The 2021 Benelli TRK502X is bringing a midsize adventure to the motorcycle market at an attractive price point. At $ 6,399, the 500cc twin costs $ 500 more than the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 ABS and $ 600 less than the Honda CB500X ABS. That puts you in an open niche for price. Although it is a new model for the United States, the Benelli TRK502 platform has been around since 2017, so the first users have already fixed some major bugs. We came in wondering how good this Benelli ADV motorcycle could be at its value price.
- Benelli is undoubtedly an iconic motorcycle brand, although it needs some background for many. Celebrating its 110th anniversary in 2021, Benelli has survived many twists and turns. Since 2005, Benelli has been owned by the Qianjiang Group, a $ 500 million Chinese empire that manufactures a wide range of electrical equipment, as well as ATVs, scooters and motorcycles. However, Benelli motorcycles are still designed in Italy, although they are made in China with Chinese-designed engines. In 2015, SSR Motorsports in Southern California became Benelli’s distributor in the United States.
- There are two Benelli TRK502 versions: the standard version and the more dirt-oriented X version in this test. There are wire-spoked wheels at both ends with a 19-inch front on the TRK502X, the X’s suspension travel is 0.4 inches longer, the X has Metzeler Tourance tires for rolling dirt, and there’s a center stand. That’s a wide range of upgrades for a price that’s just $ 400 higher than the standard TRK502.
- The first concern most people will have with a Chinese-made motorcycle is build quality. The 2021 Benelli TRK502X has an impressive fit and trim level. Designed in Italy, it is certainly elegant. All plastic, aluminum and metal parts look good and everything fits perfectly. There are plenty of aluminum parts (muffler, forearm straps, tapered handlebar, luggage rack) to match the components you would expect to be heavier metals such as the crash protectors, center stand, and windshield tie rod. The Chinese-designed engine doesn’t make any strange internal sounds, and that’s a nice tone from the muffler. While we can’t talk about long-term reliability, the TRK502X gives us confidence.
- When you get on the TRK502X, you will immediately notice that it is a large motorcycle. Immediately, its 518-pound curb weight (more than a BMW F 850 GS and Honda Africa Twin) catches your eye because you have to lift it off a somewhat short kickstand. The 33.1-inch seat height puts it on par with the Ducati Multistrada 950 and BMW S 1000 XR, so it balances the leg quite high on the seat with lots of steps. The high bend handlebar is wide enough to give good leverage. Once mounted, my 30.5-inch inseam means I tiptoe at stops in ADV boots. However, the Benelli is balanced and doesn’t feel too heavy. The seat / pegs / cuff triangle is natural and spacious. While the tank holds 5.3 gallons, it is not wide where your knees hug it. Although getting on board is arduous, it is comfortable in the TRK502X’s wide seat.
- Everything is fine with the view from the cockpit. The windshield is tall and robustly reinforced, although it is not adjustable. It’s a split board with a large analog tachometer on the left and an LCD display on the right. The dash shows you what you need to know: a large mph reading, medium-sized speed position indicator, plus a small digital clock and trip meter. A multi-bar fuel gauge is always in your field of view, although the sensor in the tank is susceptible to chassis passage. The switch looks a bit rudimentary, though it does have a high-end feel after dark as it lights up attractively. The grips feel good and the serrated steel footpegs have removable rubber inserts. Between the ergonomics, the controls, and the dash, the Benelli doesn’t remind you that it’s only $ 6,399.
- A slightly oversized, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected DOHC parallel twin powers the 2021 Benelli TRK502X. Although not the most aesthetically appealing engine, it produces good power at accessible rpm. Torque peaks at 6000 rpm and power peaks at 8500 rpm. The redline is 9000 rpm and easily accessible, with no resistance to revs. …