Benda's two V4 motors pose some interesting questions about its direction

The Chinese manufacturer, Benda, launched last year two V4 motors of different capacity. But what could they be used for?

Benda V4. - Soy Motero/Benda

V4s in 2022 are synonymous with two things: Grand Prix bikes, and Italian sports bikes. 

Ducati are the most obvious example, with their Panigale, Multistrada, and Streetfighter V4s, but Aprilia also make use of the same layout in the RSV4 and Tuono V4, and - at least with the RSV4 - have done so for nearly 15 years now. 

Outside of Europe, the V4 is a less frequent appearance when it comes to production bikes. Yes, Honda built the production RC213V-S, but that was very much a special case. Honda’s primary sports bike, the CBR1000RR-R, as well as the rest of its four cylinders, uses an in-line configuration, and the same can be said for Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha (albeit with an irregular firing order). 

If it is not an in-line four, then perhaps a twin would be used, and that format is one that KTM has made great use of in its larger capacity bikes in recent times. Then there is Triumph, which has become synonymous with the three-cylinder. 

But, in China, the V4 has been newly developed. Benda, the manufacturer of the LFC and LFS 700s, presented two last year. One is of 496cc, the other of 1200cc. However, there is no official word from Benda about what they might be used for. 

However, the details of the engine might offer a clue as to where these V4s might end up. 

At Soy Motero, they note that the 1200cc Benda V4 has a longer stroke than the engine Aprilia uses in the 1100 Tuono, and therefore it is inferrable that the engine from Benda will not be used in a sports bike.

They also note that, in reality, the Benda V4s are not entirely new. In fact, although they may not be a straight copy, the new engine are similar in measurements to those Yamaha used in the VMAX 1200, and so such a model - a cruiser - could be expected from the Chinese marque. 

Additionally, taking the crankcases of the 496, and pairing them with the cylinders of the 1200, Soy Motero says, would give a 1000cc V4 with a stroke of 76x55.2mm, which fits with the kind of V4 you might find in a sports bike. 

So, potentially, we could be seeing at least three new bikes from Benda in the future with V4 engines, with perhaps a couple of cruisers - a small and a large capacity - and potentially a sports bike.

Images courtesy of Soy Motero/Benda.

Ducati Panigale V4S (2022) Full Review & Test Ride

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