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Another Italian Beauty: 2003 Benelli Tornado Tre 900 Limited Edition

For Sale: 2003 Benelli Tornado Tre 900 Limited Edition

Update 12.2.2011: Back on eBay. Links updated. -dc

I must admit that the modern incarnation of the famed Benelli brand was not even on my radar until a neighbor and riding buddy picked one of these up relatively recently. These Tornado Tre 900s are flat out interesting steeds. Bristling with technology melded with the kind of artistry one expects from an Italian brand, this is a bike with real presence. The silver/green paint scheme also looks sharp - especially in the sunlight. I'm still waiting to see what kind of leathers will match this sort of livery, but outside of that it is safe to say that this is one good looking bike.

The Benelli story is a long and interesting one: officially established in 1911, Benelli is thought to be the oldest of the European motorcycle manufacturers. Started by the widow Teresa Benelli, the company Benelli was initially a simple repair garage for bicycles, motorcycles and sundry motorized implements. Teresa invested all of the family capital into the business in the hope that it would offer stable work for her six sons. That investment paid off as by 1920 the sons created their first Benelli engine; a 75cc two-stroke. The following year they built a Benelli motorcycle, now powered by a 98cc powerplant.

The family business thrived through two world wars (and survived by manufacturing and repairing war machinery) and thrived in the 1950s and early 1960s - but ultimately struggled against the onslaught of the Japanese. A change in ownership brought in the considerable talents of Alejondro de Tomaso - who at the time was known for his sports cars as well as his ownership of Moto Guzzi. By the 1980s it was all over; the storied Benelli manufacturing concern originally based in Pesaro, Italy shut its doors. This story would be over if not for the dedicated interest of Andrea Merloni - who revived the Benelli brand and created what we are looking at today.

This is one of the coolest views of the Benelli Tornado Tre 900. Unlike most sportbikes, the Tornado houses the radiator behind the engine and under the seat. These twin fans help draw out the heated air when the bike is moving slowly or at a stop. Watching these come on makes one imagine that they are an additional sort of propulsion, like little turbofans jetting the bike forward.

Unfortunately this is a view that most sportbike riders won't see for long. With the 900cc inline triple producing a claimed 140 hp and pushing a 400 lb (dry) motorcycle, the 900 Tornado Tre's numbers put it in a literbike-sized world but putting out 750cc hp numbers.

From the seller:
You are bidding on a very rare 2003 Benelli Tornado Tre 900 Limited Edition. This bike is #110 of 150 produced and retailed for over $30,000 when new in 2003. This bike is one of 3 that came to us this last summer brand new in the crate. It was purchased and completely gone through, new fluids put in and new tires installed. The bike is perfect and comes with everything they came with when new. It has no warranty due to it's age but is very cool and has a lot of technology. Ohlins suspension front and rear, marchesini wheels and lots of carbon make this bike truely beautiful and extremely rare.

Pick this perfect Limited up for half of it's original asking price!

Today, the famed Benelli name is owned by Chinese concern Motor Group Qianjiang, which is a corporation located in southeast China at Wenling. The new Benelli maintains a corporate presence in Pesaro, Italy, however, and continues to forge a new chapter in this long standing motorcycle brand.

Rider reports are by and large very positive regarding the Tornado Tre. My wife reports that the bike is very tall, and exhibits what feels like a high center of gravity. The steering is relatively low effort, and by all appearances the bike turns in quickly and without drama. I cannot personally corroborate those impressions, as my neighbor has yet to allow *me* to ride his new Benelli. Perhaps in time...

This auction is under way and bidding has been very active. With an MSRP in the $30k range, there is an opportunity to pick up something very rare and quite special for not much cash. This bike has only 231 miles on the clock, and only $7,300 in bids with reserve not yet met. For your chance to snag this neo-classic Italian steed, click the link and jump over to the auction. Good luck, and don't forget to tell 'em you found it on RSBFS!

MI

11 Comments

  • i REALLY want to like these bikes… can’t do it.

  • I’ve ridden them many times and can tell you that they are very nimble and the 3 cylinder motor gives great low end and still revs out nicely. If this is the Limited Edition that I’m thinking of, it should have all carbon fiber bodywork and a dry clutch.

  • Yeah I’ve always loved these bikes ever since they made their appearance at the TT.

    One thing is, I’ve never got a good break down of how the model range was for the Tre.

    Couldn’t tell which ones were the mid level and which was was the base level Tre

  • Hi Pietro – the “Limited Edition” model here is the top of the range. This is the one with the solo saddle, and $$ upgrades like carbon fiber and magnesium.

    The “regular” Tornado Tre is a bi-posto model with a color matched solo seat cover. Both bikes are very rare here in the US.

  • There was also an RS model that was upgraded from the basic Tre model.

  • […] on MOT testing Salford, Bolton, Manchester, do visit MOT Salford.   More MOT Testing ArticlesMOT Testing Salford, Bolton, Manchester, and Some of the Efficient Testing Providers Despite the mod…and is still on the road. Without the MOT certificate, your vehicle is liable for the action and […]

  • Mike/Joel

    Thanks for the info. Yea it was the RS model that got me confused.

    I saw normal Tre model being sold for about 6900 in Washington. Had to pass on it b/c $$$ is tight in this economy

  • How trick do you want? This thing is dripping with all the top shelf pieces of the day and combine that with the sound of that triple motor and you’ve got something here. Hell, I’d buy it just for the fans.

    The only drawback for me would be the parts availability if there is an issue with that.

  • […] was barely a month ago when a zero mile Tre appeared for sale in Colorado. Well, zero mile Tre part due is here. This seller has been selling a […]

  • Is this bike still available?

  • […] Take classic Italian styling and design, and merge it with Chinese money and manufacturing efficiency. Throw in a slightly odd 3-cylinder powerplant, a rear-mounted radiator, and the best possible components across vendor shelves. Replace aluminum with magnesium. Toss in a dry clutch. Drape in carbon fiber. Build it by hand, plan to make very few, and number each one. What you end up with is the very handsome, very rare, Benelli Tornado Tre Limited Edition. How rare are these silver/green beasts? RSBFS has only ever posted one. […]

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