Having first reviewed an earlier version of Benelli’s learner-legal pocket rocket some three years ago, Mau was interested to see how the latest reincarnation would compare. Way back then, this little growler won a special place in his heart with its balls-out extrovert approach to the learner-legal market. What – if anything – will have changed?
The one thing I loved about the bike when I originally reviewed this machine was the way that it reflected the looks of a much bigger and more powerful naked-style bike with its sporty-looking styling details. I’m happy to say that my opinion about this hasn’t changed and that pair of lovely-looking swept-up exhaust pipes still emit one of the loveliest growling sounds I’ve ever experienced on a bike of this size.
I spent a few minutes acclimatising myself with the controls and the memories of my previous experience of riding the TNT 125 came flooding back to me. The simple and clean layout of the handlebar controls and the bike’s instrumentation panel all still had that natural feeling of everything being where it should be, with everything falling easily to hand as you’d expect. Nothing felt like it had been miniaturised in any way to match the bike’s small stature; the seating position in relation to the handlebars felt just about right and provided a nice, comfortable riding position without the bike feeling cramped in any way for a person like me who stands at 5ft 10ins tall.
Firing-up the engine resulted in me revisiting that lovely sounding and throaty exhaust note that I remember so well – it’s also a sound that will turn heads when there are others around to appreciate it. Pulling away from a standstill, the progression up through the five speed gearbox was as slick and smooth as I remember it.
Given that this is only a small capacity 125cc bike, the acceleration felt fairly swift and overall performance was more than reasonable. As you’d expect this will be affected by both by the road and weather conditions; on a good day on a flat road with the wind behind me I managed to get a reasonable speed build-up to a tad under 70mph according to the digital speedo readout – but on a bad day you will struggle to achieve much over 52/53mph.
The unique selling point of this bike remains much as it originally did in bringing the fun element into riding – along with a huge amount of smiles whether you’re winding your way through the commuter traffic, or taking a leisurely cruise down a country road.
For the full, in-depth write-up of Benelli’s TNT 125, pick up the September issue of MoreBikes.
Images: Gary Chapman
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