Benelli today launched the BS6 version of its RE 350 and Jawa competitor, the Imperiale 400. The sticker price has gone up, but Benelli has introduced a few segment-best warranty and service packages for this mini Bonneville. Before I tell you all about it, I should first clarify that with a wheelbase of 1,440 mm, which is just 10 mm shorter than the Triumph Bonneville T100's, the "mini Bonneville" tag here should be seen with reference to the Imperiale's cubic capacity (374 cc), and not the actual size of the motorcycle because there's nothing "mini" about this Benelli.
For those of you who might still be confused about the Bonneville reference, please read our "short story on the best modern classic bikes in India" where I've explained that reference while also comparing it to the RE 350 and Jawa. Now let's talk about the bike we have here, which is the BS6 version of the Benelli Imperiale 400.
Benelli Imperiale 400 BS6 power, torque, acceleration, top speed, weight, seat height, and fuel efficiency
Well, nothing, and that's a good thing. See, at a time when most motorcycles are gaining weight and losing power (the most horrid combination for any motorcycle) in the BS6 transition, this Benelli managed to neither gain weight (wet weight is still 205 kg) nor lose power. Therefore, it's still good for 21 PS of peak power and 29 Nm of peak torque. What's even better is that the torque now peaks a thousand revs earlier—3,500 rpm (it was 4,500 rpm on the BS4 bike). The power now peaks at 6,000 rpm though, which is 500 revs more than the BS4 bike.
What does all that mean for you? Better acceleration, in both standing start sprints and in-gear roll-ons; better tractability, and—I'm sticking my neck out for this—a shade better top speed. That's improvement everywhere in the rev range, then! I can't recall saying that for any other BS6 vehicle as yet.
For perspective, on the BS4 bike, I had achieved 0-100 km/h in 11.1 seconds, 0-120 km/h in 17.1 seconds, and a top speed of around 137-138 km/h. Also, though one cannot do a tankful-to-tankful fuel efficiency test on a media ride, I could still guess Imperaile 400's fuel efficiency to be around 30 km/l. And for those of you who want to know the BS4 Imperiale 400's cruising speed in top (5th) gear, here they are:
62 km/h at 3,000 rpm
82 km/h at 4,000 rpm
102 km/h at 5,000 rpm
110 km/h at 5,500 rpm
122 km/h at 6,000 rpm
130 km/h at around 6,300 rpm
I'll repeat these tests, and share the results with you, when I get the BS6 bike for review.
Please also note that the BS6 Imperiale 400 retains the best-in-class switchgear that comprises a pass/flasher switch, hazard lights, and a span adjustable front brake lever. The best-in-class instrument cluster has also been retained, obviously. There are two dials, one for rpm and the other for speed (with markings in both mph and km/h); a digital fuel gauge, gear position indicator, two trip meters, and a clock too. The seat height still remains a very approachable 780 mm.
Benelli Imperiale 400 BS6 price, warranty, and service packages
The Imperiale 400 BS6 now starts at Rs 1.99 lakh (ex-showroom) for the silver bike, while the other two colours (red and black), like earlier, are ten thousand rupees dearer. However, Benelli India has rolled out some really considerate care packages which should ensure peace of mind for prospective buyers of the Imperiale 400. Here's what the company says it's providing:
1. Access to an exclusive Riding Community – Imperiale Raiders
2. Best-in-class 3-year unlimited-kilometers warranty as standard
3. Complimentary service for the first 2 years covering 5 periodic maintenance services
4. Service cost of Rs. 8,936 + tax, inclusive of labour for the 5 periodic maintenance services
5. AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract) cost of just Rs. 1,500 + tax for the 3rd year periodic maintenance services
6. Pick and drop service
7. 24/7 Roadside Assistance
Most of these points are self-explanatory; however, I thought that YOU, the prospective buyer, might need more clarity on a few of them. Honestly, I needed it as well. Therefore, I contacted Benelli India to get more details, and they promptly obliged. Let me reproduce below the exact conversation between IBTimes and Benelli India.
IBT: If service for the first two years, covering five periodic maintenance services, is complimentary, then what is the service cost of Rs 8,936 plus taxes for?
Benelli India: Labour is complimentary (labour charges waived off) for the five services in the first two years. The aforesaid amount is for the spares and consumables.
IBT: What all does AMC cover?
Benelli India: It covers:
1) Complimentary labour – Two services
2) Complimentary wash – One
3) Five per cent discount on genuine spares
4) Five per cent discount on genuine engine oil
IBT: How much does your RSA (Roadside Assistance) package cost?
Benelli India: Rs. 4,000 + tax for 2 years.
IBT: What are the service intervals (km) for the Imperiale 400?
Benelli India: The service intervals are:
1st service – 1000 km
2nd service – 6000 km
3rd service – 12,000 km
4th service – 18,000 km
5th service – 24,000 km
Benelli Imperiale 400 bookings are now open, and you may book it by paying a token amount of Rs. 6,000. Booking can be done on india.benelli.com or at your nearest Benelli India dealership. Deliveries of the motorcycle will begin from the 1st week of August 2020 onwards.