Qianjiang has previously confirmed that it intends to make a range of 1200cc three-cylinder Benelli motorcycles using an engine that takes its inspiration from the existing 1130cc triple. This looks like it will be the first of those motorcycles.
Although it’s impossible to see much of the engine in the pictures released by the company, it’s clearly an in-line design. Meanwhile, the machine’s codename – QJ1200GS – confirms it’s a 1200cc.
Despite initially appearing to have an aluminum frame, closer inspection reveals those are merely cosmetic panels over a tubular steel chassis. And while the engine might borrow some of its architecture from the old Benelli 1130cc, it’s largely a new design. The cases appear new, and for the first time there’s a shaft-drive transmission fitted. A BMW Paralever-style single-sided swingarm carries the drive to the rear wheel, with a torque reaction bar installed above it to prevent the rear from jacking under acceleration.
At the front there’s a hefty-looking upside-down fork and radial mount brakes, suggesting that the firm hasn’t skimped on suspension.
The styling might not be jaw-dropping, but it isn’t stomach-churning either – a step forward for Chinese-designed motorcycles. In technical terms, it’s also leagues ahead of anything built in the country before. The 1200cc size will make it the largest-capacity home-grown Chinese motorcycle, while the plethora of bar-mounted buttons suggest it’s not going to be short of technology either.
There’s an electrically adjustable screen, and no doubt there will be a full complement of kit including sat-nav, heated seats and multiple riding modes on the finished motorcycle. Dual TFT screens on the dash, plus a pair of conventional dials, are also evident.
Both Qianjiang and Benelli didn’t want to comment if this motorcycles would only be available for the Chinese traffic police or it would also be produced for civilian use...