Benelli’s 1130 TRE-K has been around for nigh on seven years and aside from a few minor tweaks to the gearbox, injectors and suspension, what was one of the original adventure tourers of modern times has remained relatively unchanged since its debut in 2006.
Starkly rudimentary compared to its 2013 contemporaries, the TRE-K is a motorcycle from the noughties – its radial-mounted Brembos have excellent bite and feel yet dismiss the modern ABS movement, its clutch is raw and often grabby; no slipper system here and while it does have a 20-cent-coin-sized power button that dumbs down the power considerably, it’s clumsy in its delivery compared to the refined multi-adjustable maps of up-to-the-minute machines and if you want to tweak the suspension, you’ll need tools to do so.
These points aren’t necessarily faults, after all this isn’t a comparo, but when you can buy say, a Yamaha Super Tenere for $19,990 (plus on roads) compared to the Benelli’s ride-away price of $17,990, then all of a sudden it’s relevant – but only if you want it.
Personally, I love its simplicity. Its raw triplecylinder power is perfectly suited to munch miles and there’s nothing refined about the way this thing gets its power to the ground. It’s very refreshing in today’s intrusive world of we’ll-make-your-decisions-for-you technology, and its exhaust note is delightfully tooloud and raspy compared to the cutting edge, too.
The engine is straight out of the Tornado superbike of a few years ago as it was intended for the track and that in itself is a boon for the class. Because while it looks more adventure than sport, the reality is it’s more sport than adventure. Sure, its ergonomics are comfort based, it has dual-sport rubber and long-travel suspension but TRE-K owners will do more black-top riding than off-road riding and will appreciate the 126 horses (93kw) of raw power and 112Nm punches of torque. It’s slightly thirsty at 7.5L/100km, but you could listen to that gnarly exhaust note all day long and I’m happy for the trade-off. It does boast a 21-litre fuel tank, so it’s not too bad between actual fuel stops.
The fully adjustable Sachs rear and 50mm Marzocchi USD fork are more than happy to play in the twisty stuff; the brakes are more than up for it and the excellent wind protection means you’ll do it for longer with less fatigue. It has a three-way adjustable screen, albeit flimsy plastic adjusters, and my 164cm frame found the lowest setting effective. The pillow-soft seat is thin meaning it’s super accessible for short riders and I cannot remember riding a more comfortable motorcycle in terms of the peg-bar-seat ergonomics.
While on paper the 1130 TRE-K could be perceived as undeveloped, but when you’ve got your bum in the seat and the exhaust note ringing in your ears your ears, plus the attractive price tag, you’re reminded the bike’s behaviour is well and truly in your hands. And it’s a very nice change.
Configuration In-line three-cylinder
Cylinder head DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Bore/stroke 88 x 62mm
Compression ratio 11.6:1
Fueling EFI, 3 X 53mm throttle bodies
Power 92kW @ 9000rpm (claimed)
Torque 112Nm @ 5000rpm (claimed)
Final drive Chain
Frame material Steel
Frame layout Trellis
Front: 50mm USD fork, fully adjustable,
Rear: Monoshock, fully adjustable,
Wheels Aluminium alloy
Front: 17 x 3.5 Rear: 17 x 6
Tyres Pirelli Scorpion Trail
Front: Twin 320mm discs, four-piston calipers
Rear: 240mm disc, two-piston caliper
Weight 208kg (dry, claimed)
Seat height 850mm
Max width 850mm
Max height 1320mm
Fuel capacity 22L
Fuel consumption 7.5L/100km (claimed)
Top speed 230km/h (est)
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