June 25, 2024

New Benelli TRK 552X could be the ultimate beginner-friendly ADV

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New Benelli TRK 552X could be the ultimate beginner-friendly ADV

Benelli, a Chinese-owned motorcycle brand with Italian heritage, has had its entry-level adventure bike, the TRK 502, on the market for quite some time. When it first launched in 2017, it impressed with its advanced features for the time.

However, the TRK 502X has begun to show its age. The adventure-touring segment, particularly in the 400cc to 500cc range, has seen rapid development recently, with new models from both emerging and established brands shaking things up. Bikes like the KTM 390 Adventure, the new Royal Enfield Himalayan, and the CFMoto Ibex 450 are emphasizing off-road capabilities. Meanwhile, the Honda NX500 is focusing on long-distance touring.

So, where does the old Benelli TRK stand? Benelli has given it a significant update, reintroducing it as the TRK 552X for the 2024 model year. The new specs and features suggest that Benelli has built upon what was great about the TRK 502X and made it even better.

The TRK 552X now features dual-pod LED headlights, replacing the old halogen units. The front design is sharper with an aggressive beak and a larger windscreen. The fairings are wider and integrate smoothly with the large fuel tank. Inside the cockpit, the outdated analog-digital display has been swapped for a full-color TFT screen, complete with smartphone pairing and a built-in tire pressure monitoring system.

Benelli TRK 552X

Positioned as an entry-level adventure-tourer, the new TRK 552X packs a punch in its class. Its 550cc parallel-twin engine delivers a solid 60 horsepower and 40.5 pound-feet of torque, blurring the lines between entry-level and middleweight adventure bikes. Benelli has also updated the crankshaft to a 270-degree setup, similar to those in Yamaha and Suzuki middleweight twins.

From a design perspective, it’s clear that Benelli aims to balance on-road performance with go-anywhere capability rather than competing directly with rally-inspired ADVs. The TRK features adjustable Marzocchi suspension and rolls on a 19-17 spoked wheel combo with Metzeler Tourance tires.

As with many of Benelli’s models, the TRK 552X has been released in China first. If successful, it will likely be introduced to other markets, including the Philippines, where it will compete with the aforementioned models.

The global adventure bike market is more competitive than ever. Benelli’s new direction with more power and a refreshed design is intriguing, but whether it will capture the attention of adventure bike enthusiasts remains to be seen. In the bustling and diverse motorcycle scene of the Philippines, the TRK 552X will need to prove its mettle against strong competitors. Only time will tell if it can carve out a significant niche.


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