Benelli Australia has announced the release of a special edition for it’s TNT 1130 series, titled the TNT 1130R Carbon Edition. And as you may have surmised from it’s name, it features large amounts of carbon fiber to reduce it’s weight to 443lb, a reduction of merely 2 pounds from the standard 1130R.
The price for all that fancy carbon fibre (and some other bits and pieces) is $23,490 Australian Dollars (approximately $22,000 USD). The bike isn’t on sale in the United States yet, but given the TNT Cafe Racer is sold in both markets (and costs $16,299 in the United States), we can estimate that the price would be a shade under $20,000 USD.
The question needs to be asked – would anyone pay that much for a Chinese bike? Now Benelli isn’t Chinese in the strictest sense of the word, as it has a lot of Italian history. It was however purchased by Chinese manufacturer Qianjiang back in 2005 with a large proportion of Benelli bikes manufactured in the Asian country.
This particular bike is supposedly manufactured in Italy, but it is still a large amount of money to pay for a motorcycle whose parent company specializes in churning out mass market small capacity bikes for the Chinese market.
Edit – We’re having difficulty confirming this bikes country of manufacture. Some sources say that Benelli only has an R&D/Design center in Italy and all production is in China. Other source say they still have a factory in Italy.
The argument is even harder to make when you could purchase a tried and tested (and critically acclaimed) Ducati Panigale 1199 for under $19,000. So would you go Chinese for nearly $20,000?