10 Things You Didn’t Know About Benelli Motorcycles

While Benelli doesn’t have the ring and recognition of Aprilia or Ducati, it is one of the oldest Italian motorcycle manufacturers in the world. Established in 1911, the company launched out to make motorcycles for sporting and transportation. The company was established in Pesario, Italy and it is likely the oldest European motorcycle company. In fact, the Moto Guzzi manufacturing plant is the oldest operable motorcycle manufacturing plant in operation in all of Europe. There is so much history surrounding the start of the company and its progression over the years.

What is amazing is that the company was able to survive the lean years leading up to the World War II and the war itself. Due to the fact that most people are completely unaware of Benelli as a motorcycle manufacturer, we decided to share some information about the bikes, the family, and a couple of other neat little secrets.

Here are 10 facts that you probably didn’t know about the Benelli family and their business endeavors.

1. The Company Also Makes Shotguns

The company actually has a reputation for making some of the nices shotguns in the world. Actually, if you are not a huge fan of hunting and centerfire rifles there is a good chance that you are not aware of the reputation that Italians have for making outstanding shotguns. The Benelli family and made an indelible imprint on this industry. The fact is that they still make shotguns, but the guns are now made by a separate company.

2. The Benelli Family Has a Connection to the Beretta Gun Company

It should not be hard to believe that two Italian gun makers would come together to create classic firearms, but for those who completely unaware, here is what happened. The funny thing is the Benelli family and the Beretta family came together, but it was not to make guns, it was to make automobiles. Go figure. The prototype they created was known as Beretta, Benelli Castelbarco.

3. Desperation Was the Force Behind the Company’s Big Push

Before Teresa Benelli lost her husband and became a widow in 1921, the Benelli motorcycle company was a small family business. However, after the death of her husband, Teresa invested all of the family’s capital into the business with the hopes that the company would grow and provide work for her six sons. During this same time, she sent two of her sons to Switzerland to study engineering.

4. It All Started as a Repair Shop

Before the Benelli family launched its manufacturing arm, it was simply a small garage that repaired bicycles and motorcycles. What is interesting is that the company was able to produce any necessary parts required to repair motorcycles, so the ability to manufacturer motorcycle-related material was already underway.

5. The War Dealt a Significant Blow to the Company’s Growth

While the company was ultimately able to survive World War II, it was not without challenges. In fact, the company ended up having to stop production until 1949. Once the war was over, the company was able to sell motorcycles that were meant to be used by the Italian army. It was 10 years before the company was able to get back to full strength.

6. The Benelli Tornado 650

It was in 1969 that the company made one of its popular models to date, the Tornado 650 S. When you what are considered to be classic European style motorcycles, it is this bike that set the mold. At the time, the Tornado was pretty impressive, it was able to generate 57 hp and reach a top speed of 17 mph. I know that does not seem very impressive when compared to bikes that easily approach 200 mph, but at the time it was remarkable.

7. The Japanese Entry Caused Serious Problems

Before the Japanese companies like Yamaha, Suzuki, and Honda entered the market, Benelli had its heels planted firmly in the American motorcycle market, but the more powerful and sporty Japanese models convinced many American bike owners that the European style bikes lacked style and power.

8. The Rebirth

After sputtering for decades, the company made an attempt to reenter the market an take a relevant position, but the initial attempt was unsuccessful. It was not until 1995 when Andrea Merloni took over the company that it once again showed promise. The Tornado Tre 900 supersport bike was released in 2002 and it held its own. Shortly after that, the company released the TNT roadster.

9. No Longer Authentically Italian

While true bike enthusiasts recognize the deep Italian roots associated with the Benelli brand, the company is no longer authentically Italian. The company is a part of the Qianjian motor group in southeast China. While the bike company is a long way from home, the new style and creative energy that goes into its design are quite refreshing.

10. It Racing History

One of Teresa’s sons, Tonino Benelli is the true legend behind the racing legacy of the brand. Tonino had a natural feel for racing and he developed the technical skill to go along with it. Not only did Tonino when the Italian championship, he won it multiple times. So, it was a Benelli that carry the racing model into the history books.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Zsolt Felcsuti
The 10 Richest People in Hungary
20 Things You Didn’t Know About Aprea Therapeutics
Leon Black
20 Things You Didn’t Know About Leon Black
Brian Higgins
20 Things You Didn’t Know About Brian Higgins
The Top 10 Mutual Funds by 10 Year Performance
Navy Federal Credit Card
The 10 Best Credit Cards for Military Members
The 10 Most Valuable Cryptocurrencies in the World
The 10 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses
solar panels
The Five Best Solar Panel Companies Based on Efficiency
Why Are AirPods So Expensive? Here’s The Answer
Computer Virus
The 10 Worst Computer Viruses of All-Time
printer ink
Why is Printer Ink So Expensive? Here’s the Answer
Florida U.S. 1
The 20 Worst Roads in America in 2019
The Top 10 Golf Courses in Orlando, Florida
Why The Private Suite at LAX is the Ultimate Airport Experience
The Top 10 Golf Courses in Scottsdale, Arizona
Ferrari Testarossa
10 Best Ferrari Testarossa Models of All-Time
1982 Porsche 944
The Five Best Porsche 944 Models of All-Time
Ferrari Portofino
10 Things You’ll Love About the Ferrari Portofino
Porsche Cayman Models
The 10 Best Porsche Cayman Models of All-Time
A Closer Look at the Hublot Bigger Bang
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition Le Petit Prince
A Closer Look at the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition Le Petit Prince
A Closer Look at the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon
Time Traveling: The Hublot Classic Fusion Zirconium