Triumph’s Trident Or Kawasaki’s Zed? Battle Of Mid-displacement...
- Apr 6, 2021
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The 600cc space, particularly for the Indian performance bike scene, is crucial, both from the perspective of bikers who want to upgrade to a ride with more power, but also for manufacturers who have eyed this slab as one which will generate substantial interest and sales than the larger and more expensive litre class superbikes. For riders, especially ones with not much experience with superbikes, the 600cc class of bikes provide enough power to be highly entertaining, yet not overwhelmingly powerful to handle.
When DSK-Benelli launches their 600cc naked street, the TNT 600S in India, it will be up against two formidable naked streets in this class – the Kawasaki ER-6n and the Triumph Speed Triple. Our spec comparison is based primarily on the factor that all three bikes belong to the “beginner’s superbike” class of 600cc or thereabouts.
Design and Features
Looks are subjective, and for some, function takes precedence over form and for others, it’s vice versa. Whatever said, the DSK-Benelli TNT 600S is a striking motorcycle to look at, with its high quality components as well as design and engineering. And with this unmistakably Italian style and design, the TNT 600S scores quite high in the looks department, particularly if you’re looking for curb appeal.
High quality components, including discs with Brembo calipers, Marzocchi shocks and Metzeler tyres make it a very good overall package. The four-into-two underseat exhausts lend additional appeal to the tail section.
Look at the Kawasaki ER-6n, and you see similar traditional mass forward naked street design, but the Kawasaki looks somewhat more muscular and more aggressive, with a fat, chiselled fuel tank, exposed sections of the frame and an exposed radiator with tank shrouds. The sharp headlight, hunkered low down on the front, gives the bike a crouched, predatory stance. The ER-6n will find appeal, for its butch muscular looks, but somehow it doesn’t seem as finely designed as the DSK-Benelli TNT 600S.
The Triumph Street Triple unmistakably stands out with its minimalistic design here. No unnecessary plastic panels, muscular fuel tank, fat front shocks and an exposed engine and parts of the frame which add to the muscular design of this bike. The twin headlamps are a point of discussion among critics – many love them and some loathe them for giving the bike its bug-eyed looks. Despite its radical looks, the Street Triple is an attractive motorcycle and it definitely stands out.
Engine, suspension & brakes
The comparison here is primarily based on the engine displacement. Although the Triumph Street Triple has the largest displacing engine, the DSK-Benelli TNT 600S is the only bike amongst the three to have a four cylinder engine. It’s a liquid-cooled, four valves per cylinder, in-line four, and it makes a respectable 83PS at 11,500rpm and belts out 52Nm of torque at 10,500rpm. Figures are impressive but power may be coming in at much higher revs, and unless we ride it we can’t tell for sure what the low end and mid range performance will be like. Either ways, the four-cylinder motor sounds promising, at least on paper.
The TNT 600S also comes equipped with premium components. Suspension set up consists of upside-down Marzocchi 50mm front forks and an aluminium alloy rear swingarm with a monoshock Sachs unit. Braking duties are taken care of by twin 320mm floating discs with high quality radial mounted Brembo 4 piston callipers. At the rear is a single 260mm disc with Brembo twin piston calliper.
The Kawasaki ER-6n employs the same motor that powers the Kawasaki Ninja 650. The 649cc, twin-cylinder, liquid cooled mill churns out 72PS of power at 8,500rpm and 64Nm of torque at 7,000rpm. The figures aren’t much to talk about, but Kawasaki says their focus was to provide more low-mid range torque to make it a practical motorcycle with a usable powerband for everyday city use or for the occasional tour.
Suspension on the ER-6n consists of 41mm telescopic front forks and an offset laydown monoshock with adjustable preload at the rear. Braking is taken care of by dual piston, dual semi-floating 300mm petal discs at the front and a single 220mm petal disc at the rear.
As the name suggests, the Triumph Street Triple comes with a unique in-line three cylinder 675cc liquid cooled engine. And like the sweet sound this engine makes as the characteristics on paper, the figures are impressive. 106PS at 11,850rpm sounds like a handful and it makes a respectable 68Nm of torque at 9750rpm. Suspension set up comprises KYB 41mm upside down forks and a KYB monoshock at the rear with 124.5mm rear wheel travel. The ABS system with large 310mm front discs together with a 220mm disc at the rear promise controlled stopping power.
The DSK-Benelli TNT 600S has the most number of cylinders with an in-line four configuration, and premium components, it also has the largest size discs taking care of its braking systems. In terms of pure performance however, the Triumph’s output numbers makes the Street Triple the clear winner here.
Price and value
Clearly, the Triumph whizzes away on all performance parameters, but it’s the most expensive as well. At Rs 7.5 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, the Street Triple is over Rs 2.5 lakh more expensive than the Kawasaki ER-6n.
At Rs 4.78 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, Kawasaki has got the price spot on for the Kawasaki ER-6n to entice new buyers looking at an entry-level superbike. In fact, at that price, there’s virtually no competition at all for the Kawasaki and the only bike that comes close to the ER-6n in pricing is the Harley-Davidson Street 750, but that’s in a different class and genre altogether.
And that leaves a very good space for the DSK-Benelli TNT 600S. If priced right, and with an in-line four cylinder motor that promises to provide ample performance, the TNT 600S could turn out to be just the right bike for many aspiring performance riders. If the numbers live up to real world usable performance and if DSK-Benelli prices it right, the TNT 600S promises to be a very good in-line four naked street.
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