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1200cc on the way

While Benelli has just revealed a host of new models, it has more in development. Most exciting is a shaft-driven 1200cc three-cylinder sports-tourer. We published the first design images of that bike back in 2016, but now we understand the Chinese government has put out a tender to four manufacturers including Benelli and Zongshen, to build new high-performance machines for State use.

The requirements include capacity in the range of 1000cc-1200cc, minimum power of 105kW and at least 120Nm of torque. There’s also a preference for shaft drive and electronically-adjustable suspension.

Benelli’s 1200cc designs clearly showed the bike in police spec, complete with single seat, luggage and an extendable light and sirens.

CFMoto, which recently revealed its V.02-NK concept bike powered by a version of KTM’s powerful RC8 V-twin engine is also a potential entrant. CFMoto’s existing 650TR-G tourer won a previous contest like this, with the police version preceding the civilian model into production.

Chinese firm Shineray, owner of Italian company SWM, has also revealed plans to build a 1200cc V-twin in 2019. It looks like the era of large-capacity Chinese bikes is almost upon us.