In mid-2018, DSK Benelli will soon launch a retro-motorcycle that’ll challenge Royal Enfield. The motorcycle will be called the Imperiale 400, and will feature an air cooled engine, styling from the 1980s and a relaxed riding position. It’ll launched by the middle of 2018, and will take on the 350cc motorcycle range from Royal Enfield, which includes the Classic and Bullet.
The Imperiale’s 373 cc four stroke, air-cooled single cylinder engine will produce 19.7 Bhp of peak power ar 5,500 rpm and 28 Nm of peak torque at 3,500 rpm. It’ll have a five speed manual gearbox as standard. There will be fuel injection as standard though. These specifications make the Imperiale very similar to Royal Enfields sold in India currently. What’s more, the Imperiale is quite heavy as well, with a kerb weight of 200 kilograms.
Well, that makes it heavier than all Royal Enfields, and hints at metal used everywhere. So, Royal Enfield fans now have another ‘all-metal’ bike to gloat over. Other cycle parts of the motorcycle include telescopic front forks, gas charged twin shock absorbers at the rear, a chain drive, hydraulic disc brakes on both wheels and dual channel ABS. The motorcycle is likely to be priced well below Rs. 2 lakhs.
For long, buyers in India have never had access to affordable retro-motorcycles except for the ones produced by Royal Enfield. That makes a new brand coming into this segment quite exciting. If Benelli manages to shake up this market, where Royal Enfield is very, very strong, more such retro-style motorcycles will be launched by leading companies such as TVS Motors, Bajaj and even Honda. Honda has patented the Rebel 300 while TVS Motors is building a 220cc, Bonneville-like retro motorcycle based on the recently showcased Zeppelin cruiser concept. Later this year, Cleveland Cycles will also launch 3 new, retro-themed motorcycles.