Imagine a metallic beast growling with its chrome teeth. Now picture the new Benelli Imperiale 400. Not much of a difference between those two, is there? This classic styled, single cylinder animal lets out a solitary roar in the sea of Royal Enfield classics and it is set to hit the Indian market by mid-2018. All of that muscle in India is going to give the Enfield a run for its money.
Unleashed at the EICMA 2017, DSK Benelli also announced the arrival of Imperiale to India at that time. This muscular bike is powered by a 373.5 cc, fuel injected, single cylinder engine. This engine makes just over 19 BHP at 5500 RPM and 28 Nm of peak torque at 3500 RPM . Paired with a five-speed gearbox, this motor sits in a tube-shaped double cradle frame. This frame is cushioned by 41 mm telescopic forks at the front and a dual shock setup at the rear. The standard ABS is paired by a 300 mm front and 240 mm rear disc brakes.
Its disparity with the Enfield starts with the weight of the mean machines. The Imperiale weighs 200 kg (without any fluids!) and tips the scale on the Royal Enfield Classic, which weighs 192 kg with 90% fuel. But, DSK Benelli has equipped the roadster with a modern FI system while the Classic still runs on an 29 mm carburetor. Furthermore, the Royal Enfield’s motor produces 0.1 HP less than its competitor.
Like the Royal Enfield Classic, the Imperiale also employs a 19 inch front and 18 inch rear wheel setup. The similarities do not end here: the Benelli features chrome fenders, a split seat design and an analogue instrument cluster with digital display.
Whether the Imperiale can vie with the iconic sound through its exhaust, a trait which was the factor for Royal Enfields success, is unknown at this point. The stylish and powerful Imperiale could be priced between INR 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh to put the heat on Enfield and could bring the number down depending on the demand.