This water-cooled single-cylinder naked bike is a design for a new 150cc Benelli. Pictures surfaced in a design patent that shows an early prototype. While the paintwork makes the bike look fairly finished, the frame appears to be hand-made, suggesting there’s still a lot of development to do.
As with all Benelli’s most recent new machines, the 150cc Benelli design stems from the firm’s Chinese owners, QianJiang. The bike is currently called the ‘BJ150-31’ but it’s sure to carry a more appealing title when it reaches production. The ‘BJ’ part shows that the bike will be sold under the Benelli brand; QianJiang also owns a host of other companies. The ‘150’ reflects its engine capacity, and ‘31’ suggests it’s the 31st design. Last year Benelli patented a faired bike, dubbed BJ150-30, as well. The eventual production machine will probably appear in both forms.
While the 150cc capacity suggests the bike’s main target is the Asian market, it would be relatively simple to sleeve-down or de-stroke the engine to hit 125cc and make it learner-legal in Europe. The single-cylinder, water-cooled engine is a new design. The frame is a beam chassis, and by the looks of it is steel rather than aluminium. However, it’s very rough and is likely to change before the bike reaches production.
While the design mock-up shown here doesn’t carry Benelli stickers, it shows its origins in the Benelli branding on the front brake caliper. Gripping a single, petal disc, it sits at the bottom of a pair of upside-down forks that help give the bike a high-end appearance.
The bike’s appearance is surely deceiving, though. It’s surely going to be a budget machine when Benelli officially launches it. That might still be some time away.