Benelli's new motorcycle: TNT


May 21, 2004

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Benelli's new TNT motorcycle is named after the Trinitrotoluene explosive. The bike is Benelli's take on the streetfighter class of unfaired, minimalist and mean, high performance machines and it is one of the most visually aggressive motorcycles yet created.

It has its origins in the Benelli Tornado three cylinder superbike but is its own entity, despite the similar engine. The stroke has been increased from 49.2 mm to 62 mm giving the new engine a displacement is 1131 cc. The Tornado engine was no slug to start with, having been run in World Superbike racing (in the hands of Peter Goddard) with enough success to be a very credible supersport performer as a 900. Goddard regularly earned points on the Benelli and those points were earned from a gaggle of Ducati 1000 twins with very capable riders. Starting with this engine, Benelli has created what it claims is the "very first long stroke sports engine." The combustion chamber also has a new hemispherical shape, new cam profiles and intake system and the exhaust system has also been completely redesigned, and there's a new electronic control unit with a much improved microprocessor, so it's safe to say they haven't just grafted the old donk.

The "Long Stroke" configuration of the Benelli engine revs to 9,500 rpm and pumps out a healthy 101 Kw (135 CV) and 118 Nm (12 Kgm) torque at 6,250 rpm. With a dry weight of 199 kilograms, the bike isn't exactly a lightweight, coming in heavier than the 1000cc supersport bikes.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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