Benelli 500 Quattro. .
The most striking thing about the 500 Benelli is that it bears more than apassing resemblance to another four-stroke, four-cylinder half-litre machine,the 500 Honda. The similarity centres on the engine which not only looks likethe Japanese bike's unit, but also sports the same cylinder dimensions: 56 x50.6 mm. However, with a 10.2:1 compression ratio, the Benelli produces slightlymore power with 55 bhp available at 9800 rpm.
The single-overhead-camshaft engine, which is fed by four Dell'Ortocarburettors, can push the 440 lb bike to a top speed of 112 mph. Because of thebike's relatively low weight, fuel consumption is good and 50 mpg is easilypossible. Although initially available with two powerful drum brakes, the 500 isnow equipped with a two disc front and single disc rear layout, a move dictatedby the public's reaction to the many disc-braked Japanese bikes.
Styling is typically Italian with wide flat handlebars and boxy panels, tankand instruments. Incidentally, the bike's engine is manufactured at theMoto Guzzi factory in Mandello del Lario, as are all the Benelli four-strokeengines, while the two-stroke units of the two companies are built at Benelli'sPesaro works. This has been the case since motor magnate Alejandro de Tomasobought out the ailing companies a few years ago. Since that time, the single-camHonda lookalike engine has been the basis for most of the companies' four-strokerange.