Tagged: 650S

A Perfect Storm: 1975 Benelli Tornado 650S for Sale

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S R Front

Built between 1968 and 1976, the Benelli Tornado 650S could be thought of the “Anti-Triumph.” While the basic pushrod 650cc, parallel-twin specifications suggest a bike superficially similar, it is very different in practice. Apparently, the Benelli twin actually has four flywheels, but for most of us, a clue about the character can be found in the hugely oversquare dimensions: 84mm x 58mm. No balance shafts here, but the engine is very smooth and loves to rev, compared to contemporary British bikes.

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S R Rear

Amusingly, a bit of 70’s “anti-vibration” tech can be seen below: the long nubs on the footpeg rubber were designed to help isolate engine vibes that might be transmitted through the controls.

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S Engine

While drum brakes may not have been cutting-edge technology by 1975, the huge, chunky piece here should provide plenty of stopping power for anyone prepared to accept the limitations of vintage brakes.

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S Clocks

The original listing includes plenty of excellent, high quality photographs that show the bike in great detail. There are some minor blemishes and bits of corrosion, but overall, this bike is extremely clean, with only 60 miles.

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S L Front

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Benelli Tornado 650S for Sale

In extremely pristine condition this Benelli Tornado 650S is a perfect showpiece for Benelli’s unique Italian design and build quality. Indicated on the odometer, this Benelli has only registered 60 miles! Painted in its original a yellow and black color scheme this motorcycle looks amazing. The paint is original and in ideal condition, only very minor imperfections can be found; but are negligible for original 40 year-old motorcycle. Every chrome and stainless steel accessory is original and in very good condition, almost no aging can be found. A black banana seat allows the rider have a comfortable and relaxing experience, with a natural riding position. Under the seat the original red tool kit is still in place with every tool being accounted for. Original handlebars and Veglia gauges are in excellent condition, the handlebars still retain the factory hand grips too. Front and rear turn indicators work along with the original headlight and taillight too.

It should be noted that this motorcycle was never been titled. It will be sold on Bill of Sale, with the original manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO) in hand.

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S Tank

$12,900 is obviously pretty big money for a Benelli Tornado. But, as was true for the Quattro that was featured here last week, that might seem like fair money to the right buyer. If you’re a collector and want the best, lowest-mileage example you can find, this has to be one of the most perfect and original Tornados in existence.

-tad

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S Front

The British Alternative: 1974 Benelli Tornado 650S for Sale

1974 Benelli Tornado 650S L Front

Looking at the basic numbers, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Benelli Tornado 650S was simply a Triumph in sexy, Italian duds. But while the basic configuration matches bikes from the British manufacturers and it was designed to compete directly against those bikes, the feel was subtly different. The 642cc twin was very oversquare, loved to rev, could push the bike to a claimed top speed of 117mph, and was reliable to boot.

So almost nothing like a British twin then.

1974 Benelli Tornado 650S Dash

Benelli was founded in 1911 by the widow Teresa Benelli to provide employment for her six sons and keep them from getting into mischief. Originally a repair shop, the bike branched out into full-fledged motorcycle production in 1921 and they produced a variety of twin, four, and even six-cylinder motorcycles until they closed up shop in the late 1980’s.

1974 Benelli Tornado 650S Tank

While the Benelli was an excellent performer right out of the box, the British twins have a wealth of tuning and parts support that makes owning one today a better proposition. But if you dare to be a bit different, a Tornado makes for a very cool ride and you are unlikely to find a better example than this one.

This is really one of the nicest Benellis I’ve ever seen and the bike features a ton of cool details to obsess over, like funky, vibration-absorbing footpeg nubs and a gorgeous drum brake up front.

1974 Benelli Tornado 650S Rear Hub

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Benelli Tornado 650S

Up for auction is this beautiful Benelli Tornado 650S. The frame has been powdercoated, the bearings in the wheels, steering tube and swingarm have all been replaced. The cables are all new as is the wiring harness. Take a look at all of the chrome work and polishing. Anything that was chromed originally has been re-chromed and polished to perfection. Those are new exhaust pipes and mufflers. The Ceriani shocks were restored. new seat cover, new chain and sprockets. Note the polished aluminum turn signal housings – no plastic there! The side covers, tail light, head light were repainted, but the tank has the original paint since it was deemed good enough to be left alone. As was the engine and transmission. These motors are very durable. Over the years I have ridden Joel Samick’s 650S on two Retro Tours (highly recommended!). I enjoyed it so much that I bought this one. His has triple the mileage of this one and it is still running as strong as ever.

It starts right up with a mighty roar and takes off smoothly, shifting well through all five gears. The engine has a short stroke and revs very quickly. If you are accustomed to a British 650, this will surprise you – in a good way! The front brake is a gorgeous double-sided affair that looks fantastic even if it doesn’t work as well as a modern disc. If you attended the 2013 Barber Vintage Festival you may have seen this bike in the Motorcycle Classics show. It was awarded the Best European trophy. I have ridden it sparingly since then. Everything works as it should including the clutch which was just replaced. While replacing the clutch I fixed an oil leak from the engine side cover. I bought the clutch kit and gaskets from benelliparts.de which has always had the parts I have needed for my Benellis. Their prices are very reasonable too. These bikes have always been rare and one in this condition is rarer still.

1974 Benelli Tornado 650S R Sidepanel

Bidding is very active and up to $6,900 as of today. A beautiful, unusual alternative to a fickle British twin or a more obvious Italian v-twin, this bike should be great everyday classic that goes and shows equally well.

-tad

1974 Benelli Tornado 650S R Side

1972 Benelli Tornado 650S for Sale

1972 Benelli Tornado 650 R Side

While the name Benelli is now more likely associated with firearms outside the vintage biking scene, the company was founded in 1911 by matriarch Teresa as a way to keep her six sons steadily employed. Within ten years, they’d gone from a bicycle and motorcycle repair shop to manufacturer of their own, in-house engine and a successful racing team.

The Tornado 650 was introduced in 1969 and was designed to compete with the bigger offerings from Norton and Triumph in the US and Great Britain.  Powered by a very oversquare 642cc parallel twin, it was reliable and performance was on par with the competition, with a claimed top speed of 117mph.

1972 Benelli Tornado 650 L Side

While those numbers suggest that it’s virtually interchangeable with other machines of its general capacity and specification, in reality the Benelli offered much greater refinement than a Triumph or Norton of the era. Unfortunately, while those machines may be lacking a bit in terms of sophistication, they’re certainly fast, and offer a wealth of tuning parts, shops that specialize, and support communities.

The Benelli will likely get you a wealth of curious looks. Especially if they take a close look at those funky, vibration-reducing footpeg rubbers…

1972 Benelli Tornado 650 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Benelli Tornado 650S for Sale 

Very low mileage bike restored to as-new condition by Vincent special builder Dale Keesecker in 2008 with 1159 original miles. Entire engine was gone through, all seals replaced, everything checked and carefully reassembled. New paint and high quality chrome applied, cables replaced, any rubber or plastic showing deterioration was replaced.

The bike now has 2280 miles on it. I bought it from Dale in 2009 and have fully tested it over the 1121 miles and 5 years that I have had it.  It is stone reliable, starts instantly on the button, idles perfectly and is a dream to ride. No paint scratches or blemishes, never fallen over, never been wet. Tires bought new in 2011, less than 1000 miles on them. Brakes work great, all electrics work except that the horn is disconnected. Does not leak oil.  It is very quick, handles beautifully and has a phenomenal sound. A huge attention getter anywhere I go on it.  Includes full service manuals, diagrams and user manuals in English & Italian.

I am selling because I have far too many motorcycles and some treasures just have to go.

1972 Benelli Tornado 650 L Rear

I love the fact that the bike features both electric and kick start, along with that gorgeous front brake. Today, Benelli is in a bit of limbo: they are currently still owned by a Chinese company and are supposedly still producing their wild sports triples. But distribution and quality both seem spotty, and the styling of these modern bikes, while very distinctive, is perhaps a bit overwrought… Which is a tragic turn of events, given their history. I realize the world market needs lots of cheap and cheerful motorcycles, but here’s hoping the Qianjiang Group uses the Benelli name and heritage to relaunch the brand at some point as a manufacturer of premium motorcycles.

1972 Benelli Tornado 650 Front Brake

$7,000 is premium money for a Benelli Tornado but, from the photos, this is a really stunning example and looks basically like a brand-new 1970’s Italian motorcycle. If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary and love the sound and feel of a parallel twin, this could be your ride.

-tad

1972 Benelli Tornado 650 Tank

1975 Benelli 650S for Sale

1975 Benelli 650S L Full

Today, we’ve got a relatively rare little parallel-twin machine from Benelli, a company more widely known for their four and six-cylinder machines.  Benelli was started in 1911 by Teresa Benelli as a way to keep her six sons employed and out of trouble. Originally, their shop repaired bicycles and motorcycles but by 1921, they’d released a machine powered by their own, in-house engine.

1975 Benelli 650S Dash

The Tornado 650 was introduced in 1969 and was intended to compete with the bigger offerings from Norton and Triumph in the US and Great Britain.  It was reliable and competitively quick, with a claimed top speed of 117mph.  This particular machine would have been among the very last, as the 650 was supersceded by Benelli’s four and six cylinder models in the mid 1970’s.

1975 Benelli 650S R Front

From the original eBay listing, in spectacular, very shouty all caps: 1975 Benelli Tornado 650S

UP FOR AUCTION IS A VERY RARE 1975 BENELLI TORNADO 650S, IT IS IN AS ORIGINAL CONDIION AS THEY COME, DOWN TO THE BENELLI GRIPS, THE ONLY NON ORIGINAL PARTS THAT I CANS SEE IS THE EXTRA LIGHT SWITCH AND THE PNEW PETCOCKS,  IT IS A ONE OWNER BIKE WITH 13,500 KILOMETERS ABOUT 9,000 MILES, VERY LOW, THE BENELLI RUNS GREAT, SHIFTS THRU ALL THE GEARS THE WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TOO, THESE BIKES ARE GOING UP IN VALUE EVERYDAY SO MAKE SURE YOU GET YOURS BEFORE THERE TOO EXPENSIVE, THE 650S MODEL COMES WITH ALL OF THE BELLS AND WHISTLES, BORRANI RIMS 2LS FRONT BRAKE, ETC,  THE BENELLI NEEDS NEW TURN SIGNAL LENSES, THE TURN SIGNALS WORK, I HAVE THE BULB AND PLUG THAT IS MISSING IN THE PICTURES, IT WOULD BE VERY HARD TO FIND ANOTHER TORNADO 650S IN THIS GOOD OF ORIGINAL CONDITION SO DON’T LET THIS ONE SLIP AWAY

While superficially similar to the British bikes it was intended to compete against, the Benelli Tornado 650 offered a slightly more refined feel and engineering sophistication.  On the down side, if you’re buying one today, a Norton or Triumph has a veritable phone book of custom, aftermarket, and NOS parts available, in addition to a strong network of builders and experts to help you keep your ride running or customize it to taste.   Benellis are rare ducks, and it might be a bit harder to find support and parts for them.

1975 Benelli 650S R Engine

There may not be really anything to set this Benelli apart from its British contemporaries in terms of outright performance, but there is something to be said for owning something just a bit unusual, and while this Benelli may not shout out its individuality, its still a classy machine.

-tad

1975 Benelli 650S L Detail