Benelli Imperiale 400 (Royal Enfield challenger) retro bike launch timeframe revealed

Benelli will launch its first retro-styled bike – the Imperiale 400 – by the middle of 2018. The bike is expected to take on the Royal Enfield Classic range of retro-styled motorcycles. Benelli revealed the Imperiale 400 at the recently concluded EICMA 2017 motorcycle show.

The bike is expected to enter India for ARAI homologation in March 2018. It is also likely to be shown at the upcoming 2018 Indian Auto Expo, the biggest car and motorcycle exhibition of India, which happens once in two years. Next year, the Auto Expo will happen in early February.

Coming back to the Imperiale 400, the bike shown at EICMA featured a 373cc, single cylinder four stroke engine. This air cooled engine produced a peak power of 20 PS at 5,500 rpm and a peak torque of 28 Nm at 3,500 rpm. These figures indicate that the bike’s engine is in a very conservative state of tune, and is meant to deliver strong low end torque rather than outright power at the high-end. A five speed gearbox transmits torque to the rear wheel through a chain drive. Fuel injection is standard, and so is ABS. The engine gets overhead camshafts.

The bike features a 19 inch front wheel and a 17 inch rear wheel, and weighs a hefty 200 kilograms. It has telescopic front suspension and gas filled shock absorbers at the rear. The bike gets retro styling, similar to what is offered on the Royal Enfields, but looks slightly dated.

The Imperiale 400 looks like a bike from the 1980s. Benelli is likely to assemble this bike locally so that it can price it competitively. We expect a starting price tag well under Rs. 2 lakhs as Benelli needs sharp pricing to challenge the established competition – Royal Enfield.