The Benelli you see here might look much the same as the 752S that was unveiled back in 2017 and finally reached the UK market in 2020 but it’s actually a second-generation model that promises a huge increase in performance.
Revealed in Chinese type-approval documents, the bike packs a 799cc version of Benelli’s parallel twin engine, replacing the 754cc unit in the existing model. While an extra 45cc wouldn’t normally amount to a big increase in performance, in this case Benelli has clearly put in some extra work as the result is an additional 20hp, taking the bike from 75hp to 95hp. In doing so, it shifts into a completely different part of the market. To match the capacity increase, we’re expecting the new Benelli to be renamed 802S – the ‘80’ representing the near-800cc capacity and the ‘2’ for twin-cylinder.
Getting 95hp from a 799cc parallel twin isn’t a problem – KTM’s old 790 Duke achieved much the same feat – but Benelli’s decision to tune its engine for extra power is intentional. We’ve already seen type-approval documents showing the Leoncino 800 (which also uses the 754cc twin despite its ‘800’ name) is getting the 799cc twin in future, albeit in lower-powered, 87hp form, and it’s likely that the TRK 800 will follow suit. That’s because Benelli is debuting a new 700cc (well, 698cc) twin with 75hp in an array of upcoming models starting with the TRK 702, which has been officially announced this month. Adding more capacity and performance to the existing twin-cylinder engine separates it from the new design and adds an extra layer to Benelli’s range.
The new type-approval documents show that the upcoming 802S carries over the same styling as the existing 752S, as well as most of its dimensions. Visual differences are extremely subtle: the wheels are a new five-spoke design, there are tweaks to the chain guard and number plate bracket, the wind deflector above the instruments is gone and the bar control pods appear to be redesigned, but somehow Benelli has managed to slice an astounding 20kg from the bike’s weight. Where the old 752S was rated at 228kg including a full tank of fuel, the new model’s approval shows it weighs only 208kg, also with a full tank. How that’s achieved is unknown – the new wheels and engine mods might cut a few kilos, but there must be more alterations under the skin for such a significant diet.
The 50mm Marzocchi forks and Brembo brakes are visually unchanged, as is the steel tube chassis and swingarm, and the styling – very much in the mould of the Ducati Monster, and none the worse for it – is also unaltered.