Benelli 752S Reviewed
Motorcycle Test by Wayne Vickers – Images Rob Mott
The last Benelli I rode was the fairly limited run Tornado Tre 900 RS which was at the time quite possibly my favourite sounding motorcycle of all time. Could still be. That was the one with the underseat radiator and twin fans, the ‘aggressive on the pills’ tank shape and the heavy as a bastard clutch. But otherwise it was actually a pretty decent thing to peddle along.
Things have changed a bit since then. Yes, they’re now Chinese owned and have been focussing on the smaller capacity market – with this being their biggest capacity release since the rebirth. You’d be silly to discount it purely based on them being Chinese made however. It feels as good as it looks and is aggressively priced for the kit spec’.
So the 752S – Not a bad looking jigger is it? I was pleasantly surprised when I picked it up – having next to zero idea about the current Benelli offerings since they changed hands several years ago. Some very nice styling touches all over actually, with obvious influence from another naked italian – but that’s no bad thing I suppose.
It comes with a nicely implemented trellis frame, fully adjustable Marzocchi forks, a KYB shock, twin 320 mm four-piston Brembos (and a 260 mm rear) with ABS at both ends and their new three-quarter-litre parallel-twin. So lets start there.
The 754 cc mill (I guess 752 sounds better?) delivers a little over 80 horsepower and just under 70 Nm of torque. It’s pleasant enough without being overly sporty. Despite the tacho suggesting an 11 thousand redline – you’ll find its past its best well short of anywhere near that. In fact.. it’s a little breathless up top and I didn’t manage to hit the redline at all. It should be said that my bike was brand spanking new however, so given that its a double-overhead-cam jobbie with four-valves per cylinder, perhaps a bit of running in might free it up. That aside, it is perfectly pleasant between two and six-grand.
Shifts well, behaves well – all the controls offer good feel and there were no real gripes at all there. It’s happy to lope around town and has enough urge when you need it without feeling intimidating for those riders stepping up. I’d summarise it as more of a ‘relaxed’ power delivery. Nice exhaust note from the stock pipes too.
Seating position feels very comfortable, plenty of room for my near six-foot frame and your weight is positioned well forward without much pressure on your wrists at all. That translates to a very planted front end. Wheelie fiends need not apply. This is not a hooligan bike. It tips the scales at 225 kilograms which surprised me – it doesn’t feel that heavy at all. It’s polite and well behaved.
Lovely seat shape, though I admit that after a couple of hundred kilometres I was ready for a break. That’s probably more to do with the firm set-up, which we’ll come back to. Sitting on the bike you do notice a couple of things – firstly, the mirrors are a bit of style over substance and secondly, you get an eyeful of the ends of the radiator poking out from each side of the tank which is a little distracting. Maybe they ended up making the radiator a little bigger than the stylists had first envisaged…
Back to the suspension. My bike came set-up particularly firm. Too much so in fact, but a quick tweak of the dials on the front end soon had it behaving more to my liking by simply taking out some rebound, which had been set almost all the way to hard. So the forks respond well to changes. It steers well and doesn’t corner half bad either.. In fact I reckon with a bit more time to gel with it and some sticky rubber it would be a fun thing. I left the rear where it was but I probably should/could/would have backed off a little pre-load there too with more time.
It comes with Pirelli Angel STs which are more at the touring end of the spectrum than sporty which probably makes sense. They didn’t give a whole lot of feedback during my riding but certainly didn’t cause any concerns either.
Seems like the engine is the only thing stopping it from being a proper naked sports bike as opposed to a naked bike. The frame, suspension and brakes all felt up for more grunt. Steering lock is a little tighter than expected, even though I didn’t ever hit the lock stops on the move, in fact I only noticed it when walking the bike around, but I didn’t spend a lot of time ducking through traffic either.
Solid stopping power from the Brembos, although the rear pedal felt fairly wooden without a lot of feedback. Could be as simple as a pad compound change.
The stylists are big fans of reminding you that it’s a Benelli too, I counted 16 or 17 logos on the bike. Admittedly a lot of them are subtle, but they seem everywhere!
Overall I think the designers have done a nice job though. Everything but the rear mud-guard, which.. Maybe you’d get used to it? I tried not to look at it too much…
So what does it compare to? Well… I guess it’s most similar to something like Yamaha’s XSR700? But with a little more style and individuality, but without the extra little bit of hooligan that the XSR has. Similar price too at just under the 13-grand mark, which seems like pretty solid value.
Maybe it’s time to reconsider Benelli as a potential option. I admit they’ve kinda been off my radar, but there’s a lot of promise in the 752S. Especially for newer riders moving up. If they could wick up the power output it would be a pretty handy thing for even more experienced peddlers. As it is, it unfortunately does feel a little underpowered in this guise. Nice start though.
Why I like it
- Very nicely styled overall
- Good spec’ for the price
- Smooth relaxed power delivery
- Nice exhaust note for a stocker
I’d like it even more if
- Could easily handle another 20+hp and be better for it
- The rear hugger/mudguard is a bit.. Meh
Benelli 752s Specifications