Benelli 302R Unveiled: Building on Quarter-Liter Sportbike Craving (Photos & Video)

Benelli 302R track

Benelli 302R Unveiled (Photos & Video)

The quarter-liter sportbike crave is alive and well. Around the turn of the century, only a few were in existence in both naked and faired versions – and they didn’t excite any nerves with styling.

The one and only leader here in the USA was the Kawasaki Ninja 250. But Honda changed that in 2011 with the introduction of the CBR250R, a bike that mirrored its supersport CBR600RR/CBR1000RR brethren.

Benelli 302R trackFast forward to today and the segment grew slightly in both ccs and styling. The leaders in the Big Four are the Kawasaki Ninja 300, Honda CBR300R, Yamaha YZF-R3, Suzuki GSX250R. But the Europeans are also in the game, most notably KTM with its RC 390.

Now Benelli joins the quarter-liter sportbike craving with its all-new fully-faired 302R. The new bike out of Pesaro, Italy, is powered by an inline two-cylinder DOHC engine that produces 38 horsepower @ 10,000 rpm and 20 ft/lbs of torque @ 9000 rpm. The four-stroke, four-valve engine is mated to a six-speed transmission.