Factory insiders have revealed that Benelli is developing a new 600cc sportsbike capable of competing with the Japanese. Like MV Agusta, the company was inspired by the success of the Triumph Daytona 675 and now wants to bring its own unique character to the 600 class. Strangely, since the Tornado superbike is a triple, they're looking to do so with a conventional four-cylinder engine in an extremely unconventional chassis.
The Quattro will be the first entirely new model developed by Benelli
under Chinese ownership, so development money shouldn't be an issue.
Its project leader is Pierluigi Marco who, while working at Bimota,
oversaw development of the Tesi's hub-center steered front end. Thusly,
speculation leans toward the bike using a similar arrangement. We think
its more likely that slightly more conventional suspension will be
mounted to a BX 449-inspired partially carbon chassis, but also expect
the usual assortment of oddly-arranged mechanicals.
The engine, above, is a conventional, if over square DOHC,
16-valve, inline-four with fuel injection. It will be the first engine
to use Benelli Electronic Ignition Management, which sounds
suspiciously like traction control to us.
The Benelli Quattro is expected to drop at the EICMA show in November. We'll bring you details.