Thursday, July 7, 2022

Benelli Keeway 250cc Cruiser Price Likely To Be More Than RE Classic 350

Keeway K-Lite 250V offers a unique proposition of a low-slung cruiser with a V-Twin engine and a belt drive

Benelli Keeway 250cc Cruiser
Benelli Keeway 250cc Cruiser. Image – Thrustzone

Keeway is a Hungarian brand that Chinese motorcycle manufacturer QJ Motors now own. The brand recently debuted in India with two premium scooters Sixties 300i and Vieste 300. Keeway is expected to launch K-Lite 250V in India soon and pricing for the cruiser is leaked at dealer level.

The cruiser motorcycle was expected to be priced around the ballpark of Royal Enfield Meteor 350. But recent leaks reveal that prices of the upcoming cruiser by Keeway are around that of Royal Enfield’s 650 twins. Even though more mature and established products like the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 seem to crush Keeway on paper, the story is quite different in reality.

Benelli Keeway 250cc Cruiser

Keeway in Europe is known for making motorcycles that resemble Harley-Davidson products. K-Lite 250V seems to take the same route. It has a lot of bits and parts that easily resemble Harley-Davidson’s sporty motorcycles. Despite being a typical cruiser, it gets little to negligible chrome on body, making it look new-age and sporty.

The motorcycle looks like the company’s own K-Lite 125, but on steroids. It gets a chunkier seat, USD forks, fuel tank and tyres. Despite a low seat height of 715 mm, it has a decent 160 mm of ground clearance which will appeal a lot to Indians. The seat is a single-piece unit with a stepped layout. The pillion also gets a backrest.

Benelli Keeway 250cc Cruiser
Benelli Keeway 250cc Cruiser

The front suspension gets USD forks and a twin-shock setup at the rear. On the front, tyre size is a fat 120/80 wrapped around a 16” alloy wheel. At the back, it gets a 140/70 tyre wrapped around a 16” alloy wheel. Keeway K-Lite 250V also gets a single disc setup at both ends with the safety net of dual-channel ABS. In terms of features, K-Lite 250V gets LED headlights with integrated LED DRLs, LED indicators mounted on the flat handlebar, a digital instrument cluster mounted on the tank, a large 20L fuel tank and a bash plate for engine protection.

Speaking of the engine, this will be the main concern for potential customers. It is a long-stroke V-twin, 249 cc, air-cooled engine that makes only 18.7 bhp @8500 RPM and 19 Nm @5500 RPM. The engine sits on a double cradle chassis and powers the rear wheel via a belt drive. In isolation, performance figures aren’t that bad. But if we bring price and competition into the equation, K-Lite 250V is blown out of the water.

Benelli Keeway 250cc Cruiser Prices

The rumoured prices start from Rs. 3.5 lakh in Delhi, Rs. 3.65 lakh in Chennai, Rs. 3.7 lakh in Pune, Rs. 3.8 lakh in Bengaluru and Rs. 3.92 lakh in Hyderabad (all prices on-road). This lands Keeway K-Lite 250V straight into Royal Enfield 650 twin’s ballpark. Both Royal Enfield motorcycles make more than double the power and torque figures that Keeway’s upcoming cruiser makes.

Benelli Keeway 250cc Cruiser
Benelli Keeway 250cc Cruiser

But that’s not the whole picture. Keeway is all about providing a quintessential cruiser bike feel to the masses. It offers a V-twin engine unlike a parallel-twin engine offered by the competition. V-twin engines are more expensive and complicated to manufacture and they provide a feel and sound that parallel-twin engines can’t. Typical cruiser bikes like Harley-Davidson and Indian use V-twins for that very reason.

It also gets a belt drive which has low maintenance and offers a silky-smooth ride aiding its cruising credentials. K-Lite 250V is light on its feet at 179 kg, unlike the competition. Given its low 249 cc displacement, it is expected to be frugal and if we couple this fact with the 20L fuel tank, it will have a very impressive tank range.

Specs on paper fail to explain how a motorcycle feels. After all, a motorcycle is all about the feeling it invokes in the rider’s heart. For a quintessential cruiser bike feel, we think that the premium Keeway is probably worth it. Sales will be taken care by Benelli India dealer network, which is also where the Keeway motorcycles and scooters are on display.

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