versys is a derived unit off the Ninja 650 is more prominent in its design. The Suzuki too looks stunning with its sharp body panels and bright colour combinations. So, in the design department the Benelli TRK 502 trumps the other two with the Kawasaki closely following the Suzuki which looks the second best in our opinion.
Engine – Here, we get to look at three different engine layouts with each offering different factors to judge it with. The Benelli is a 500cc, inline-twin developing 47.5 PS of power and 46 Nm of torque. Kawasaki carries a proven 649cc, parallel-twin motor producing 69 PS of power and 64 Nm of torque. While the Suzuki employs a 645cc, V-Twin churning out an impressive 71 PS of power and 62 Nm of torque. It’s pretty evident that the Benelli is at a massive disadvantage and would be the slower motorcycle. The other two Japanese motorcycles are close to each other in numbers and as well as performance. They also offer faster acceleration and higher cruising speeds than the Benelli.
Price – Price often defines the success of a motorcycle in the Indian market and that’s where the Benelli bets high. At Rs. 6.38 lakhs, the Benelli is placed nearly 22% cheaper than the Kawasaki Versys 650 which retails at Rs. 8.08 lakhs and about 28% cheaper than the Suzuki V-Storm 650 which is sold at a premium at Rs. 8.63 lakhs (all prices on-road, Mumbai).
Verdict – The Benelli TRK 502 is the cheapest offering in the mid-weight adventure tourer category currently available in India. At this price, the Benelli is very intimidating but there are other ways of looking at it. The Kawasaki Versys 650 being the second cheapest motorcycle offers just as much capabilities as the Suzuki which is the most expensive motorcycle here. Also, Suzuki offers more prominent after sales service with Kawasaki coming in second in this department. So, both the Japanese motorcycles justify their higher price tag by offering a much more capable overall package and fuzz free ownership experience. Benelli is yet to prove their after sales customer support along with the overall reliability of the package.
So, to sum it up. Benelli has made the right move by quickly understanding the market needs in the mid-capacity adventure tourer segment in India with two models – the road going TRK 502 and the off-road focussed TRK 502X. And with the competitive pricing, the manufacturer has come up with another option for aspiring Indian tourers. But we can safely say, the investment made over the Benelli is justified by the Japanese motorcycles by offering a lot more than your money’s worth.