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Famous Benelli Bikes Back In Full Force

The legendary Italian motorbike manufacturer has seen many changes during a history that started way back in Pesaro, Italy back in 1911. The company survived world wars to develop models that made a name in racing. By 1973, legendary Argentine motorcycle developer Alejandro de Tomaso acquired the Benelli brand as well as Benelli chief competitor, Moto Guzzi, and pumped new life into the brand with a number of new multi-cylinder models including some six cylinder 750cc models. By the 1980's the Benelli bikes began to fall on hard times once again, and the latest revival of this legendary brand is by a new owner, Chinese motorcycle manufacturer, Qianjiang Group.

Under the leadership of the new Chinese owners, the Benelli nameplate is reemerging on a new line of high-end motor scooters such as the brand new Benelli X50 model which just hit dealers floors only days ago. The X50 features a sort of hybrid sport bike-ATV-like macho styling and has a top speed of 45mph. It features an aircraft-styled gas filler cap, dual headlights, 5 position adjustable rear shock absorber, wild high tech styling. However with a very tall seat height of 32.5 inches, this bike might just be more limited to taller riders. But the fit and finish quality are superb. And the custom-styled tuned exhaust is a real trick feature that you usually find on customized scooters, not on models straight off the dealer floor.

For around $2,800 when dealer preparation and setup. license, shipping, etc. are included, the X50 is a very cool little ride. It also has just about the biggest and fattest almost ATV-like tread design tires on 10inch wheels that I've ever seen in my whole life. A 90cc model will be available soon as well, with even bigger 12inch wheels and tires. The tires on the X50 look super grippy, and more than ready for almost any road conditions compared to some more slippery looking and sometimes handling tires on some other scooter brands.

My tires on my CPI remind me of a racing design, almost like semi-slicks, and are absolutely fine for well paved faster speed streets, but leave you with a real uneasy feel on those less well paved side streets or hills, where you get a more than creepy uneasy feeling that you could lose it if you don't really watch where you're treading. But the tires on Benelli X50 look nearly glued to the ground by comparison, but it is the extremely high seat height, with a very high center of gravity that could still give a few riders an uneasy feel for this bike. But for taller riders, this bike might just be the prescription.

While the older Benelli name was most often associated with racing motorcycles, the new Chinese owners are reinventing the name by combining it with the Chinese expertise in scooter design, making the Benelli name a new force in high-end motor scooters and revolutionary daring new designs that break from the normal conventions of most scooter designs. And the quality control looks very good on every Benelli model built by Qianjiang. Each new model looks more impressive than the last one brought to the marketplace.

It looks like the famous Benelli name is back in full force once again. Live hard. ride hard.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Rating: 2.3/5 (3 votes cast)

Comments (13)


Are you giving the impression that you wrote this??

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Are you suggesting that he didn't?


Does he have a secret job with the Chinese Manufacturing News?

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Do you have a life besides trolling our comment threads? In fact, do you have a blog somewhere? I'd love to read what you find interesting.

Paul's into scooters, and knows a lot about chinese-built scooters in particular.

Feel free to ask intelligent questions -- maybe a relative or friend can help you with that task.


You can ban me and then I can make fun of you on lots of other sites. Never mind, I already do that!

I never got an answer; does Paul imply this is his article?

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

That's what I was afraid of... you don't have any friends. Maybe I can help... hmmm.

Hey, you're in luck Denise. I found a group of folks that you have a lot in common with - right here

You can ban me and then I can make fun of you on lots of other sites. Never mind, I already do that!"

Now you have more time to devote to that. Enjoy!

Denise, I don't really understand the purpose for some of your comments here if you're not really offering any constructive opinions on the topic at hand.

A legendary Italian motorcycle manufacturer that has built awesome racing machines since 1911 has fallen on some hard economic times despite building some great products because they lacked the huge dealer network, advertising budgets, etc. of their stronger Japanese competitors and first an Argentine businessman attempted to rescue the brand name, but more recently a Chinese company made a deal to purchase the company which preserves the quality associated with the brand name as well as keeps open the Italian design studios in Pesaro, Italy where every model will built to Italian standards for designs built for beauty in form, function and performance.

I'm very impressed with every one of the new Benelli models and absolutely fell in love with the X50 which just arrived at Portland's only Benelli dealer this last Tuesday. I really wanted to buy one of these bikes which was priced at $2800, but the seat height is simply too tall for a 5foot7 rider like myself so I had to pass on this model. It was indeed heartbreaking to me because I love every detail of this new styled bike with a rugged ATV-like stance and design , and real grippy ATV-like tires. It is indeed a beautiful machine, but simply built for taller riders closer to 6 feet tall.

It's just plain great to see the rescue of a legendary Italian motorcycle brand name, even if it's by a Chinese corporation, otherwise this legendary brand name might eventually disappear. And every product they build still looks very Italian in execution and quality as well. The Chinese are very good at motor scooter design and perfection and are drawing high praise for building a very good product line of high end motor scooters with the famous Benelli nameplate. These new Benelli products are every bit as decent as any older products that this company built in it's nearly 100 year old history.

Lee, I sure don't understand the trip that someone like a "Denise" is on here. She apparently has no knowledge of the subject at hand here, and just wants to fight with someone because there must not be a heck of a lot going on at her place today.

Heck, I just stopped in the house for a few minutes in between felling some small 20-25foot trees and bushes on my main property to get out of the heat for a few minutes and then I see this wacky trip that "Denise" is on here.

If she really intends to make fun of someone, then she needs to at least be intelligent enough to out-argue someone my means of a superior intellect or knowledge. But so far I haven't seen that displayed by her comments here at all.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I'm not surprised that conservatives get angry when faced with the realities in our posts (recession news, for example) and as long as they keep the conversation civil they are welcome to disagree and argue.

Some however just resort to content-less insults without any argument or debate -- zero added value. Just trolling for trouble. Denise evolved into one of those. Maybe it's Sunday afternoon boredom, maybe she's off her meds, who knows, and who cares...

Ray H.:

I'm not allowed to have a motor bike according to my wife :) She wants me to stay alive now that we have a 4 month old little girl.

Thanks for the information though. Sad though that everything we seem to buy ultimately comes from China any more. I guess that's what happens when you have 1b + people willing to work for $2 to $3 a day.

With the Olympics, there have been lots of interesting shows talking about China, specifically how they are advancing so quickly, but to me it seems they are advancing at the expense of the majority who are willing to dig holes by hand for freeway footers for $2 a day. (I believe I saw that on Dan Rather's discovery new program a few weeks back.)

I know not specific to Paul's article, but interesting anyway.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I parked my motorcycle when our first baby arrived - and then got back on a motorcycle 10 years later after I secured a 6-figure life insurance policy.

Ray H.:

6 figures won't give my daughter the father she deserves should the policy have to pay out.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

That's your choice, but life insurance is one way to deal with the concern over the dangers of driving a motorcycle. Congrats on the new addition...


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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