Are Benelli Motorcycles Good? [Reliability & Common Issues]

are benelli motorcycles reliable

Are Benelli motorcycles reliable? It’s a simple question that demands a rather complex answer. Before answering that, let’s get a basic overview of this Italian motorcycle brand. Benelli is one of the oldest Italian motorbike companies. It has been actively producing motorbikes since it was founded in 1911 (about 111 years ago).

In 2005, Benelli became a subsidiary of Qianjiang Motorcycle, owned by Geely Holding Group. However, key functions such as design, development, and marketing are still carried out from the company’s Pesaro Headquarters. Whereas, manufacturing and assembly are carried out in China. 

These developments (especially manufacturing in China) created doubts about Benelli’s reliability, with most enthusiasts claiming the newer models are a Chinese knockoff of their predecessors. 

There is a surge in user complaints about Benelli’s bikes, and instead of being biased, let’s be subjective and discuss some common issues that occur in Benelli’s bikes, along with their causes.

The brand focuses on making functional and well-equipped bikes for their price range. Benelli isn’t for you if you’re seeking cutting-edge, modern technology. However, it is still a reliable and dependable brand even though its service and parts availability need improvement.

What Are the Common Issues Found in Benelli Bikes?

Benelli used to be a trusted name in the superbike category, but today, it doesn’t focus on finesse. Instead, it keeps the pricing most competitive. For example, users looking for 150cc or 10-20 HP should consider TNT and TRK, as both of them are bargain upgrades. 

To be fair, consider what type of bike to buy and why you’re buying it. Obviously, switching from a Kawasaki Ninja to a Benelli Naked will leave much to be desired. If you are a touring enthusiast, then a TRK502 with a 5L engine will be a perfect choice. It comes with comfortable long grips, excellent mileage, superior road comfort, and stunning road presence. 

The real issue is that biking is a choice from the heart. However, most bikers who buy a motorbike aren’t bikers but commuters. Benelli bikes don’t feel like a Chinese replica, according to professional reviews.  Surely, they made a critical error of not upgrading their bikes, and the engines are old. This is why Benelli’s superbike feels flat; they lack proper torque.

Is Benelli Still a Succesful Company?

Benelli is one of the ancient Italian motorcycle brands. The company recently celebrated its 110th anniversary. Sure, the company has seen better days, and it has its share of unsatisfied customers. Still, Benelli managed to increase its sales by 58% in 2021 and is among the fast-growing bike manufacturers, thanks to its aggressive price and a wide array of models. 

This worthy achievement is a result of Benelli’s expansion strategy, which includes an R&D and European operation base. The production volume is optimized according to other owned brands. There is a wide range of motorcycles and scooters in low displacement (125cc – 500cc), all equipped with essential bells and whistles, modern style, and decent pricing. 

The combination of these strategies helped Benelli become a fast-growing bike company. Between 2016-2022, Benelli’s sales increased by a staggering 345%, with sales increasing by +31% in 2020 alone. In 2021, Benelli made the highest sales record for the ninth consecutive time, with a sales boost of +21%.

How Is Benelli Doing Now?

Benelli is continuing to move up after experiencing a record year in 2021. With the revelation of their upcoming TRK 502, 10,000 have been sold so far. This model was the best-selling bike in Italy, selling over 6,000 units within 12 months. Even after its Chinese acquisition, Benelli maintains its strong links with its Italian heritage and has a 10.6% market share in Italy.

In 2021, Benelli managed to sell 12,706 units in Italy. Moreover, the brand enjoyed stable growth in the Australian market, with a rapid 85% growth in 2021 alone, even when there was a stock shortage. According to Benelli Distributors, the 500cc category has been a hit in Australian and New Zealand markets. 

What Do People Get Wrong About Benelli?

Benelli bikes had pure Italian engineering in their design and engine DNA. However, its Chinese acquisition, changing focus from heavy to lighter bikes, and implementing an aggressive price strategy make some royal fans (of classic Benelli Superbikes) feel left behind.

Being a classic name and history of motorsports, it’s not surprising that most beginners buy Benelli bikes without research or understanding their weak and strong points. In addition, these buyers don’t search the service network and part availability in their area. This lack of research and unpleasant surprise leads to nothing but disappointment. 

To tell the truth, Benelli wouldn’t have enjoyed massive growth in recent years if it had some quality issues. The company just evolved, and some consumers either didn’t catch up or failed to understand this change. These reasons have, over the year, given Benelli a bad name, with people questioning the brand’s reliability. 

So, if you want to buy a Benelli bike and wonder whether it’s a sound investment, continue reading.

What Do We Think?

Before you ask, “Are Benelli motorcycles reliable?” ask these questions first:

  • Are you investing in your niche?
  • Do you know about the highs and lows of the particular model you are buying?
  • Do you understand the difference between the purpose of a high-performance, computer and a tourer bike, and what these machines are designed for?
  • Did you research your local marketplace to help prepare yourself for after-sales with parts and consumables for the regular wear and tear? Plus, what to do if you get involved in an accident?
  • Have you researched the cost of ownership besides the actual cost of the bike?
  • Do you still think there is a perfect brand? Or will you research to buy the best bike according to your use?

The true challenge lies at the buyer’s end. Benelli is a decent brand, but it doesn’t compete with Ducati. Currently, Benelli has some decent models, including:

  • TNT 899N
  • TNT 1130
  • TNT 600i
  • TNT 302r
  • TRK 502
  • BN 125

If you are looking for modern and cutting-edge technology, then Benelli is not for you. These bikes don’t boast the best engine. Instead, Benelli’s speciality lies in raw bikes that are practical and well-equipped for their class. Sure, the service network and parts availability could be better, but Benelli is still a reliable brand.