Usually, Benelli models didn’t impress people that much due to the poor finishing touches and the considered anemic engines, but with the 2008 model range we reckon that things are taking a dramatic change for the best. A great example is the brand-new Benelli BX 449 Cross, a bike that situates among Europe’s greatest dirt track machines.
The Italian maker intends conquering motocross riders with its brand new creation which’s name sounds like the one of a Citroen car, but has nothing to do with it at all. The BX 449 Cross, like its name says is fitted with a carefully engineered 449cc single-cylinder four stroke DOHC four titanium valve engine and a five-speed gearbox. It is good for a start and considering its looks, there is nothing to keep it from climbing the success mountain immediately.
Benelli had definitely knew what it was getting itself into as all its competitors were already good and rolling expecting for somebody new on the scene to smash. But I have a small feeling things won’t be going that way and Benelli will get out of 2008 not only with a clean face, but with a decent fan club too.
Clearly, its fiercest competition comes from Japan under the names every bike manufacturer is afraid of, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki.
2008 Honda CRF450R
The Honda CRF450R practically dominates every MX race that it enters and the recipe is as old as racing: a lightweight package with as many horses underneath as possible. And for 2008 the CRF450R is lighter and sharper than ever before due to its all-new works-style brake rotors, retooled frame geometry, and, hear me out on this one, Honda’s new Progressive Steering Damper. This last unit helps the machine steer eve sharper and so exploit the 449cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder Unicam four-stroke engine better.
2008 Yamaha YZ450F
Yamaha has only created successful YZ450F models and the 2008 makes no exception. The thing is that a 449cc liquid-cooled DOHC four-stroke five titanium valves engine can’t make a bad figure in this battle so it simply does an excellent one. Its styling is indeed a bit old and not as sharp as Benelli’s, but the bike isn’t ugly either.
2008 Suzuki RM-Z450
Suzuki entered 2008 with an even simpler looking bike, the RM-Z450. But the Suzi is among the best performing and innovative motocross bikes of 2008 because its 449cc four-stroke, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve comes fitted with a fuel injection system, the first ever on a motocross bike. Also, due to the redesigned chassis, suspensions and brakes the RM-Z450 is one sweet ride.
2008 Kawasaki KLX450R
For 2008, the Kawasaki KX450F enters the scene featuring a revised engine and gearbox, the goal being smoothness and linear power delivery. The bike is also less rigid so it will handle better on those sharp bends around the track. Powering it is the carbureted 449cc Liquid-cooled, four-stroke single with DOHC and four valves per cylinder.
2008 KTM 450 SX-F
From the old continent, the KTM 450 SX-F is characterized best by performance, reliability, and ingenious features making it perfect to be set up against the Benelli BX 449 Cross. Its engine is a 449.3cc liquid cooled single cylinder four-stroke and the four-speed gearbox is there to back it up. All of the other bikes in this category come with five-speed transmissions, but KTM is a little special and uses revs in order to prove its good point.
2008 Husqvarna TC450
Even though we name it last, the Husqvarna TC450 isn’t the least. Revisions to the engine and tranny for 2008 consist into a new valve lifting system, new chain tensioner and clutch basket while the chassis is brand new, complete with 50mm Marzocchi forks and everything. The 449cc four-stroke, four valves, DOHC, liquid cooled single was a great performer from the start so we’re expecting a great motocross battle.
2008 Benelli BX 449 Cross
People can underestimate a Benelli as much as they feel like, but they can never call it unattractive. It is something about the bike’s stylish angular lines and the color combination that can knock anyone down, not to mention a passionate motocross fan that goes looking for the sharpest looking model out there.
In the front, a tall green fender will talk about the bike’s off-road abilities as well as the black mudguards. Further continuing the process is the boomerang-like side panels with the same coloring. What is different, I mean gray, is the front number plate which together with the rear fender makes a perfect color match with the frame.
The alloy wheels are painted black and the bike’s ergonomics are exactly what you will find on a Honda or Yamaha. What you won’t find on those bikes though is the aftermarket-looking standard exhaust fitted on the thing. I know it sounds strange, but take a look at it!
Finishing touches are excellent so the Benelli remains loyal to Italian styling reminding us of the famous saying that Japanese performance and Italian styling is the best recipe for the perfect bike, no matter category.