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Leaked! New baby Benelli | NEWS

This year we’ve already been first to bring news and pictures of a revamped three-cylinder, 900cc Benelli TnT and a new 750cc parallel-twin nakedbike from the same firm. Now there’s news of yet another new-for-2017 model in the form of this entry-level sportsbike.

Leaked via patent applications, the photos show a new 150cc single-cylinder sportsbike that, according to the stickers on its nose and tail, will be called the TXV or Dragon 150.

Codenamed BJ150T-30, the bike appears to use a water-cooled single-cylinder engine. What little of the engine that can be seen in the pictures doesn’t seem to match anything in Benelli or parent firm Qianjiang’s current range.

The pictured prototype is clearly still a hand-made one-off. While some parts, like the wheels, come from existing models in the firm’s range, others are new. The swingarm and frame look somewhat bodged, with ugly welds visible under the black paint. Several components, like the mirrors, are missing from the bike.

However, its intention is to copyright the styling, and as such the bodywork should be representative of the final machine. The design has clear similarities to the Tornado 302 twin that was revealed last year, as you’d expect as part of Benelli’s family of fully-faired bikes.

As with all cheaper Benelli-badged bikes, it’s likely the new 150 will be made in China by Qianjiang. It’s not clear whether it will ever get sold outside the Chinese market, but its 150cc capacity could make it ripe for places like India.

Need to know

What: Very early prototype intended to patent style of Benelli’s newest sportsbike

When: Hard to say. If it ever reaches Aussie shores, it won’t be before 2018