For more than 100 years, Benelli has been producing motorcycles from its headquarters in the seaside town of Pesaro, Italy. Despite being one of the oldest operating motorcycle manufacturers in the world, Benelli has never represented itself in the North American markets.
Until now, that is.
Benelli motorcycles are now distributed in North America by Keeway Group, the brand’s co-owner and corporate manager. For the first time in the company’s history, Benelli is bringing its own machines to the New World.
The new distribution arrangement was announced in November 2023 at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan. Specific details were scarce, however, and Benelli only said the first models would arrive in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2024, with another wave following in the second quarter.
A peek at the Benelli America website, however, reveals that the initial American lineup will include seven motorcycles across three categories.
In the naked category, U.S. riders can climb in the saddles of Benelli TNT 135 and 302S. Adventure bike fans can look forward to the TRK 502, 502X, 702, and 702X models, which have been reasonably well received among riders.
Perhaps the most interesting bike in the lineup is the Imperiale 400 retro motorcycle, which will be available in the U.S. for the first time. Styled after Benelli’s machines from the 1950s, powering the Imperiale is a 374cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine.
The company hasn’t yet announced exact availability dates or pricing for the motorcycles. Benelli’s lineup in other markets includes many other machines, so we’re excited to see which other models will make it stateside in the future.
Benelli was founded in 1911 by the six Benelli brothers. Initially operating as a bicycle and motorcycle garage, the Benelli workshop produced its first motorcycle in 1921.
The brand sped to fame at the end of the 1920s, as the youngest brother Antonio “Tonino” Benelli—also nicknamed “The Terrible”—took to the racetrack. He earned two GP world championships until a tragic crash in 1932 ended his short professional racing career.
Today, the original Benelli factory in Pesaro functions as a museum. In 2011, Benelli and the city of Pesaro celebrated the company’s 100th anniversary with the Benelli Week, which has since become an annual tradition.