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Benelli Jet Skis: The Lesser-Known European PWC Jet Ski Brand

Benelli Jet Skis: The Lesser-Known European PWC Jet Ski Brand

Benelli is a lesser-known European boutique jet ski manufacturer with a rich history, having been sold and rebranded several times. Today the company is known by the name Belassi, which makes the unique Burrasca jet ski.

If you want to learn more about the history of Benelli jet skis, this post is for you. We at JetDrift have compiled all the key info on this manufacturer under one roof!

History of Benelli PWCs

History of Hydrospace PWCs

Surprisingly, the long story of Benelli jet skis began with another PWC manufacturer called Hydrospace.

Hydrospace was established in 2004 in Pöchlarn, Austria. The company was the only European jet ski manufacturer that quickly became world-famous, and for good reason.

The first model the company made was the Hydrospace S4, which claims the title of the “World’s First Four-Stroke Stand-up Jet Ski.” This machine was revealed in late 2005 and got a lot of media attention as it was powered by a turbocharged, 749cc 4-stroke twin engine rated at 110 HP.

Thanks to this amazing power source, the Hydrospace S4 won 17 World Championship titles in the late 2000s.

Although it was designed for racing purposes, it quickly became the dream of many hardcore recreational watersport enthusiasts!

History of Benelli PWCs

In 2008, Hydrospace was acquired by the Italian Benelli Motori.

The company was rebranded to HSR-Benelli, and its headquarters moved to Pesaro, Italy. This brand was unaffiliated with, but related to Benelli motorcycles.

In the first year the company offered just one model, a rebranded Hydrospace S4, which was marketed as “HSR-Benelli Hydrospace S4.”In addition, the new owner started working on an entirely new fleet of runabout PWCs.

AS a result of this effort, the all-new Benelli lineup was revealed in 2008, featuring eight models including:

  • HSR-Benelli S4 110 HP
  • HSR-Benelli S4 Pro Edition
  • HSR-Benelli Series-S Pro Edition
  • HSR-Benelli Series-S Race Edition
  • HSR-Benelli Series-R Naked Edition
  • HSR-Benelli Series-R Pro Edition
  • HSR-Benelli Series-R Prestige
  • HSR-Benelli Series-R Race Edition
The “S” (for Stand-up) line had four different models. As the name suggests, the S4 and the S4 Pro were almost indentical to the original Hydrospace S4. In contrast, Series-S models were built on a different “S8” stand-up plaform.

Just like competitor monufacturers, Benelli wanted to take advantage of the emerging market of runabout PWCs. The all-new Series “R” (for Runabout) family had four different models from the entry-level Naked to the flagship Race.

Although the skis looked very appealing at first glance, their introduction wasn’t smooth. According to The Watercraft Journal, the first press junket for the brand new Benelli jet skis was disastrous.Why?

First, only two of the six prototypes were in operational condition. The other test machines were simply unable to start due to electrical or mechanical issues. Also, due to design flaws, some of them literally sunk during the event!

On top of that, the functional machines offered a disappointing experience. The stiff narrow saddle was mounted on a poorly designed top deck featuring dangerously sharp edges.

Despite this bumpy start, the company continued its mission. As a result of their efforts, they released a new lineup in 2012 including the redesigned stand-up Benelli BS3 and the runabout BR3 series.

The new lineup included five models, which were as follows:

  • Benelli B3R Pure (Runabout)
  • Benelli B3R Cruise (Runabout)
  • Benelli B3R Dynamic (Runabout)
  • Benelli B3S Dynamic (Stand-up)
  • Benelli B3S Extreme (Stand-up)
These machines were introduced in 2012 and combined the power of an outstanding 4-stroke engine with the passion of Italian design.

But unfortunately, the new release was again surrounded by chaos with the official launch of these skis being delayed several times. This was because the hull of these skis still suffered from manufacturing issues, which often resulted in the hull being damaged in a variety of ways. Added to that, there were a lot of electric and engine malfunctions!

Therefore, these models never become commercially successful, so the company decided (again) to rebrand its PWC line in 2017 to Belassi Burrasca.

The Belassi Era

It’s safe to say that Hydrospace/Benelli/Belassi is the most often sold and rebranded PWC company in the marketplace.

Following these frequent changes is quite difficult. However, we’ve done the research and found that these skis have appeared under many different brand names, including:

  • Hydrospace
  • HSR
  • HSR-Benelli
  • Benelli SRL
  • Benelli
  • HSR-Belassi
  • Belassi
At this moment, these PWCs are manufactured in Austria and marketed under the brand name Belassi Burrasca.

As usual, the company put a great deal of effort into the new relaunching. Besides the different brand names, the “new” Burrasca got a new paint job, logo, and a redesigned website.

Aside from these, the Burrasca is basically an unchanged Belassi BR3 jet ski featuring the same body and engine as its predecessors.

According to industry experts, the biggest drawback of Burrasca PWCs is that they don’t meet U.S. standards. Since the ski can be sold in the U.S. it can’t take advantage of the world’s largest market.

Therefore, its future opportunities are quite limited.

Takeaway – FAQs About Belassi Jet Skis

As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most frequent questions about this boutique PWC manufacturer!

Which Brand were Belassi PWCs?

Belassi was a European boutique jet ski manufacturer. This Italian brand was related to but unaffiliated with Benelli motorcycles. The company was originally established in Austria as Hydrospace and was acquired by Benelli in 2008.

Does Benelli Still Make Jet Skis?

Yes! Benelli jet skis are still manufactured, but after a complete rebranding, they are marketed under the name Belassi Burrasca.

When did the Benelli Jet Ski First Come Out?

Benelli jet skis were born in 2008 the Austria-based Hydrospace was acquired.

Where Were Benelli Jet Skis Made?

Benelli jet skis were manufactured in Pesaro, Italy.

Were Benelli Jet Skis 4-Stroke?

Yes, Benelli jet skis were exclusively powered by 4-stroke engines offered in naturally-aspirated and supercharged configurations.

What Was the Most Powerful Benelli Jet Ski?

The most powerful Benelli jet ski was the 2009 HSR-Benelli Series-R Race Edition, powered by a fusion of two 1130cc, 3-cylinder engines. This amazing V-6 power source was borrowed from the Benelli Tornado 1130 motorcycle. Thanks to this unique double-engine configuration, the Series-R Race Edition produced an incredible 342 HP!