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Benelli Imperiale 400 Review: A Regal Ride with Classic Charm

Introduction

The Benelli Imperiale 400 is a testament to the Italian brand’s commitment to delivering a premium cruiser experience. This bike seamlessly blends classic styling elements with modern engineering, creating a package that appeals to riders who yearn for the nostalgia of yesteryear while enjoying the benefits of contemporary technology. The Imperiale 400 aims to provide a comfortable and enjoyable riding experience, making it an ideal choice for both city rides and leisurely weekend getaways. In this review, we delve into the various aspects of the Imperiale 400, examining its styling, performance, comfort, and overall value proposition.

Benelli Imperiale 400 Review: A Regal Ride with Classic Charm
Benelli Imperiale 400

Styling and Visual Appeal

One glance at the Benelli Imperiale 400 is enough to transport you back to the golden era of motorcycling. The bike’s design is a homage to the classic cruisers of the past, with its round headlamp, teardrop-shaped fuel tank, and wire-spoke wheels. The Imperiale 400’s lines are flowing and graceful, exuding a sense of elegance and sophistication.

The attention to detail in the Imperiale 400’s design is commendable. The high-quality paint finish, available in three classic colors – black, red, and silver – is complemented by chrome accents on the exhaust, mirrors, and other components. The split seat design, with its contrasting stitching, adds a touch of premium appeal. The overall craftsmanship and fit and finish are of a high standard, reflecting Benelli’s commitment to quality.

Benelli Imperiale 400 Review: A Regal Ride with Classic Charm

Engine and Performance

At the heart of the Benelli Imperiale 400 is a 374cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine. This powerplant delivers a peak power of 21 PS at 6,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 29 Nm at 3,500 rpm. The engine’s characteristics are well-suited for relaxed cruising, with a strong low-end and mid-range torque that provides effortless acceleration.

The Imperiale 400’s engine is equipped with electronic fuel injection, ensuring smooth and precise throttle response. The air cooling system keeps the engine temperature in check, contributing to its reliability and longevity. The exhaust note is throaty and pleasant, adding to the bike’s classic cruiser character.

Attribute Benelli Imperiale 400
Engine Type Single-cylinder, Air-cooled, 4-valves/cylinder, SOHC
Displacement 374 cc
Peak Power 21 PS @ 6000 rpm
Max Torque 29 Nm @ 3500 rpm
Fuel Supply Fuel Injection
Cooling System Air Cooled

Comfort and Ergonomics

The Benelli Imperiale 400 prioritizes rider comfort, offering a relaxed and upright seating position. The split seat design provides ample cushioning and support for both the rider and the pillion. The handlebars are set at a comfortable height, allowing for a natural and relaxed grip. The forward-set footpegs contribute to the bike’s cruiser-style ergonomics, enabling a comfortable riding posture.

The suspension setup, consisting of 41mm telescopic forks at the front and pre-load adjustable rear shocks, effectively absorbs road imperfections, providing a plush and comfortable ride. The suspension travel is sufficient to handle various road conditions, ensuring a smooth and composed ride quality.

Attribute Benelli Imperiale 400
Seat Type Split
Suspension Front 41 mm Telescopic
Suspension Rear Pre-load Adjustable
Saddle Height 780 mm

Ride Quality and Handling

The Benelli Imperiale 400’s ride quality is impressive, thanks to its well-engineered chassis and suspension setup. The double cradle frame, made of steel tubes and plates, provides a stable and confident ride. The bike’s weight distribution is well-balanced, contributing to its predictable handling characteristics.

The Imperiale 400 comes equipped with dual-channel ABS, enhancing braking safety. The front brake features a 300mm disc, while the rear brake is a 240mm disc. The braking performance is commendable, providing adequate stopping power and good feel. The bike’s cornering ability is satisfactory, making it suitable for both city rides and leisurely highway cruising.

Benelli Imperiale 400 Review: A Regal Ride with Classic Charm

Attribute Benelli Imperiale 400
Frame Double cradle with steel tubes and plates
ABS Dual Channel
Kerb Weight 205 kg
Wheelbase 1440 mm

Customization and Aftermarket Support

The Benelli Imperiale 400’s classic design serves as an excellent canvas for customization. The bike’s clean lines and timeless aesthetics allow owners to personalize it according to their preferences. Benelli offers a range of official accessories, including windshields, saddlebags, and backrests, enabling riders to enhance the bike’s functionality and touring capabilities.

The availability of aftermarket parts and the growing community of Benelli enthusiasts ensure that owners have access to a wide range of customization options. From performance upgrades to aesthetic modifications, the Imperiale 400 can be tailored to suit individual tastes and requirements.

Real-World Riding Experience and Touring Capabilities

The Benelli Imperiale 400 excels as a versatile motorcycle, equally adept at city commuting and leisurely highway cruising. The bike’s smooth engine, comfortable ergonomics, and plush suspension make it a pleasure to ride in various conditions. The 12-liter fuel tank provides a decent range, allowing for extended rides without frequent fuel stops.

While the Imperiale 400 may not be primarily designed for long-distance touring, it can certainly hold its own on weekend getaways and short trips. The bike’s stability at higher speeds and its ability to maintain a relaxed cruising pace make it a capable choice for those who enjoy exploring new routes and destinations.

Benelli Imperiale 400 Review: A Regal Ride with Classic Charm

Attribute Benelli Imperiale 400
Fuel Capacity 12 L
City Mileage 33.49 kmpl
Highway Mileage 36.65 kmpl

Value and Ownership

The Benelli Imperiale 400 is priced at Rs. 2,35,000 (ex-showroom), positioning it as a premium offering in the cruiser segment. The bike’s build quality, attention to detail, and overall fit and finish justify its price tag. Benelli’s growing network of dealerships and service centers across India ensures easy access to sales, service, and spare parts.

When compared to its competitors, the Imperiale 400 stands out with its distinctive classic styling, smooth performance, and comfortable ride quality. It offers a compelling package for riders who appreciate the charm of retro design combined with modern reliability and performance.

Benelli Imperiale 400 Review: A Regal Ride with Classic Charm

Attribute Benelli Imperiale 400
Price Range Rs. 2,35,000
Variant Names and Prices
  • Benelli Imperiale 400 Black: Rs. 2,35,000
  • Benelli Imperiale 400 Red: Rs. 2,35,000
  • Benelli Imperiale 400 Silver: Rs. 2,35,000
Number of Variants 3

Conclusion

The Benelli Imperiale 400 is a regal and charming cruiser that combines classic styling with modern performance. Its timeless design, smooth engine, and comfortable ergonomics make it an appealing choice for riders who seek a bike that exudes elegance and sophistication.

While the Imperiale 400 excels in many aspects, there are a few areas where it could be improved. The absence of advanced features like a fully digital instrument cluster or LED lighting may be a drawback for some buyers. Additionally, the bike’s weight of 205 kg might be a bit on the higher side for some riders.

Despite these minor limitations, the Benelli Imperiale 400 remains a strong contender in the cruiser segment. It offers a premium and enjoyable riding experience that appeals to riders who appreciate the charm of classic motorcycles. For those who prioritize style, comfort, and a relaxed riding experience, the Imperiale 400 is definitely worth considering.