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500 Four versus 500 Quattro

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

At the end of 1974 the German motorcycle magazine 'Das Motorrad' magazine tested the best-selling Honda 500 Four and the new Benelli 500 Quattro in a comparison test on the famous and challenging Nürburgring racetrack. Two bikes with a similar construction. Which one is better?

Below some excerpts from the article.

Among the upper mid-range models offered in Germany, the 500 series Honda Four takes the place that every sales manager dreams of for his model: It is the best-selling in its class. With the 500 Quattro, the basic construction of which is based on the Honda Four, Benelli wants to actively intervene in the 500 cc four-cylinder market and prove that not everything necessarily has to come from the Far East.

From a distance it's hard to see which brand belongs to which engine, both the Honda engine and the Benelli engine look very similar!

The Honda not only looks smaller, more graceful, more of a whole from this point of view. With the Benelli everything looks a bit coarser, more powerfully drawn and less elegant. It starts with the telescopic fork and the front drum brake, the bigger 22 Litre fueltank and the less subtle tail light.

A look at the 'undressed' specimens of the comparison test. Above the Honda and below the Benelli.

After several measurements on different parts of the racetrack it turns out that the motorcycles are not inferior to each other. So how much faster is the Honda? Only two full seconds. That is 66.97 meters backlog for the Benelli on a round of Nürburgring. Conclusion: these are two almost equal motorcycles.

Das Motorrad, November 1974.

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