New Benelli tourer could be on its way from China

The new Chinese-built Qianjiang QJ1200-3 tourer could find its way to Europe next year as part of the Benelli motorcycle range

Benelli Qianjiang QJ1200-3

It’s been a positive couple of years for historic Italian marque Benelli after it posted record sales in both 2018 and 2019, so it’s only logical the company is looking to continue that upward trend with a range expansion.

We’ve already reported on plans for a host of new models – including a larger capacity TRK ADV and a possible 600RR sportsbike – to be on their way over the next twelve months, but it seems there could be even more to come based on these images of a brand new tourer emerging from China.

These leaked photos originate from Benelli’s Chinese owners Qianjiang, which have turned up in China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Boasting a 1203cc engine, it is understood this model – named QJ1200-3 – is being developed to be used by Chinese police forces before it emerges on sale for commercial use.

Given the popularity of tourers in Europe – where the BMW R1250 RT is the market leader – it is plausible to think this model will head westwards and be marketed internationally as a Benelli to take on its German rival.

The documents reveal the engine is expected to be an adapted version of the 1130cc three-cylinder engine that previously powered the Tornado sportsbike and is listed with 100kW, which translates as 134bhp, and can hit a top speed of 137mph.

Qianjiang purchased Benelli in 2005 and has steadily returned it to profit after pumping in significant finance without diluting its Italian image.

Last year saw Benelli shift 63,000 models in a new record, with the TRK502 ranking as the third best-selling motorcycle in Italy.