Many motorcycle enthusiasts, including me, thought that Benelli had vanished from the scene.
But Benelli is slowly making its presence felt again among the motorcycles manufacturers for the last five years.
Now, Benelli is owned by the Qianjian Group of China.
Despite the change in the ownership, all Benellis are still produced in their Italian factory at Pesaro.
When I was introduced to Benelli Tre 1130 K, I had mixed feelings.
I was not sure what to expect out of this 1,131cc machine.
At first look, the overall design of the bike was not appealing and it is very surprising that the Italians did not pay attention to the aesthetics of TRE1130K.
The Benelli Tre 1130 K’s engine uses an in-line three-cylinder set-up.
The maximum power and torque, respectively 123hp (92kW) at 9,000rpm and 112Nm at 5,000rpm.
This bike is fitted with electronic injection, overhead double camshaft timing system, four valves per cylinder, clutch with hydraulic control and six-speed gearbox.
The Benelli’s ability on the road was put to test during my ride from Kuala Lumpur to Teluk Intan, Perak.
The motorcycle has an upright riding position, decent saddle and an acceptable level of protection against the wind.
It is very obvious that Benelli has paid a lot of attention to the ergonomics as opposed to comfy seats.
My reach to the handlebar is easy and the seat-to-peg distance is perfect, making long distance journeys a blissful experience.
However, the Tre 1130 K does not have any electronic aides unlike other touring motorcycles.
There are no gadgets to play with.
It is a simple bike with loads of raw power that promises to excite and thrill any rider.
The Benelli’s front section is built on tubular steel trellis which is completed by aluminium alloy cast plates to give a sporty look.
The swing arm also has a trellis structure, with a large cam that allows effortless and quick adjustment of the final drive chain.
The noise from the engine was loud and rude. There was so much of mechanical noise.
And for your information, all Benellis do sound like that.
After four days with the bike, I started to warm up to the engine sound.
It reminded me of how I reacted negatively to the Ducati engine sound when I was first introduced to the red machine.
On the highway stretch from Sungai Buloh to Bidor, I was clocking high speeds with relative ease.
The Benelli has plenty of power in reserve and I was always tempted to unleash it and tear up the highway on the early Sunday morning ride.
The Tre 1130 K has a lovely rumble when you twist the throttle for power.
The engine is lovely and allows you to zoom the motorcycle out from tight corners on second gear.
I could not have asked for better throttle response, every single twist on the throttle was a pleasure with even power delivery.
There were times, I felt slight vibration when I was on the first and second gear but the minute I am on higher gears, the vibration disappeared.
I was grinning like a Cheshire cat the minute I was cruising on the 5th and 6th gear. The ride was smooth and it was fulfilling.
Meanwhile on the trunk roads from Bidor to Teluk Intan, I realised that the suspension is a bit stiff but still pleasant enough.
The fully adjustable Marzocchi 50mm inverted forks and Sachs rear shock work together symbiotically to soak up the imperfection of the rough roads giving me a nice riding experience.
Meanwhile brakes were super- efficient.
A must mention is that the rear brake – a two-piston Brembo caliper with a 240mm disc – has a fierce bite. One must be gentle with this.
The front brake is a pair of four-piston Brembo calipers pinching two 320mm floating discs which is more predictable. You can’t go wrong with Brembo brakes.
The Benelli is definitely a right fit for any road touring but don’t expect too much off-road ability.
The Tre 1130 K is designed to be fast, smooth, nimble with near to perfect ergonomics with abundance of torque.
Besides, being a simple touring machine packed with loads of power, the Tre 1130 K priced at RM71,999 (without road tax and insurance) gives sheer motorcycle riding enjoyment.
Isn’t that what motorcycle riding is all about?