By Troy Siahaan
You’d think we’d learn our lesson by now with these darn 24-hour races. Our Grom debacle was a serious test of our resolve and had us questioning why we even rode motorcycles in the first place, while our time aboard the Kymco K-Pipe we also rode around the clock didn’t present us with any problems, but boy was it ungodly slow. Maybe in my attempt to recreate the sense of accomplishment that comes with being the first electric team to complete a 24-hour race, I’ve tricked my MO cohorts into thinking racing little bikes for a whole day is fun. Thankfully, being MOrons, we clearly don’t learn our lesson.
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As the story goes, we didn’t really have plans to participate again in 2018. There wasn’t much interested in doing another Grom build (or a Kawasaki Z125 for that matter), the Kymco didn’t excite us much, and for whatever reason we couldn’t get ourselves enthused over the other little bikes currently on the market. Then I rode the Benelli TnT135 for the first time. With a bigger engine than the Groms and others in that class, four valves, two spark plugs, and one extra gear – not to mention surprisingly good looks for an inexpensive motorcycle – my enthusiasm levels quickly perked up.
You’re captured by the Benelli TnT135 by its blatant MV Agusta-inspired styling. You’re (meaning we MOrons) are inspired to throw it into a 24-hour race by its specs and performance.
Immediately, the UMRA 24-Hour race was circled on the calendar – six months away from the TnT135 intro. Considering our builds typically occur days (sometimes hours), not months, before the race, we were feeling pretty good about the timeline for a potential TnT135 build. Surprisingly, it didn’t …read more