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Benelli Back in the US, but Without the TNT or the Tornado

Benelli returns to the United States and will be sold by importer SSR Motorsports, who is also a dealer for Keeway scooters. SSR Motorsports becomes the official Benelli distributor nationwide, so we can expect that these bikes will become once more a common presence on the streets.
Benelli BN600i 1 photo
Unlike traditional distributors, SSR will only makes sales towards dealers via telephone and the internet. That is, SSR will not have their own sales network with showrooms and all, but will rather rely on other established sellers and their infrastructure for pushing the bikes.

SSR has enlisted the help of former Suzuki chief of marketing and sales executive Mel Harris to run the sales and recruitment departments. Harris believes that SSR first has to establish a strong presence with the dealers selling smaller bikes, and only then making a move to bring in the big-bore ones.

The first Benelli machines SSR Motorsports will be bringing over to the States are the BN302 300cc twin and its bigger 600cc-class sibling BN600i. The BN302 and the BN600i will retail for $3,999 and $6,999 MSRPs, respectively, and will come with a 12-month warranty. Harris also adds that the margins for the dealers are also generous and expects that even Suzuki sellers pick these bikes up.How will the Benelli BN600i fare against the Yamaha FZ-07?
Benelli BN600i's biggest rival is also a fierce one, the Yamaha FZ-07. Retailing for the same price, the FZ-07 however benefits from a very strong brand reputation, excellent dealer network and spare parts availability, plus the recent modding kits custom builders crafted for Iwata's machines.

Benelli's bike is also a new kid on the block, but it will need the test of time to prove its reliability. The Qinjiang Group who owns Benelli has updated the line-up, knowing that the bigger 1130cc Tornado and TNT machines are still fighting with reliability issues and are also in dire need of a thorough update.

Even though the TNT and the Tornado were the best-loved Benelli bikes on most markets and Mel Harris said that other bikes will follow the initial two models, it's impossible to tell when the two will make it back to the US, if they will, anyway.


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