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Benelli TNT300 10,000km review

Duka Moja Accident report
5 December 2019
 

By Tonnie Gathogo

My Final review at 10,000 KM and she sleeps with 10,161Km on the odo

1 Before jumping into the review, I would like to give a brief context about me and my motorcycling journey to help some of you understand my insights better as any review can be very subjective. Nonetheless, I hope this could be useful to not only potential buyers but also others who are curious to know more about this bike, which I'm sure will be unique in the current crop of entry level sports naked bikes in Kenya with Zero Mileage.

The desire for motorcycling brewed overnight. Yes!! Overnight. This was after I saw a nice bike parking somewhere in town along Nation center. I started exploring about bikes, I searched for Bikers group on FB and I bumped to AMD. I followed keenly and DJO THEFU articles were inspirational.

Finally, after 2 weeks of research i decided to gift myself with a ZMR, my first ever bike and one that I will cherish till the end. I sold it within 8 months as I had outgrown it. It was sad to let it go but it was the most practical thing I could do. She taught me tough lessons though

 

2 Upgrade and Buying Experience

When I decided to upgrade, the options I had in the quarter litre/entry level sports bike segment were Duke 390, Ninja 400/300 CBR 300, R3. I was in love with R3 and Kawi 400.

However, the challenge was getting a KE registered bike since Kenyan market is flooded na UG bikes. Getting a Quarter litre KE plated bikes its not easy and that price you can get it at you can get 2 ALL PAPERS IN ORDER BIKES AKA UG bikes . UG bikes!!! a story of another day I don’t want to touch some tiniest souls. Don’t forget that the market also have akina Kamaus, Onyangos, Gathogos etc who are out there to get your coin without a hustle at one point someone was to sell almost dead Kawasaki 250 ikiwa kwa garage thank God I have a very sharp antennae  kukanusia.

Mtu akikukutumia picha muitishe recent one wengine wanatumia picha za year 2000 bike ikiwa show room in UK  .Ju hii story ni refu acha niseme I happened to meet this intalian/Quagjiang Beauty TNT 300. I have done 10,000Km on the odo 4 months down the line.


Na by the way hii story unakuta bike is 7,000 KM na ni bike ya 2011-2012 mi hua haileti shangwe hua tunachezwa. Najua kuna mtu anasema ati in some countries guys don’t ride a lot due to winter seasons but deeeeemn I am not gonna buy that. Anyway acha tuingie kwa review sasa.

 

3 Here came the Benelli TNT 300 while browsing some auto blog and the reviews were quite interesting. My curiosity grew further when I realised that Benelli have a dealership in Kenya Hapa Kahawa tu. I went to their showroom booooom I decided to settle on it. I decided to settle on red colour such a beauty.

4 Design, Build Quality and Operation

In my previous review I had mentioned of TNT design but not of quality since I dint have much experience on the bike.Now coming to the key part, design and build quality to me this bikes are strongest. The bike on a whole feels sturdy, premium and well built.

Any doubts regarding the quality for being owned by a Chinese firm should be kept aside at least from the initial impression and the overall feel of the product. I hope people can avoid being a stereotype when they hear the phrase 'Manufactured in China'.

With respect to build quality, I haven’t come across any rattling or glaring panel gaps. Although, the rear shock of this bike need some improvement I recently changed my shock after leaking this was after hitting a pothole (The genesis of the leaking. Don't worry if i had a pinion or not 😛) thanks to Blackrose Racing Customs this guys always have a solution for any problem i present to them. However, the rim on this bike is stronger than you can imagine. The clutch can seem heavy initially but be sure its only temporary am now used to it. When it comes to the headlights much improvement on full light I had to add more light for my own safety, tail light(thu nilingoa) and horn sound quite normal. Although, I personally feel the headlight design could have been more in line with the combination of sharp lines and smooth curves of the rest of the bike. One good thing about the turn indicators is that they are quite bright and look quite good at night.


With respect to weight, the bike has 196Kg it was not easy at first WTF!!! I got used to it. once you get the bike going, it feels quite light and I only realised the weight when I accidentally let go of the side stand while parking and the entire bike leaned on my hands.

 

Other bits such as the fairing covering the radiator is well designed(i need to add radiator protector). It looks quite minimalistic yet very functional and in line with the rest of the body ,in other words sexy nakedness. The trellis frame in black colour on the red bike is not easily noticeable like the red one on the black colour but when you notice them they look sexy, The Benelli Sign is very attractive on both sides of the tank and exudes its long tradition in the first glance, it reminds me the Italian baby roots. The instrument is basic yet functional Vitu kama coolant temperature, clock, odometer, trip meters, speed indicator and other usual bits. One interesting addition to this bike is the hazard light switch, which I think is really necessary for our road conditions.

When you first start the engine, the initial growl is quite amazing perhaps prepping you for the amazing beat to be anticipated later. It sounds unlike any I have heard so far in this segment and she attract quite a bit of attention while stopping in traffic. Who doesn’t like that ‘’traffic attention’’ headphones on next to a mathree and all looking at you, moving your head with the beats and acting like you don't care wherelse you are soo keen to wait for the traffic to move 😉😉😀

5 Ride and Handling

With respect to ride and handling, The bike takes corners with lot of confidence and I think little by little am improving on cornering that confidence that I need the tyres play a key role. I have recently changed from 140/70/17 to 160/60/17 for even better riding experience.

Now coming to the brakes, I initially felt they were on the smoother side but I keep on riding, riding and riding now ziko shambaba may be ndio kutoa unavajo. I have realised the brakes are now very assuring and inspires confidence across various instances (slow and hard braking) thu when changing brakes pads isa kibarua thu that i leave to the mech #Oyaya he treats that bike with full of love.

Furthermore, the gear shifts are quite smooth although you could find occasional moments when the bike hesitates to downshift quickly.

6 Performance and Efficiency

To begin with the bike is quite heavy. I would like to call this a ‘Hulk-natured’ machine. Weighs big, but can fly. Once you are on the bike, you do not feel the weight at all and very easy to handle. I would like to say that comparisons are always unfair. This is not as nimble as some of the other light weight machines. Nonetheless, machine is very easy to handle on the road. Word of caution is turning radius is long.

Whereas in the city or traffic the bike temperature goes up hence you need to keep riding fortunately the bike has a fun that cools the engine at 90 degrees. The bike performs better especially in highways and long rides .Now coming to efficiency, the bike is averaging somewhere between 25-30 kmpl and thanks to the 16 litre fuel tank, long distance rides are quite an adventure and thrilling. This I believe is another strong point for the Benelli TNT 300 especially considering the slightly touring heavy nature of this bike. I have done, Nairobi -meru- nanyuki, Nairobi- wote- makindu , Nairobi - Eldoret and Nairobi -Narok. plus other within ride za Naivasha, Nakuru, Mwea na zinginezo.

7 Spares

I sincerely hope Captain motorcycles can sort out the issue of accessories. Currently I undertand that most part are available especially engine parts and some basic service parts.But Damn!!! who care about the spares anyway Kama watu wa Kawasaki, CBR, Honda etc wana survive why not us but atleast we have someone we can complain to and we can rush to online shops too😇

8 Service and Maintenance

Maintenance seems to be quite normal. Just normal service that cost around 2, 4,5,8,12K depending on what service are you doing.

9 Conclusion

To conclude, a lot of my friends and strangers could question the choice of this bike when compared to the cheaper ALL PAPERS IN ORDER BIKES. I am that kind who look past power and torque figures while picking a bike as speed is not my priority but the ride and the joy associated with it. TNT 300 - my red Italian/Quangjiang beauty #Mocking Jay that I wish to keep even ata uzeeni but if better things come I give it to the next owner. You can’t compare it to any Japanese bike but she provides what a beginner can be looking for. My “silly point” of view: I would rather spend on TNT 300 zero mileage million times than a second hand Japanese with 40,000Km on the odo and “all papers in order”.
They call it Chinese I call her Kitunza roho #Mockingjay baby.

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