Well, in order to make the 374cc single-cylinder air-cooled motor comply with the stricter emission limits, Benelli has had to make some revisions. The Imperiale was already fuel-injected but the ECU maps have been tweaked to cut down on tailpipe emissions. To further clean things up, Benelli has added an extra catalytic converter to the exhaust system, which is one of the big reasons why the price has gone up.
These changes usually result in a drop in engine output, but fortunately, Benelli has managed to retain the Imperiale’s 21PS and 29Nm figures. Power delivery has changed slightly, with peak power now arriving 500rpm higher than before, at 6000rpm, but peak torque kicks in a whole 1000rpm earlier than before, at a very sedate 3500rpm.
What Hasn’t Changed
Aside from the tweaks to the motor, everything else has remained pretty much the same. This is quite disappointing, considering the bike is Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 more expensive than it was at the time of its initial launch. Everything is still held together by a double downtube cradle frame and suspension is taken care of by a telescopic fork and twin shock absorbers. The Imperiale is brought to a halt by a 300mm/240mm disc brake combo and dual-channel ABS is standard.
Even the styling has remained unchanged, meaning it’s near impossible to tell the new bike apart from its predecessor. There’s no fancy LED lighting on offer and even the digi-analogue instrumentation continues to be the same as before.
We were thoroughly impressed with this motorcycle when it first rolled out. Even back then, it was slightly more expensive than some of its competition but we felt the premium was money well spent. But now in BS6 form, with a Rs 40,000 gap between the starting prices of the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and the Imperiale 400, we’re not so sure. We’ll have to get our hands on both updated bikes before we can drop a verdict.