Staking a claim as Europe’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer, Benelli first opened as a repair shop, with matriarch Teresa Benelli overseeing her six sons. But it took ten years before the first Benelli bike hit the Italian market, powered by a 75cc single cylinder two-stroke developed the year before. By the 60s the company was turning out as many as 300 machines a day but the arrival and rapid rise of the Japanese manufacturers in the 70s took its toll, as it did on other European marques. By 1988 it was game over as the death knell was sounded by owner Alejandro de Tomas in 1988 who merged the struggling manufacturer with Moto Guzzi. But, to paraphrase an old Bob Dylan song, death was not the end with Benelli was revived to no small acclaim at the turn of the century, the Tornado 900 Tre sportsbike proving a real head-turner courtesy of stunning styling and the equally distinctive roar of its triple-cylinder engine.
Where? Despite falling under the wing of successive owners, including current proprietors, the Chinese Group Qianjiang, Benelli still manufactures in Pesaro, Italy.
What? Scooters, Naked, Sports, Tourers, Crosstourers, Sportstourers
Official website? Click for the official Benelli website.
FOR A GREAT QUOTE call 0330 024 0087
For the best quote chat to our friendly and informed UK-based call centre team