The Benelli/Qianjiang arrangement seems to be pushing along as strong as ever, with new machines continuing to come to market. Now, we see photos of a new adventure bike, which will be marketed as the Benelli TRK800 in Europe, and the QJ Motor SRB 750 Adventure in China and other Asian markets. But, as is typical with the company’s products, there’s no telling whether it will come to North America, or when that might happen. Benelli sells bikes in the US, but they’re not widely available or visible.
Benelli is one of Europe’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers, but since the brand was purchased by Chinese manufacturer Qianjiang in 2005, the company has changed its focus. Up to the 2000s, Benelli built glam-looking Euro-style nakeds and sportbikes, particularly the TNT line. However, the company has focused on more budget-oriented models. Some of the company’s business is still run out of the Italian HQ, but the manufacturing side of operations runs out of China. Qianjiang builds the machines in-country, and sells them not only under the Benelli brand, but also as QJ Motors. Frequently, you’ll see the same machine in both lineups, with only minor differences.
This seems to be the case with the Benelli TRK800, or as it’s known in China, the QJ Motor SRB 750 Adventure. It’s not an entry-level bike, but would still be on the value-oriented end of the spectrum. It’s based around a parallel twin engine, with liquid-cooled 752 cc engine. It should make around 75 horsepower, give or take a couple of ponies, and just under 50 pound-feet of torque.
That’s a surprisingly proper engine for a China-built bike (as Motorrad points out, it would compare to even some German-built bikes). It sounds as if the rest of the bike will have decent specs as well. Reports out of Asia indicate the bike will get Kayaba suspension (non-adjustable), Brembo brakes, and Bosch ABS. It sounds as if 17-inch wheels are standard, though, so this is aimed at street riding.
It’s also supposed to come with a TFT screen, backlit switches, adjustable windscreen, and likely heated grips and cruise control.
Sign of things to come?
Again, this machine will raise the bar for China-built bikes. But, if this 750/800 really does appear in showrooms soon, expect other, similar made-in-China machines with high specs to follow. KTM appears to be ready to sell a Chinese-built 750 adventure bike soon, too. Expect other manufacturers to follow suit.