Big-Bore LAMS Test
Learner riders now have great choice with the second generation of large-capacity LAMS bikes. Motorcycle Trader took seven contenders on a 1500km round trip with surprising results. Read the intro here.
Contender #5: Benelli BN600S
Italian exotica comes to LAMS. Throttle restrictions on the 60kW BN600i have reduced the ‘S’ model to 44kW but the bike retains the full-power version’s sophisticated suspension and running gear. It’s a lot of bike for $8990.
ON THE ROAD
The Benelli suffers in low-speed roll-ons as its maximum torque is clearly produced much closer to its maximum revs than any other bike in the group. The modestly powered Suzuki Gladius walks away from it at low engine speeds but, in acceleration tests when you can keep revs high, the Benelli comes back into its own.
The Benelli was the only bike in the group of seven which screamed out for extra performance. We had the ‘S’ model with very good Benelli suspension as standard but there’s also an ‘R’ model available in LAMS format with even better suspension, probably making it even more frustrating. The LAMS Benelli engine produces a claimed 44kW while the non-restricted engine produces 60kW.
The chassis package, brakes and handling are so good that you really miss that extra 16kW. Perhaps fortunately, it’s potentially the easiest bike in the group to de-restrict when you come off your Ls.
Like the Ducati, the Benelli was also challenging to ride well. If we were trying to actually declare a ‘winner’ for best large-capacity LAMS bike, neither would rate as both engage too much in the science and technology of riding and don’t free up enough time for a learner to smell the roses.
Both the Benelli and Ducati were begging for the power necessary to challenge the integrity of their respective chassis and running gear. Both bikes were better than their engines and both fully engaged their riders. The Ducati is easier to ride than the Benelli.
One of MT’s testers described them as ‘exhausting’ but that’s probably because both force you to concentrate to get the best from them. If that’s your scene, you know what to buy. You’ll never be bored.
What really matters about the performance of all of the test bikes is, at normal road speeds, they all have plenty in reserve for overtaking and it makes them safer in that they can do it quickly with composure.
Like the CFMoto, the Benelli is in a class of its own. It has tremendous presence from the rider’s seat and makes you feel that you’re on a substantial piece of real estate. It’s among the heaviest of the big LAMS options and with bulk comes substance. There’s plenty to look at and much to admire about this piece of Italian architecture. Don’t buy it if you’re shy.
Triangular mufflers will be familiar to Aprilia fans.
Older members of the MT crew preferred the Kawasaki and the Suzuki to the moderns but What everyone was unanimous about, though, was, for new riders, the old-fashioned analogue dials were much easier to read than the ‘modern’ digital ones.
Read more on the LAMS review contenders:
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