Benelli long intended to join everybody else out on the trails and 2008 couldn’t have been a better time for such an introduction as the all-new BX 505 Enduro. Practically a BX 449 Cross with a bigger and retuned engine, this ride is more adequate for hard off-road exploitation and for riders who have experienced motocross riding and who feel like taking the best of it in the woods.
Standing as the beginning of a long-time designing and developing process, the new model of the Italian maker has pretty much sorted out the thing it aims at and that is performance. The bike’s versatile motocross aluminum alloy perimeter frame with casting, molded, extruded parts and structural carbon roods elements patent is the best thing that happened to it if we don’t consider the fuel injected 505cc single-cylinder four-stroke DOHC four titanium valves engine, also with motocross drawbacks.
As much as we would like to position the new Benelli straight against the Japanese off-road models such as the Honda CRF450X, Yamaha WR450F and Kawasaki KX450F, these bikes displacement (449cc) clearly sets them apart from the 505 cylinder capacity of the subject of this review which leads us to off-road specialists KTM and Husqvarna.
The Austrian builder delivers the 530 EXC-R as a really powerful and torquey trail companion which comes fitted with the totally redesigned XC4 engine. Already famous for being a great performer, the carbureted 510.4cc liquid cooled single cylinder four-stroke mated to the six-gears gearbox makes it perfect for this battle and leaves us wondering if there is anything to compare with these two.
Of course there is! The Husqvarna TE 510 is an even more appropriate competitor for the Benelli as its 510cc four-stroke, four-valves, DOHC, liquid cooled single-cylinder engine is electronically fuel injected. The Husky comes fitted with headlight and hand guards while goodies such as the Marzocchi suspensions and Brembo brakes definitely leave their fingerprint on the also new bike. A six-speed Enduro tuned gearbox couldn’t have missed this awesome package and we can say that these bikes are forming a specific category.
Those daring Italian designers have really managed to create an aggressive looking first BX 505 Enduro motorcycle that will blink an eye to every potential buyer and not only. Everything is where it is suppose to be, pieces perfectly blend in together and the finishing touches are simply mind blowing. As you get close to it you even start wondering if it is rideable or more likely waiting to be sent on the showroom floor where it will shine like no other off-roader has ever did before.
Pieces from which you won’t be getting your eyes off are the headlight (it looks like an alien’s face if you ask me, but maybe that’s the whole idea…future looks and innovation), front fender, side panels and definitely the rear fender. Apart from the angular lines that have come to individualize Benelli’s Cross and Enduro models, the magic consists in the color arrangement which is meant to help the bike stand out even more. Green up front on the fender and side panels, gray on the headlight’s small fairing and on the rear fender and side panels while everything in between is black (best example is the seat and the protective matte black plastics which have the purpose of not suffering excessive wear like painted pieces would do). Also black are the rims, but the shine soon disappears when introducing the bike to the environment for which it was created.
Out on the trails, there is simply nothing to stop the Benelli BX 505 Enduro from making a damn good impression. From the first leg swing over it to some six-gear accelerating action, the machine speaks about the Italian’s intention to penetrate the Enduro market all over the world.
As soon as you are introduced to its narrow seat, motocross-like handlebars and ergonomically positioned footpegs you know that this is no ordinary trail bike or nothing like that. The idea was to create good accommodations so that the biker would concentrate on the aggressive riding that he is doing, but isn’t that a little too close to motocross? I mean that there is no possibility to ride the thing half a day without feeling that a razor blade splits you in half and start searching for aftermarket seats that never let themselves found, especially in the case of a motocr…sorry, enduro bike.
But if you are more into hard enduro, the engine will feel like it was especially designed to fulfill your riding needs. A real torque and horsepower provider, the 505cc single cylinder four-stroke DOHC four titanium valves fuel injected powerplant needs a single twist of the throttle to spin the rubber and uncover the ground beneath the wet leaves. This happens when taking it hardly in first gear, but quick take offs can easily be made also in second gear with an even longer and continuous accelerating feel. The clutch is smooth engaging and the gearbox is quite precise so it will be enjoyable to approach it like a dirt bike. But when finding a straight piece of land and shifting an upper gear when only wanting to make sure that you’re riding in fifth, surprise! The sixth gear won’t harm anyone, but only take their enjoyment even further.
All through the rev range, this thumper will deliver the best it can: great torque from down low, a powerful mid-range and never ending top. It is definitely comparable to powerplants found on the Husky and KTM models and its 72 horses clearly say their heavy word.
Handling the 505 Enduro feels light, easy and very responsive thanks to the bike’s 26.5 degrees in rake. It seems that Benelli didn’t intended to make a clear difference between the BX 449 Cross and the Enduro model 505 BX so the chassis is identical to the one found on its racing cousin.
Suspensions will be efficient, as expected, so that stability and consistency reach the highest levels and end up defining endurance with their 310mm wheel travel at both ends.
One truly great riding experience, the brand new Benelli BX 505 Enduro will definitely be a great bike in anyone’s garage and a nice memory in the mind of the test rider.
Having presented us the best of both worlds, the Italian manufacturer intends on retaining the qualities of a motocrosser into an Enduro bike and that looks like a great idea. It is indeed, that is if you don’t feel like riding it for hours and hours. The stylish looking Benelli BX 505 Enduro attracts and doesn’t disappoint, but the track would seem like its most appropriate riding space.
Engine and Transmission
Type: Single cylinder 4 stroke DOHC 4 titanium valves
Cylinder Capacity: 505 cc
Bore x Stroke: 104 X 59,5
Compression Ratio: 11,5:1
Maximum Power: 44,5 Kw @ 8500 RPM
Maximum Torque: 50 Nm @ 5750 RPM
Exhaust Valve Diameter: Ø 32 mm
Lubrication System: Wet sump and reeds
Fuel System: Electronic injection - throttle body 42 mm EURO 3
Clutch: Wet clutch 7 steel discs
Starting: Kick starter and electric
Gearbox: 6 speed extractable
Transmission: Chain 520
Alternator: 250 W
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: Aluminium alloy Perimeter with casting, moulded, extruded parts and structural carbon roods elements patent
Front Suspension: Ø 50 mm fully adjustable
Front Travel: 310 mm
Rear Suspension: Sachs shock absorber fully adjustable
Rear Travel: 310 mm
Trail: 110 mm
Offset: 24 mm
Front Brake Diameter: Wave, Ø 260 mm
Rear Brake Diameter: Wave, Ø 220 mm
Front Rim: 1,60"
Front Tyre: 80-100/21
Rear Rim: 2,15"
Rear Tyre: 140-80/18
Steering angle: 45°/45°
Length: 2160 mm
Width: 810 mm
Height: 1240 mm
Seat Height: 960 mm
Wheelbase: 1450 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity: 9 l
Weight: 110 kg