1973 Benelli Tornado 650S — Classic Italian Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

28 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1973 Benelli Tornado 650S — Classic Italian Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены
Benelli Tornado 650 S

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Benelli 650S

Years produced: – 1976

Claimed power: @ 7,400rpm

Top speed:  97mph test)

Engine type: OHV air-cooled parallel twin

Weight  480lb (217kg)

Price  $1,779 (1973)

Price  $3,500-$6,000

I know absolutely about the story behind particular 1973 Benelli 650S. It has no documented history I know of. No boxes of receipts and old records to its name.

No “owner Jim this bike in 10 boxes, five years restoring it and it has won show prizes” story.

The specific information I can register by at the machine is that it has Benelli on the tank, “650S” on the side and it’s a parallel twin. I that it’s also a Tornado and I haven’t ridden one it before. I maybe even and sentimentally picked it out from a of bikes on offer at a shop the metal flake lime looks to have come the same batch of paint around Europe in 1970 also fabulously adorned the Cortina 1600E my dad used to

Perhaps that’s not a logical to ride and write about an old but it’s as good as any; random, and more honest, It’s also refreshing to try out a and have no expectations to fulfill. No owner worried about pride and joy being ridden by else they’ve only for 10 minutes.

No having to recall someone “remember what I said the front brake” or “don’t her past 3,500rpm.” Walking and round a motorcycle and taking notes, as well as those pencil and paper, is always done alone.


On first look, my feelings are mixed. The Benelli Tornado is a very compact but looking bike — sort of a Honda Benly that’s pumping iron and abusing A graceful swan it is not.

of it just seem, well, The massive front brake, the slabby side panels, the oversized rubber grips and child-friendly black starter The aluminum crankcase features surfaces, and is topped with a and cylinder head that to want to burst out of the confines of the Stubby but tapered silencers sit at an that doesn’t help to the profile of the Benelli.

The handlebars are low on bike, and being Tomassellis, I they’re not the original equipment. later, I find that Tornados had higher bars, there is one factory photo shows this same with bars at just height. Italian parts of the era so often cause the confusions of

This bike appears to be in a or less original, unrestored The chrome is good but slightly and the alloy is clean but slightly and grubby here and there. The work is in good condition but benefit from half an and a can of rubbing compound and some grease.

In short, it looks to be a classic Italian motorcycle in honest condition. I like like this very

I also like the Tornado’s a lot, and the bike exudes and decent engineering. Its style and illustrate a crossover period for in general; the glitzy metal green paint and bold design features put one of the Benelli’s firmly in the early Seventies, yet the big drum brake and generally old-fashioned design keep the wheel stuck stubbornly in the which is not necessarily a bad thing.


Looking closely at the twin engine on the Benelli 650S, it’s hard not to a comparison to a Triumph twin of the era; the fact that the on the Benelli split horizontally than vertically is a plus, and in there’s not a smidgen of oil to be seen Two 29mm VHB Dell’Orto carburetors out from under the tank, intakes disappearing into hidden behind the side

The exhaust system downpipes are in by a sensible nut and stud clamp so there are no threaded or push fit to come loose. Something sensible is the oil level sight on the right-hand side of the engine — on a of the same era, you’d be for a big old 22mm wrench just to get the out. Less useful is the barrel and key that sticks out of the side panel, a feature should have stayed in the decade.

Lifting the seat its elegantly shaped and locking catch, there’s the ubiquitous CEV box with a mass of original multicolored spaghetti wiring, and a tray that I assume a tool kit at some point in the

The battery is deep down where the main upper spine meets the two rear sub tubes. Though I didn’t to take the side panels I see that it might be a bit of a job to access the or remove it, especially with one of the panels being attached to the via the ignition barrel.

It’s not hard to imagine with older wiring, might place some on or cause some issues the electrics, and you end up with the sort of problems that Italian of the Seventies can suffer from — ask me how I There are no indicators on this model, one less thing to about, and the switch on the left bar seem that reachable so I hope I don’t have to use the in a hurry.

Let’s go riding

the Benelli Tornado 650S is a Fuel taps are easily on each side of the tank. The big lever on the right bar is great, and solid, and so much better the fiddly and easily-snapped barrel-type found on Guzzis and Ducatis on in the Seventies. Turning the ignition on up a generator — or maybe it’s an oil — on the simple dash.

Then you a choice, kickstart or electric The kickstarter folds out in an unusual — on a diagonal instead of the more vertical axis — and I use it later in the day problem.

For now, the big CEV starter begs to be pressed, so over the top and in face is it. Shame it doesn’t “Please Press Here” into it. I can’t resist, so I the starter, add a little gas, and in seems an instant the Tornado up with a roar.

The sound the seamed and fluted mufflers is slightly muted but typically and after a minute or two the choke can be off completely, even on a cold day today, as the engine settles to a low Tipping the bike forward off its stand requires little but takes some knack, and the of the Benelli can certainly be felt off it.

The contrast once underway is The Benelli Tornado seems to its weight as soon as it moves, and what feels like a and flickable machine. The dual is comfortable, for now, and the riding is acceptable as the bars aren’t too even though I’m taking up a bit of a crouch.

Quality Marzocchi forks and Ceriani rear give a typically taught ride, but the bike handles nicely. The frame is stable and the tracks true and predictably bends, despite old tires fitted to the lovely spoked alloy rims. I like on classic bikes to be from the century, not from the same the bike came out.

Benelli Tornado 650 S
Benelli Tornado 650 S

The big double-sided single-leading-shoe 230mm with a cool Seventies logo and strengthening ribs cast into it, works efficiently. It’s progressive and not at all and doesn’t seem to fade warm, though to slow in a hurry the rear 200mm brake also needs to be keenly.

The Benelli Tornado has a foot gear change, one up and down, with the rear on the left, nothing unusual for the of manufacture, which, incidentally is 1973, and a system most manufacturers kept for another of years. I find the foot don’t fall particularly to my booted feet, but the gearbox and are slick and easy to use. gear is so low as to be fairly useless on rural roads, so getting through the rest of the gears, are far more intelligently spaced is a good thing to do.

The engine is Not for outright power or acceleration or top but for the great dollops of torque it out. It’s like a Bonnie or Commando, but oh so much

It’s unexpected, as the engine comes across as being a bit or peaky. In fact, I discover while reading the specs the engine has an incredibly over-square and … of 84mm by 58mm, valves and four, yes, flywheels, meaning that it to be revved, revved and then some more. The buzziness into a rush of quickly power, as if a tap had been turned on

Someone opined the Benelli Tornado was hugely over square designer Piero Prampolini would go on to design the legendary Sei 6-cylinder engine) only how to design race engines. The 4-cylinder GP Benelli ridden by Saarinen was Prampolini’s, so not such a bad to practice his design skills on, and I dare to question Prampolini’s

In fact, the Tornado engine is a It feels as strong and robust as it Although I expect loads of through the bars and frame, I them to be negligible. Later shows that originally the had unusual rubber footrests hedgehog-type rubber “spines” in an to dampen vibration, but I didn’t they were necessary.

buzzing and tingling can be felt at higher speeds but, it’s an old bike, and it’s as silk compared to a same-year BSA

Quick throttle openings see the Tornado 650S surging in any gear — apart from — on a wave of torque. I can bumble at 3,000rpm in top gear, and then accelerate away strongly, in top. Benelli claimed at that the Tornado gave at 7,400rpm, and a top speed of 117mph.

were optimistic claims, as all other Italian manufacturers’ in that period. What is revealing — and I am genuinely and enthusiastically by this — is that the Tornado the impression you could ride it all day at and it wouldn’t miss a beat.

speeds are comfortable, and the bike its best to behave like a “road burner.” Unforeseen hiccups aside, the Benelli like it can be a decent and very classic bike — take it to the or take it 500 miles. I like my old because it’s just and I never honestly expected a sort of trust to develop a Benelli. The Italians have me, yet again. MC

Press reports

“It likes better than holding a 80mph on the pike … no wind you around and no bump makes you It’s the only machine that we enjoy as much as the Four.”

— Cycle, February

“The engine has got to be the best twin we have ever It’s that simple.”

— Cycling . January 1972

is the road burner Italian-style: well-damped, geared high, on the …, sharp to the ear, and masculine.”

— Cycle World . 1972

“Without a doubt the 650 is the best handling machine in its A rider new to the Tornado soon down to precise tracking and straight line stability.”

— World . March 1973

bikes we’ve ever are as much fun as Benelli’s 650. It doesn’t matter that it as fast as some of the oriental And it doesn’t matter that it handle as well as a Norton. just plain fun.

You get on the and ride. And when you get back, you a lot.”

— Supercycle . May 1973

Benelli Tornado 650 S
Benelli Tornado 650 S
Benelli Tornado 650 S
Benelli Tornado 650 S
Benelli Tornado 650 S
Benelli Tornado 650 S


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