2003 Benelli Tornado Novecento Tre LE #135
Exclusivity of design & ownership was the motivation behind Benelli’s creation of the Tornado Novecento Tre. The Tornado’s aggressive styling lines are dynamic and minimalist. The Tornado is the only production bike in the world with rearward mounted radiator, positioned under the seat it draws fresh air in through two cooling ducts with inlets under the front indicators. This innovative feature not only stops heat from building up at the centre of the vehicle, but also reduces frontal bulk making it more aerodynamic.
Designed for and around Benelli’s entry into the World Superbike Championship, the final design and layout of the Tornado Novecento Tre was the result of weeks of wind-tunnel testing with rider on-board. This enormous investment achieved unequalled aerodynamic efficiency and minimalization of turbulence and drag. The rider is perfectly integrated, becoming more at one with the bike, benefiting from significant reduction if fatigue at prolonged highspeed riding.
Largely based upon their WSBK race bike, the Tre LE was dripping in high-tech luxury. Fairings, seat and tank were carbon fibre, Marchesini forged wheels, Titanium exhaust, Ohlins suspension and cast magnesium engine components. Adjustable swing-arm height, and steering head angle, multiple final drive ratios and open-race Titanium exhaust demonstrates the commitment to a ‘no-expense spared’ superbike designed for track use.
The Novecento Tre frame is another example of cutting edge design, with the chromoly front steering head and the side trellis frame integrated into the rear cast aluminium subframe, using aerospace adhesive technology that produces far greater rigidity and elimination of joint vibration.
The front fork assembly was a one-off creation between Marzocchi & Benelli, producing a stronger fork with a pressed end and Ergal 55 tubes. The Tornado Novecento Tre is the only bike in the world which uses the Extreme Technology rear shock with an Ergal 55 central body. As well as being stronger and lighter than the conventional models, its temperatures remain lower, thus providing constant performance.
Restricted to 900cc by WSBK rules, the beautiful three-cylinder engine produced a mighty 140hp in road trim, and was sold with a host of additional parts, race gearing, Titanium muffler, pillion seat adaptor and foot-pegs, all of which are retained with this bike.
Only 150 Novecento Tre LE’s were ever produced to qualify for WSBK racing. Although none were delivered to Australia, this example is batch number 145 and is in showroom original condition and has been part of a well-known private collection based in Melbourne, Victoria. Costing $36,500 USD when released in 2003, currently only one other is presently for sale in the UK with an asking price of 28,000GBP (circa $61kAU landed)
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