1125CR & TNT1130CR - Carrying the hearts of CR

There is no doubt that Café Racer is one of the favorite styling among any kind of bikers. You will meet bikers who are not too fond of cruisers, bikers who don’t like bikes with fairing, but you will probably meet none who doesn’t like Café Racers. In fact, everyone loves it. And with the new-age retro cult in, Café Racers are back, thanks to Ducati, Triumph and Honda. Now, Café Racers essentially mean naked bikes, but what we have here are 2 Café Racers which are not exactly naked.
It’s beyond us whether to like these bikes or not, but when you have companies as hallowed as Benelli and Buell announcing these bikes as CR, we all need to just stand up and appreciate these bikes. Why? Because CRs, what we know off, is that beyond the beautiful image it depicts, it has to be a racer, right? Now-a-days we have CRs with puny engines with the styling of a CR. Not to take away anything from this wanna-be CRs, after all the style of a CR is what makes it stand apart and bikers like modifying their bikes in the CR format. So Benelli and Buell have unleashed the heart of a Café Racer in total new packages. The TNT 1130 CR from Benelli packs a whopping 142 hp from the 1130 engine while the 1125CR from Buell belts out 146 hp from the 1126 cc engine. What are these? Monster figures from naked street bikes. And that’s why, they are in the Café Racer society, street scorchers from light weight vehicles for pure adrenaline rush and that with all modern features.
Buell promotes the 1125CR as a 21st century Café Racer, not a new-age retro. So with time, we know everything changes. These are the new generation Café Racers. The Buell CR is a mixture of sportbike and streetfighter. It has class leading performance figures with that distinctive Buell styling. Its Erik version of what a modern CR should look like. And we cannot argue with Erik on that. You know the 1125R monster from Buell and this 1125CR has the same machine beneath. With little to debate on its awesome performance, it has a sound which complements the performance factor to a T. Yes, handling has always been a positive feature of a CR, but how many CRs do you know are liquid cooled? Well, this CR is…
So what is the big thing about the performance that Buell is associated with? What rides the CR and other sister bikes is the Buell trademark Helicon engine. The Helicon engine was Erik’s vision to have such an engine which has the ‘perfect’ power delivery regardless of the displacement. With addition thinking heads on the drawing board, they drew an engine which is lightweight, fast-revving, big-bore with short-strokes resulting in delivery of broad and seamless power, hitting 146 hp just before hitting the rpm redline. The torque figures are even more impressive. The torque ‘curve’ is actually ‘flat’ topping out at 82 ft./lbs with only 8 ft./lbs. of variation along the entire powerband. This component makes the bike rideable at any gear and that is why Buell makes such nice sportsbike. The Helicon features dual overhead cams, a self-adjusting hydraulic chain drive and magnesium valve covers, the valve train design is both lightweight and very compact. The valve train design is typical Buell innovation and this technology reduces friction and permits a quicker valve opening due to reduced weight. An additional innovative performance enhancing feature is the RAM air system which pressurizes the air box for a performance gain at speeds over 130 kmph using computational fluid dynamics to optimize the air flow.
Buell bikes are known for their performance streaks and a great chassis is required for this. The chassis featured in the CR1125 has been called Buell Intuitive response Chassis (IRC). Intuitive means instinctive or spontaneous. The rigidity of the chassis is aided by the engine acting as a stressed member of the frame. The frame assembly is 10 pounds lighter than previous designs and like Erik’s innovation, it has the 5.3-gallon fuel capacity storage within the frame. That’s not all, inside the frame there are air flow channels for heat dispersion and efficient airflow. The swingarm is made of cast aluminum and has been tuned for stiffness and placed with an optimal pivot point. It also has slider-bobbins for increased protection and easy use of a rear stand and completing the package are the 47 mm inverted fork tubes that are secured in rigid triple clamps. The front suspension is fully adjustable that will help the rider set up for different adjustments as the terrain demands. This further accentuates that daft handling that Buells are famous for. The rear mono suspension is also fully adjustable for the rider’s weight and riding style. No bike’s handling can be complete without able braking and stopping capabilities. The 1125CR has Buell’s trademark Zero Torsional Load front brake which is a 4-pad, 8-piston caliper and single 375 mm rotor. Why a single for such a bike? Actually, there is no need of double discs as the new rim-mounted design eliminates the need a second disc, which helps significantly in reducing weight. The bike features the famed Pirelli Diablo Corsa III tyres to go with those sweet looking 6-spoke cast aluminum wheels which are very light.
The instrument panel has Buell’s ODIS (On Board Diagnostic Information System) which will give the rider 99 lap times and splits in addition to ambient air temperature, coolant temperature, average and instantaneous fuel consumption, miles to next service display, etc. Standard features include an analogue tachometer, digital speedometer, gear position display, ignition mobilizer, low fuel light and even miles traveled on reserve. What more information could you possibly want? Stocks and shares?
Coming back to the engine, you know it’s better to have a 72-degree V-angle than 90-degree as it is more compact and also it can be centralized for better weight distribution. The Buell has the same logic and with the engine placed forward, the front wheel carries 54 percent of the vehicle weight which improves handling and stability. Everything in the Buell chassis is just perfect for maximum effect. To aid the lower centre of gravity, the aluminum frame doubles for the fuel reservoir. Also the radiators are mounted longitudinally between the front wheel and the frame, placing their weight lower and closer to the center of gravity. Even the muffler and exhaust catalyst are located below the engine. And the best thing is that it weighs only 170kgs (375 pounds) dry. The Helicon engine is trademarked exclusive to Buell. This 146 hp machine has 82 ft./lbs. of torque in a broad linear powerband which provides a superbike riding experience. The redline is at 10,500 rpm. The dual overhead cams have self-adjusting chain and gear drive which gives the head a compact design. The engine is primary balanced with three internal shafts, reducing weight and to minimize vibration.Like any other supersport bike, it has dry sump oiling and has a 6-speed gear box. Rear wheel hopping during high-speed downshifts is reduced by the assistance of the Hydraulic Vacuum Assist (HVA) slipper-action clutch.
The smoked windscreen actually looks very good with those dazzling headlights. The headlamps are incorporated into the front fairing and it features a six-bulb headlight system for brilliant illumination at night. The front & rear turn signals and taillight are LED. It has a very sleek rear section with a passenger seat hidden under an easily removable cowling.

Now coming to the looks, yes, many of us heard about it before is that how can a CR be a CR with those scoops and all, some say, it just takes away the CR ‘look’ or just take away the scoops to make it to a proper CR. Well, this is evolution and if the scoops are present, it is because it aides the bike for what it is meant to be. Powerful and fast like a Café Racer. The front fairing and windshield design driven by Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis and aerodynamic testing optimizes airflow to reduce drag and increase rider comfort. This is Buell's Advanced Cooling System and instead of relying on air churned up by the front wheel like yesteryear’s café racers, Buell engineers routed virgin air through a split radiator, along the specially channeled frame, and cleanly out the back of the bike. Also these performance scoops are designed to act like frame-sliders, helping to prevent damage to parts of the bike that are a lot more painful to replace. Come to think about it, this is ACTUALLY a café racer. It has the heart in its right place. Café Racer are meant to be nimble, fast having a low center of gravity and the 1125CR is all that. This is the 21st century and this is a 21st century Café Racer. Visit the BUELL website to have an insight to the 1125CR
Engine - 1,126 cc, Helicon, Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 72 V-Twin
Bore x Stroke - 4.055 in. (103 mm) x 2.658 in. (67.51 mm)
Maximum Power & Torque - 146 hp (109 kW) @ 9,800 rpm & 82 ft-lb (111 Nm) @ 8,000 rpm
Compression Ratio - 12.3:1
Intake - Zero-resistance airbox, Pressurized RAM air intake
Primary Drive Type & Ratio - Helical gear &1.806:1 (65/36)
Secondary Drive Type - Belt
Overall Length & Width - 80.7 in. (2,050 mm) & 29.3 in. (744 mm)
Seat Height, Laden & Unladen - 30.5 in. (775 mm) & 32.7 in. (831 mm
Ground Clearance - 5.43 in. (138 mm)
Wheelbase - 54.5 in. (1,384 mm)
Fuel Capacity, Total & Reserve - 5.3 gal. (20.1 l) & 0.8 gal. (3 l)
Dry Weight - 170 kg (375 lb)
Tyres Front & Rear - Pirelli Corsa III (both)
Tyre Size Front & Rear - 120/70 ZR-17 & 180/55 ZR-17
Wheel Type, Front & Rear - 6-spoke, ZTL cast aluminum & 6-spoke, cast aluminum
Wheel Size, Front & Rear - 3.5 in x 17 in & 5.5 in x 17 in
Mileage - 15.4 kmpl (36 mpg) city & 20 kmpl (47 mpg) highway
And here we have the Benelli TNT 1130CR. We can agree that this beauty from Italy has more of a streetfighter look, but Benelli has given the CR tag in the nomenclature itself, so we do have a cafe racer here. Okay, the design idea used for the development of the Cafè Racer was that of creating a bike inspired by yesteryear’s racing bikes, but with unique, sophisticated details to make it modern and effective. Even the colour was also evoked form the past. And that is what the 1130CR is. A bike with the power and performance of a sportbike and the comfort of a standard bike. And come to look at it, it is actually a proper Café Racer. It has a nice windscreen, albeit small, clip on handlebars, a single seat, foot board adjustment, so it has everything you find in a Café Racer.Yes, Benelli bikes are expensive, in fact any Italian bikes, but the thing is you won’t find anything regular run on the mill items here, it is Italian and being a Benelli, it is even more rare.
Benelli has basically 2 engines, an 899cc and the bigger bored out 1130cc engines beside the offroader engine. All the bikes are woven around these models to cater to different categories. In the U.S, there is only the 1130cc engine.
Like all Benelli machines, this CR bike will give you the option of modifying the engine with a single button. Like many sports bike featuring this option, you can opt for power or traction control which of course will also offer you better fuel consumption, well though not by much as the TNT 1130 Café Racer seems to be quite a guzzler. But then if you have the money to buy a Benelli, you would probably never ever think about economy. Just for the record, it will give you a ride of around 120km from the 16.5 liters tank. The free power configuration makes it possible to fully enjoy the power of the bike at 135 hp while the traction control will let you enjoy the bike in city urban driving through the twists and corners with a reduced power output at 112 hp.
The CR also offers adjustable forks (extension and spring preload), with a hardened surface to improve the sliding qualities. This feature is also available on the rear shock though only pre-load which greatly helps the rider in all asphalt conditions. The bike is considerably lighter thanks to the Marchesini rims in forged and machined aluminium alloy and the Brembo braking system with a 4 piston radial calliper and a 320 mm diameter double disk at the front.
The engine is a super refined 3 cylinder in line 4 stroke machine which is fitted with anti-vibration countershaft with a total displacement of 1130cc. It is oil cooled The TNT Cafe Racer 1130 isn't your average Cafe Racer. That is so damn true. There is no classic styling cues of the 70s to start with and if it was not for the CR moniker in the bike, you would most probably categorize it as a Streetfighter. But then even Benelli is saying it’s a crossover of café Racer to a Streetfighter. Moreover the colour is probably a little too bright for a Café Racer, but genetically, it does have café racer properties. See, even the mirrors are by the end of the bars, isn’t that a café racer? Well, just having some components like those certainly doesn’t make it one, but riding one will most definitely make you *feel* that you are on a Cafe Racer. On the other hand, what you have here is an exotic machine of fine art. It is, let’s say a muscular cafe racer with smooth curves. This machine is as modern as modern can get. It’s quite fast for a triple and it will happily take you to a top whack of 230kph, and don’t worry for its ride. Reviewers have said that the ride is excellent and it is a very sweet handler and also those big discs brakes will make it absolutely safe for you.

Take a good look at it. Even if you are not a big fan of radical designs featuring mean cuts and angles, on a second look, you will really appreciate this beautiful created design. There have been too many concerns with both these bikes as how could you categorize them as Café Racers. The belief is that Café Racers are self –designed bikes, like homemade ones where you develop those clip on handles and the dome at the rear and unwritten laws would have it as an air cooled exposed engine and must resemble a 70s bike. As such there are ‘real’ café racers like the TRIUMPH Thruxton or DUCATI Sports 1000, but Buell and Benelli has also done their own homework before they got to these models. Look, look wise these bikes may be different from a café Racer as chalk and cheese, but let me reiterate that there is also a heart of the Café Racer. The heart is a fast paced machine which is easy to ride in urban settings. That part both Buell and Benelli got it right. Yes, probably a few designs from the past simple like a round headlamp would have been more suited or even lower handlebars, but both these companies mention their CR as new generation café Racers. Now if sports bike can evolve over the years, then Buell and Benelli has every right to try to evolve the thinking pattern of a café racer lover. Maybe they have disappointed many a café racer fan, but I am sure it has won quite a new number of fans and also impressed some old ones. After all, the heart is in the right place. Visit the BENELLI website to get a load of the TNT 1130CR
Engine – 1130cc, 4 stroke, 3 cylinders in line, tilted forwards 15°, fitted with anti-vibration countershaft
Bore X Stroke - 88 x 62 mm
Cooling System - Liquid, with lateral double radiator, served by two electrofans
Oil Cooling System - Radiator
Distribution - Chain driven double head cam shaft with 4 valves per cylinder
Lubrication - Wet sump
Max Power & Torque - 136 hp @ 9250 rpm & 117 Nm @ 6750 rpm
Caburation - Electronic injection with 1 injector per cylinder
Ignition - Single coil inductive discharge electronic ignition
Clutch & Gear box- Wet clutch & 6-speed extractable
Transmission - Straight toothed primary gear, chain driven secondary
Suspension Front & Rear- Marzocchi 50 mm diameter upside down fork & ASD steel tube trellis swingarm with Extreme Technology single shock absorber with adjustable rebound and spring pre-load
Wheels - Die-cast aluminium alloy front 3.5”x17”, rear 6.00”x17”
Tyres Front & Rear – Dunlop Tubeless, radial; Front 120/70 x 17” & Rear 190/50 x 17”
Brakes - Brembo; Front twin floating disk, 320 mm diameter, with 4 piston caliper & Rear single disk, with twin piston caliper
Wheelbase - 1419 mm
Dimension - 2100 x 1050 x 790 mm (L x H x W)
Seat Height - 780 mm Dry Weight - 199 kg


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