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How big of a performance difference is there between 125 and 135 cc?
Benelli claims 12.6 HP for the T135. That's a full 3.2 HP more than the Z125s claimed 9.4 HP. That's significant, and would be quite noticeable in a ride test comparison, but it's not all a function of the 10cc size difference.

Part of it would be engine design (such as bore, stroke, timing, valve sizing, air intake design), exhaust back pressure, etc. and tuning.
 

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Has Benelli ever sold bikes in NA? If they haven't already, doubt they'll start with the tornado.
They officially re-entered the U.S. market (through distributor SSR Motorsports) as of the end of 2015, but seem to be struggling to get product availability off the ground.

Dealers signed up to sell them are very limited so far, mainly on the East and West coasts.

Benelli Motorcycles USA - Pure Passion Since 1911
 
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****! I'd go a Benelli if it were no more than a grand more just for that gorgeous design! I'll be very interested to see if they enter the market with that in Australia. It would be a prime option to give the segment an "exotic" option in comparison to the two more mainstream brands!
 
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