Benelli Tornado Superbike - Benelli's Tornado Lives!

Benelli, it seems, is for real. The reborn Italian marque took another step toward its goal of becoming a player in the full-sized sport motorcycle market when it ran two examples of its three-cylinder Tornado superbike during the Lap Of Honor at this year's Isle Of Man TT. Aboard were Benelli chief Andrea Merloni and former 250cc World Champion Kel Carruthers.

Powered by a compact, 899cc triple, the Tornado generated truly awesome music. Sounding not unlike a trio of race-spec Ducati Supermonos running together, the Tornado was surrounded by enthusiastic fans every time Benelli engineering chief Ricardo Rosa lit the Tornado's fuse in the TT paddock.

Although Benelli won't release production versions of the bike until '01, our own Alan Cathcart plans a riding impression sometime in the next few issues. Stay tuned.-Mitch Boehm