Recently, Benelli India launched the updated BSVI compliant TRK 502, the revised price tag makes it one of the cheapest 500cc Adventurer Tourer. Right before the 2021 lockdown hit, We got a chance to ride the New Benelli TRK 502 BSVI, and here is our report.
Adventure touring motorcycle is a growing segment, every biker has a Leh-Ladhak ride in his or her bucket list. As the class’s name suggests, adventure touring motorcycles are versatile machines built for near-unlimited two-wheeled freedom. They are engineered for both on and off-road riding, and, as such, feature long-travel suspension, ruggedized and often fortified frames, and powertrains, upright riding positions that are incredibly conducive to standing up on the pegs, typically loaded with spoked wheels in off-road-oriented sizes.
Affordable Adventure tourer now this is where we run out of options, We have the Himalayan from Royal Enfield, the KTM 390 Adventure and towards the higher end of the price spectrum, we have the Benelli TRK 502 and 502X, where the 502X is a more “extreme” version of the motorcycle. While the Himalayan and Adventure 390 are capable machines, they simply do not offer the “Big Bike” feel of the much more expensive full-blown Adventure tourers from BMW, Triumph, Kawasaki, and Honda. This is where the Benelli TRK 502 differentiates itself from the competition. The Benelli has a serious road presence and if attention is what you are looking at the TRK 502 will get you plenty.
The Benelli TRK 502 BSVI looks quite similar to the outgoing model, but there are small changes here and there. The front end gets an edgy headlamp design with LED daytime running lamps and an ADV beak protruding out quite similar to one of the Italian ADVs, the fat 50mm USD forks upfront, and the large fuel tank give the TRK 502 a very muscular stance.
With TRK 502, you get a lot of kits, a crash bar, an exposed trellis frame, and pannier mounts along with an upswept, side-mounted exhaust, a bolt-on carrier at the rear for top box, 17inch alloy wheels front and back with Pirelli Angel GT rubber.
The instrument cluster has been carried forward from the outgoing model, the digital-analog meters are now backlit. The switchgear has been updated and is backlit and feels very premium. Other small changes include - the front mudguard now has a body-colored finish, rather than black, like on the older model, the handguards are sturdier, and the mirrors get a textured finish and are vibration-free.
Adventure Touring Motorcycles are all about comfortably riding across all types of terrain, the rider's comfort is key here, unlike on a café racer or a sportbike which are typically meant for shorter rides. In terms of riding position, the TRK 502 offers a comfortable perch with a great commanding view. The seat height of 840mm was quite comfortable on-road and also during offroading. The Footpegs felt a bit forward while their positioning added to the overall comfortable posture, slightly rear-set footpegs would have been optimum for aggressive and relaxed riding styles. The Handlebars are wide and placed at just the right distance from where the rider is sitting, the only catch is while straddling the TRK 502, the handlebar felt a bit low, for my height (6Ft/184Cms). Shorter riders should be comfortable here. We took the Benelli TRK 502 for a 250kms ride, just before the COVID second wave of lockdown, the morning ride to the destination and back was supremely comfortable. The Stepped seats are wide and offer ample room to move about for the rider and the pillion as well. Overall riding through highways and a few trails the TRK 502 brought us home in full comfort.
Engine & Performance:
At the heart of the Benelli TRK502 is a BSVI compliant 499cc parallel-twin making 47.5 bhp @ 8500 RPM and 45 nm @ 6000 rpm and is mated to a smooth-shifting 6-speed transmission. For a motorcycle that weighs 235kgs, the numbers might feel underwhelming on paper, but it’s surprisingly strong and linear, especially the mid-range. This a vibration-free motor, except for the higher end of the rev band where it can be a bit buzzy. The sweet spot is between 4000-6000rpm with ample power and acceleration available. The motor does like to be pushed hard and we found ourselves hitting triple-digit speeds comfortably, The throttle response is no jerky leading to smooth transition through the gears. The TRK 502 BSVI could easily achieve 170kmph of top speed, with an enjoyable mid-range and a bit buzzy top end, the sweet-sounding exhaust note typically Benelli added to the experience.
The 6-Speed transmission is slick, and the gear ratios are well sorted for low-end grunt and a strong mid-range. The TRK 502 with its tall gearing can hold really low speeds and low RPMs without stalling, the light and precise clutch adds to the whole experience. The Dual 320mm disc up front provides ample stopping power, the ABS made sure there were no scary moments. The torquey nature of the 500cc parallel-twin made it surprisingly easy to potter around in the traffic, also we faced no heating issues even through peak hour traffic.
The Benelli TRK 502, it’s a great machine if you are on a budget, and touring is something that you want to do. The BSVI motorcycle gets minor changes here and there but it does get a price cut compared to the BSIV unit, The TRK 502 priced at Rs 4.8 Lakh is almost Rs 30,000 cheaper than the outgoing model. If you are looking for the Himalayan or the Adventure 390, the TRK 502 offers a lot more for a slightly higher price. At the same time, the competition on the other side of the price spectrum costs at least Rs 2 Lakh more including the New Honda 500X. While the company still needs to improve its touchpoints around the country, the Benelli TRK 502 is a great Adventure touring motorcycle with a high value for money quotient.