Whip up a storm

We were recently faced with a furious Italian on two wheels. Luckily, we came away feeling nothing but a serious rush of adrenaline...

it's all in the name

Meet the Benelli TNT 899 (₹9.75lacs, ex-showroom Mumbai). The TNT in its name stands for Tornado Naked Tre (Tre being three in Italian, denoting the number of cylinders under its belly). By no means any less explosive than the more traditional TNT you have in mind.

brute force

Look around, and you’ll notice enough detail to keep your eyes peeled and your heart hooked. The brand’s been around for over a century, but the 899’s edgy styling is both modern and eyegrabbing in every way.

hulking up

Side-mounted radiators, chunky front forks and an underseat exhaust complement its unhinged character. The bright red tresle steel runs through its body like throbbing veins through a beast. It gets its grunt from a liquid-cooled, in-line, three-cyl 898cc unit pumping out 120bhp.

Is it a serious threat to its Japanese rival ?

Kawasaki’s Z800 is what the Benelli has to fend off. Opt for the Jap and you save well over a lac. But that’s not all. You also get laser-sharp handling, supreme refinement and futuristic looks - all things that appeal to your logical side. The 899, on the other side, is rough around the edges and has its quirks. But it’s packed full of character and has its moments - the kind a Japanese machine just can’t match.

fire in the hole

Fire it up, and some might say at idle it sounds no different than a truck. A simple twist of the throttle can silence any such naysayers. Hop on, and the comfortable riding position takes any load off your wrists and back.

raging bull

The ride is perfectly in sync with its looks. Few modern electronics here. Just pure pleasure for riding enthusiasts. Quick acceleration, great handling and at over 5000rpm, a raw and throaty exhaust note that can give you goosebumps.

We'll leave you with a little taste of the madness it dishes out...

Photography: Pratik Khot