New 502S middleweight cruiser from Benelli

A new 500cc mini-Diavel from China?

Benelli 502S

BENELLI SURPRISED more than a few people at last year’s EICMA show by revealing a vast number of new models including the intriguing 402S – which looked like a miniature Ducati Diavel.

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It’s powered by Benelli’s 399cc twin-cylinder engine, making 38.9hp at 9000rpm. But since that engine also has a 500cc version of the same engine, sharing the 69mm bore but with a longer 66.8mm stroke instead of the 399cc version’s 53.4mm, it was always nearly inevitable that a 500cc version would also appear.

Now just such a bike has emerged in China where Benelli’s parent company has registered this photograph alongside specifications for a 502S with the country’s type-approval authorities.

Visually, the 502S is pretty much identical to the 402S, but it’s gained radial-mount brake calipers at the front instead of the axial-mount versions of the smaller-engined bike. They look like they’re proper Brembos, too, rather than the Benelli-branded ‘I can’t believe it’s not Brembo’ radial calipers used on the Leoncino 502, with which the new 502S appears to share its forks.

In terms of performance, the 500cc twin makes 46.9hp, while the Chinese type-approval documents for the 502S (code named BJ500-6A) put its weight at 220kg, ready-to-ride. Top speed is listed at 160km/h (99.4mph).

Given Benelli’s Italian roots, we’re expecting the firm to reveal its 2019 model range at the EICMA show in Milan in November. Surely the 502S will be part of that range.