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Benelli TRK 502 Review

From the ocean to the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro
28 November 2021
Oloitoktok to Taveta through Tanzania
22 December 2021

By Senior LM

Let me start by saying this is a street biased adventure tourer from China or Italy depending on your biases. I will examine some aspects such as comfort, power, rideability, fuel consumption, Service, etc. what I like and I don’t like. Lets do this...

I acquired this bike at some 3K mileage thereabout, lucky right? Yes lucky. And I have put in approx. 9000kms since purchase so I can safely do an early review on the bike confidently.

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The Motor between the Balls.

The bike is powered by a twin cylinder 500cc 6 geared liquid cooled motor. I came into TRK from Dominar and immediately felt something is off. The gears are ‘long’. They feel like they take a lifetime before you are done. Well it felt that for me. But the good thing about it is that the power delivery is very linear. The TRK will never lift its front due to some maddening sugar rush…but still doesn’t mean it will lag behind, its got some decent take off speed. And the exhaust note is very sweet on the twin. I love it.

Again, due to its obesity it’s take off even at full throttle is still gentle in my opinion. For me its sweetest spot is 110-120KPH on gear 6. at 5.5K Rpm, I can cruise all day long on that spot. I can still overtake at 6th gear without the need to downshift, same spot also allows me to ‘eat hills’ comfortably. Top speed sorry guys I don’t know, I have never redlined any motor, car or bike.

Rideability / Ergonomics

Its an easy to ride bike so long as you are in motion, but reversing, slow motion is no joke. The 234Kg weight is very significant. Actually, for me to park I have to ensure I can later reverse or ride through it with minimal chance of drop. And yes so far I have dropped the bike in slow motion like 5 times with the crush bars coming in handy. Otherwise on long cruise its very comfortable, the seat is wide and well cushioned. Same for Pillion seat, I have pillioned my son for most of the 9000kms I mentioned earlier.

The handlebars are raised as they should be for an ADV type of a bike, keeps my arms straight and shoulders comfortable. Wide side mirrors allow you a wider view of the rear. Pegs for both rider and pillion are just set right. For me they are very neutral, not forward nor rear set. Gives a knee angle of close to 90 degrees.

The handguards are sturdy and do their job well. Zero wind or cold on your hands. Additionally, the windshield is good enough, takes away all the wind from my chest and upwards into my helmet, am a bit tall, for say a 5.5 guy doubt he would feel any wind-blast.


I do not wish to overstate this point. The brand has proven itself in Kenya. It will last as long as you take care of it appropriately. Longest journey I did was Moyale at 1400kms both ways in 2 days and the bike still felt ready to undertake another trip soon after. So on reliability we leave it there.

Fuel Consumption / Service

This bike sits among the top end of heavy bikes. Its heavier than most litre bikes on the ADV segment and thus if you ask me that is not a very good thing. I once had a 2T kerb weight car running on a 2.8L and that compromised power delivery big time. That’s why there is always a reference on weight to power ratio in matters cars and bikes. However, that said, the TRK will return decent figures with a litre giving you some 22-25KMs depending on riding style and conditions.

Well well, service!! This is a tricky area. Manufacturer recommends 10W50 fully synthetic oil. I have tried the Yamana brand 10W40 (i guess) it did not feel as smooth. Tried Protec still didn’t feel as good, the gears were struggling. Finally did Motul 10w50 full Synthetic on the recommendation of Nicolas Kazz and the Bike roared back to life. My gear shifting has never felt as smooth. We are now in a happy place in Motul 10w50 but its not cheap...damn it...

Through YouTube I also learnt how to dismantle the fuel tank, clean the air cleaner, and also the throttle. Its a basic bike, the more interested the more you will learn a lot to service it on your own.

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Street Vs Offroad Performance

Well the 502 is an ADV street biased bike with stock street tires, the Pirelli Angel tires and that means its playground is on tarmac which it does very well. Try taking those tires on the red wet soil and you will bang it down so hard you wont believe it. I did that at Ruaka one night and am shocked the panniers didn’t break apart. it took 2 male sober adults and one semi sober young man to lift it up in the slippery mud. So its advisable if you want some play in the mud get either 50:50 on road and offroad tires and better still focus on the 502X which is more off road oriented.

But yours truly is not a mud inclined fellow so for me mud and the weight of the TRK is a no no.

Other Features I like


It’s an Adv right? Then it better allow you to carry as much essentials as possible. It boasts 2 panniers and one top box. Giving you nearly a total of 120L of luggage space. Amazing. When I did Moyale I had change of clothes, tow ropes, first aid box, fire extinguisher, refreshments, all safely in the panniers and with spare capacity. Though under normal commuting I drop the panniers and keep the Top Box. Reduces unnecessary dead weight.

Fuel Tank

20L of petrol will give you nearly 450KMs range averagely, and that means fewer stops in between for fueling purposes and that’s how an ADV should be like.


Thing can brake decently especially on the front dual disks, the bite is awesome. However, I take some awkward pride in that my TRK may be the only one without an ABS switch. Meaning I cant switch off my ABS. it stays on throughout. Not complaining though, am a 100% tarmac guy.

Road presence

Yes this bikes has serious road presence, it tells everyone who is on the road that you are there. Its quite huge and stately.

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Features I don’t like


Coming from bike with a LED headlight that could see until tomorrow I was shocked that TRK has a halogen headlight, who does that in 2021? As a result most TRKs have aux lights to supplement the headlight. Luckily the indicators and tail light is LED.

Stock Horn

Waaah, this sounds like a malnourished mammal, actually you hoot on that and guys are unable to believe that it actually came from such a huge bike. So luckily I inherited the bike with some deadly after-market horns. One beep and everyone takes notice including those rogue drivers.


Its a bike worth every coin. Is it a keeper? Yes u can keep this bike for ages, hard to give it up. Parts are plenty in Ali Express so no worries there.


My 2 yr working from home comes to an end this Dec. From next year I will be putting 180Kms approx everyday to work and back and we will see how she handles nearly 1000kms a week, 4000kms a month duty. I will share by end of 1st quarter God willing.

Enjoy places that Mama Bear has taken me in the last 9,000 Kms.

1 Comment

  1. Mwariri Gatuki says:

    Great review. I love how you broke down everything love it.

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