Long Term Ownership Review – Benelli TNT 300 – 24000km

Read the first part of the series here – 7000km Ownership Review

I have covered 24000kms on Aarini, and it’s time for another update on my ownership of the Benelli TNT 300. I will not be repeating most of the things I have mentioned in Part 1. Here it will be more of my ownership experience with the motorcycle, usage and issues.

I have done multiple trips over the 20 odd months, including a 5000km trip across the west coast of India for 18 days. One thing I can say right away is that this motorcycle is totally at home when on the highway, munching miles, as it tours across a myriad of landscapes. Good roads or bad, Aarini munched away the roads like a piece of cake. Mind you, all my trips I have travelled with my better half as a pillion. The Benelli TNT 300 is very comfortable with two people on and with all the luggage we were carrying. The below image will give you an idea of how we were loaded during the 18 days trip.

20161110_132751_Richtone(HDR)-01

Even with all this load, we faced no issues riding all the way to Kutch from Bangalore and back down the coast of Maharashtra. The motorcycle did not feel stressed or out of power even when it was tackling the Western Ghats. The tall gearing helped us effortlessly cover distances, day after day.

Manufacturing Defects

  • Starter Relay stopped working intermittently – The motorcycle would not start and give a click sound when you press the start button. The spare was replaced during one of my visits to the service centre, in warranty. I have never faced any issue related to this after replacement.
  • Rear Brake Disc Rotor developed cracks – This was during our Kutch trip. As we were approaching Surat, we heard a scraping sound when I applied the brakes. On inspecting the rear discs, we found that the discs had developed cracks, two big ones and multiple hairline ones. We contacted the Pune service team for DSK Benelli and updated them about the concern. We decided to ride all the way to Pune without using the rear brakes. As it was a Sunday, getting support at Surat was not possible. Next day, the service team arranged for a replacement rotor and it was replaced along with my 20k service. The replacement was under warranty. The cause was suspected to be overheating. The exact cause (of overheating) is not known yet.

Apart from these two instances, I have not faced any problem with the motorcycle and I must add that DSK Benelli was prompt in resolving the above-mentioned issues.

Consumables & Rate of consumption

  • Brake Pads – My front brake pads are still running the stock set. For my rear brakes, I am on my 3rd Set. The first two were replaced during the 8k and 16k service. My second set of rear brake pads got replaced at 22k, a little premature, probably to the disc crack issue or due to us running a higher load than usual. Here, I would like to point out that the life of brake pads is totally dependent on riding environment and individual riding styles. I have not met a single fellow rider who has got the same life out of his brake pads.
  • Engine Oil – 3 Litres replaced every 4000 km. Yes, I hate the fact that the manufacturer forces you to change oil every 4000 km. The oil definitely has more life left in it. In my opinion, I feel that the oil change interval should be 6000km, at least. Replaced oil filter every time I replaced the engine oil. UPDATE – DSK Benelli has come with an AMC scheme (will discuss in detail on this later) in which the oil change interval has been updated to 8000kms. This move will help reduce ownership costs.
  • Air Filter – One replaced every 8k km. The stock ones are the basic foam filters. The plan is to change to DNA Air Filters. There is a stock replacement model available.
  • Spark Plugs – A pair replaced each at 12000kms and 24000kms.
  • Tyres – The motorcycle was shod with Pirelli Angel ST as stock. Replaced the tyres at about 23500km on the odometer. I was looking for the Angel GT as the replacement but the availability of the 160 size tyres was an issue. Came across the Metzeler M7RR Sportec and liked the review and ratings. The M7RRs are stickier than the Angel STs, so I am expecting a slightly less mileage. Review on both the tyres will be posted soon.

Aftermarket Add-Ons

Overall, the motorcycle has been a great experience. I wish I could say the same about the cost of ownership. The service is quite good, however, very expensive for a 300cc motorcycle. At 22000km, in less than 1.5 years, I had already spent a little over Rs. 50000/- on routine maintenance, which includes regular service, oil change and consumables like brake pads. That’s like over Rs. 2/km and it does not include fuel expense, of course. You can maintain a car at less than this.

I did raise the concern with DSK Benelli and I am sure many other owners did the same. The good news is, as I had mentioned earlier, the manufacturer has come up with an AMC option. This is reducing the cost of service by almost 30% annually. They also have plans to localise spares like the brake pads and chain sprockets to reduce the costs. How effective is this going to be? Well, we will have to wait and watch. I will update on this later.

To sum my experience, all I would say is that the Benelli TNT 300 is an able tourer which can be a street hooligan if you want it too. And sounds the part too. This is by far the most melodious sounding motorcycle in this segment. If DSK Benelli can help owners by reducing the overall ownership cost, they will be around for good. The bikes are built rock solid and I for one have not come across any major issues. And if at all they did come, they are machines, after all, the service centre was able to sort it out, right away.

More updates at a later date. Ciao.

13 thoughts on “Long Term Ownership Review – Benelli TNT 300 – 24000km”

  1. Hai Binil, congratulations…A good narrated and straight forward review about the machine i agree with your words about benelli the each and every customer of benellli expecting the same way about ownersgip cost and service intervals,will they reduce the cost of ownership they munch more volumes and biker hearts.

    1. Hey Senthil,

      Thanks for the kind words. They have started with the AMC plan for the TNT300 owners. Hope they continue to make changes to reduce overall cost by localising more spares.

  2. Hi Binil,

    I’ve been following the benelli tnt300 thread on xbhp on and off and only recently came to know about your blog. While I’ve tried several times over last 7 years, I’m just not able to keep up with forums and hence don’t post on forums. I know I sound like a selfish prick but that’s how it is.
    Since I’m also in Bangalore, I’d like to meet up with you sometime and check out your mods since i also love to tour and that happens with wifey onboard and i found mounting luggage a bit challenging.
    Let me know if this would be possible.

    1. Hey Gyan,
      Thank you for contacting me. Yes, we can connect. I am in Bangalore. You may ping me on whatsapp – 8 1 9 7 FIVE EIGHT SEVEN FIVE EIGHT SEVEN

  3. Hey binil.
    I see you have a semi smoked screen from Puig..
    And as u mentioned that u are not using it, so are you planning on selling it..
    If yes do let me know..

      1. Okay..
        Did u buy it from revzilla, and did it attract any custom duty..
        Can you also let me know, is it’s worth the price keeping aside the pillion comfort.
        Does it fit Benelli 300 perfectly, or do u suggest any other alternatives??

      2. Yes, it fits the bike very well. No mods needed. It’s a direct fit. Just be sure u get the metal mounts, heard some people got the plastic mounts. They are not strong. I got it from UK eBay and got it delivered in UK. Hand carried it from there. So no customs. India the price is 12000INR, I got it in UK for 7800INR.

  4. Hey There. I found your blog on Google. That is a very smartly written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn extra of your helpful information. Thank you for the post. I’ll definitely come back.

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