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.
2008 KTM 530 EXC-R
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.
2008 Husqvarna TE 510
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.
2008 Benelli BX 505 Enduro
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.