QUIKSPIN: Benelli TNT R160 - Cos I’m TNT

01 February 2013

After an absence of a couple of years, Benelli is back on the Aussie market with a range of motorcycles thanks to Melbourne-based importer FX Powersports, who also looks after the Bimota brand locally. The new TnT R160 looks very similar to the TnT Sport that was previously available. Significantly it’s now a couple of grand cheaper than before at $21,990 on-road. 

On the mechanical front, the TnT still sports that angry 1131cc fuel-injected triple, but it now pumps out more power and torque than before – up 15kW to a claimed 116kW (158hp) at 10,200rpm and 3Nm to 120Nm at 8400rpm. 

The engine isn’t the most refined thing around – in fact it’s far from it – but it certainly makes more than enough mumbo throughout the rev range. It pulls hard from as low as 3000rpm, has enough midrange that you can be super lazy with the gearbox, and a potent top-end that will match pretty much any other nakedbike on the market. 

On the downside, it’s noisy. Pull up on the side of the road and you’ll hear your mates screaming at you to turn it off. Pull in the lever on the dry clutch and the cacophony subsides slightly. But once moving the note improves, and the vibes start to even out. 

The engine is mated to a six-speed box with a nice spread of ratios. Top gear sees the tacho on a lazy 4000rpm at 100km/h, but at these revs there’s still plenty of grunt for overtaking without a downshift. 

Despite the age of the design, the TnT’s chassis is still up there with the best of the nakedbikes. The front-end with its big 50mm USD Marzocchi fork offers great feel and is seriously confidence inspiring. You can go deep into corners, brake late and tip the thing hard onto its side. It’s even quite compliant on bumpy surfaces. The Sachs shock doesn’t quite match the standard of the front-end, but it offers reasonable compliance and decent control. 

Big 320mm floating wave-discs gripped by Brembo Monobloc calipers offer more than enough braking power. The rear brake also offers good power and feel, and the lever is well situated.

The engine gets a little hot and bothered around town, and the heat coming off the side-mounted radiators can be a bit much in heavy traffic on a hot day, but get this angry Italian out of town and it feels much more at home. The instruments are well laid out and easy to read, with an analogue tacho and digital speedo, but do you think I could figure out how to reset the trip? Not on your life. 

Despite its competitive pricing, you won’t find the Benelli TnT at the top of the sales charts – this really is a machine that only enthusiasts are likely to buy. But if you’re into angry Italians, then this one fits the bill.

Configuration In-line three-cylinder
Cylinder head DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Capacity 1131cc
Bore/stroke 88 x 62mm
Compression ratio 12.5:1
Cooling Liquid
Fueling EFI, 3 x 53mm throttle bodies
Power 116kW @ 10,200rpm (claimed)
Torque 120Nm @ 8400rpm (claimed)
Type Six-speed
Clutch Dry, slipper
Final drive Chain
Frame material Tubular steel with cast
aluminium engine plates
Frame layout Twin spar
Rake 24?
Trail 95mm
Front: 50mm USD fork, fully adjustable,
120mm travel
Rear: Monoshock, fully adjustable,
120mm travel
Wheels Five-spoke, forged aluminium alloy
Front: 17 x 3.5 Rear: 17 x 6.0
Tyres Michelin Pilot Power
Front: 120/70ZR17 (58W)
Rear: 190/50ZR17 (73W)
Front: Twin 320mm wave discs, four-piston
radial mounted calipers
Rear: 240mm wave disc, two-piston caliper
Weight 202kg (dry, claimed)
Seat height 830mm
Max width 790mm
Max height 1050mm
Wheelbase 1443mm
Fuel capacity 16L
Fuel consumption 7.9L/100km (tested)
Top speed Over 240km/h
Great performance
Sweet chassis
Awesome brakes
Bloody noisy
Engine vibes
Heat off radiators


Protect your Benelli. Call Shannons Insurance on 13 46 46 to get a quote today.