Information filtering from the sidelines of the recent Intermot Motor Show which ended yesterday, is that the Pune-based DSK MotoWheels is looking to bring products from Benelli, the renowned Italian motorcycle maker, to India.
Although attempts to gain a confirmation from DSK Motowheels did not get a respsonse, reliable sources close to this landmark deal tell us DSK is on schedule to shortly bring the Italian bikes here.
DSK-Benelli will mark the biggest two-wheeler merger of 2014 in India, coming on the heels of TVS-BMW Motorrad and the super-successful, path-leading Bajaj-KTM merger.
Benelli has been in the motorcycle business for a century, starting pre-1920 as among the oldest of all Italian bike manufacturers and has a chequered racing heritage.
Like many European motorcycle houses, Benelli has changed hands numerous times over the years, being since 2005 an established European wing of the mammoth, flourishing Wenling, China-based Qianjiang (Q.J.) corporation.
Both DSK and Benelli stand to gain from the upcoming Indian foray, with the present Benelli bike line-up including an impressive fleet of contemporary motorcycles ranging from 300cc, all the way up to 1131cc.
Benelli bikes come with cutting-edge, handsome styling the Italians are known for. Of most obvious potential in India is the Benelli BN302, a distinctively Italian flavoured, sporty looking, parallel twin, high-revving 300cc engine-powered street naked motorcycle that makes about 36bhp of power.
The trellis frame harnessed BN302 hits a sweet spot in the sporty, small capacity performance bike market where many manufacturers aim to be, KTM having already shown our market the very pinnacle of a street single bike, with the potent 390 Duke platform.
Our sources have it that DSK Motowheels is pulling out all stops, bringing in a versatile, wide sportsbike line-up with models including Benelli’s in-line, four-cylinder, 600cc, BN series bikes, the 898cc triple-cylinder ‘bug-eyed’ TNT899, and 1131cc, again in-line, three-cylinder engine-powered TNT1130R, a 155bhp plus superbike.
Watch this space for more on this unfolding story.