Yesterday at India Bike Week 2015, DSK Benelli unveiled the Blackster 250, a Chinese made motorcycle manufactured by Benelli’s sister company Keeway. Both Benelli and Keeway are owned by Chinese company Qianjiang. The Blackster 250 is expected to show up in India in 2016 and will be priced at under Rs 2 lakhs. It sports a 249 CC V-Twin air cooled engine and spits out 19 BHP of power and 18.7 Nm of torque.
This motorcycle is basically a clone of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. It seems like the Chinese took the designs of a 1:18 die cast Fat Boy miniature model and multiplied the dimensions by 15 or so.
They even took care to maintain the three corrugated lines on the front panel behind the head light. You got to hand it to the Chinese and their attention to detail, even when making a cheap knock-off of a high-end cruiser motorcycle.
Not an ounce of creativity went into the design of this motorcycle. Apart from the crappy build quality, a couple of major visual differences stand out. One is the lack of the Fat Boy’s signature solid bullet hole ridden alloy wheels. The Blackster 250 comes with alloy spoked wheels. The clone also has a vertically inclined rear suspension, unlike the horizontal suspension of the Fat Boy which sits in the underbelly of the motorcycle and gives is that glorious gliding feel when riding over the tarmac.
I sat on the Blackster 250 propped up in the Benelli booth. Not surprisingly, the riding posture is exactly the same as the Fat Boy. However, the overall smaller size of the motorcycle made me crouch. A six footer like me is bound to end up with back and neck pain if I rode this thing for 12 hours a day.
It will be interesting to see how the Blackster 250 does in India. Will someone willing to part with 2 lakhs prefer to ride a lousy Chinese knock off of an iconic cruiser? Or will they prefer to spend less than half that amount and ride a Bajaj Avenger?