Return of the Cafe Racers - Beautiful Machines Benelli TNT 300

Beautiful Machines Benelli TNT 300

Attending the Art of Speed show has definitely been my automotive highlight of 2018. While the show itself was outstanding the days that followed were also pretty special. Despite his hectic post-show schedule event organiser Asep took the time to show us around town. Having never been to Kuala Lumpur before this was a real treat, especially since Asep planned to show us more of the local custom scene. Along with a few workshop visits we managed to squeeze in some photoshoots. After Luke had captured a few cars we headed straight to the Beautiful Machines workshop. I’d featured one of their past builds in an edition of Tank Moto magazine and couldn’t leave town without getting the low down on their latest build.

beautiful machines benelli tnt300

At Beautiful Machines HQ we met with Arthur Loh who handles the business relations and marketing side of things. Working fast to try and beat the weather we captured these photos right outside the workshop. After the shoot, I left Arthur with some questions to pass on to the BM builders, the answers to which I can share here with you today. Built collectively by members of the BM team over a 5 month period the donor for the build was a 2012 Benelli TNT 300. In typical BM fashion, the styling of the bike is unlike anything you’re likely to have seen before, which, in the custom world, is always a good thing.

Why did Beautiful Machine choose a Benelli as the basis for this build?

This build was originally for a client of ours. The initial design concept was done as a prototype to potentially make kits for standard TNT 300s. This meant that we had to build around the bike without modifying components like the frame, swing-arm or suspension. No welding was allowed so everything had to be fit using original mounting points or bolt-on brackets. The brief was to build a bike that had a totally customised look yet could be installed as a kit.

beautiful machines benelli tnt300

Who was involved with the build of this bike?

As with almost all our builds, we do 75%of the work in-house. This includes fabrication, machining and sheet metal work. We work with a small core team that consists of a designer, fabricator and mechanic.

Was there anything that influenced the style of this build?

We try not to typecast our builds to any particular genre. The base was a modern day street bike and we aimed to blend classic cafe racer looks with late 80’s street bike style. This lead us to a design that featured a single offset headlamp fairing, a wide twin tail lamp, and upswept rear cowl to pull the look off.

beautiful machines benelli tnt300

Can you walk us through the major changes you made to the bike?

Most of the major changes are to the look of the bike. Beginning with the body we built a brand new aluminium tank that utilised all the original mounting points. We also used aluminium when creating the rear cowl and front fairing. The tricky thing for us were the brackets that hold the front fairing. This was because we couldn’t add new mounting points to the bike. In the end, we opted to mount the upper brackets directly to the tank, reminiscent of 80s and 90s era sports bikes. We removed the bulky foot controls bracket and had a new one machined.

As the build was meant to be a kit, most of the other components such as turn signals, lamps, grips, clip-ons and such were ready-made bolt ons items.

What aspect of the build are you most proud of?

We especially liked the posture of the front fairing, where it sits higher instead of lower. The polished aluminium headlamp cover and how it really stands out against the paint job is also something we like a lot about this bike.


As for the plan to produce this bodywork as a kit For the Benelli TNT 300, Arthur tells me, for now, the idea will go on hold. As sad as that may be it makes this Benelli a one of a kind, which I’m sure its owner is very happy about.


Photography by Fuel Tank

beautiful machines benelli tnt300

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