The Benelli Leoncino will offer a neo-retro scrambler-styled motorcycle with a new 500 cc parallel-twin engine.
The Benelli Leoncino is one of the first all-new motorcycles which will be launched by Benelli India, under new management in India. Benelli has parted ways with the DSK Group, and has now got into an alliance with Hyderabad-based Mahavir Group’s Adishwar Auto Ride International (AARI). Benelli India will launch two new motorcycles along with updates to a few existing models, and one of the first all-new models will be the Leoncino, a scrambler-styled naked with traditional scrambler design with modern accents and technology.
The Leoncino will share the engine with the new middleweight adventure bike that will be the brand’s second new model – the Benelli TRK 502. What the Leoncino will offer is a neo-retro motorcycle which will be targeted at a customer base looking for a sporty naked bike with retro touches and a reasonably powerful parallel-twin engine.
Design and Features
The Benelli Leoncino name isn’t all new, and in fact, the original Leoncino 125 cc was launched back in 1951. And now, the Leoncino is back, with a new 500 cc engine. The design is the work of Benelli’s CentroStile Italian design centre which has reimagined the original Leoncino 125 and built an uncomplicated modern motorcycle, with liberal doses of neo-retro charm. One unique design touch is the little lion which sits on the front fender of the bike, in a nod to the iconic original Leoncino.
On the features list include a digital dash with an analogue tachometer and digital speedometer with readings for fuel gauge, clock, mileage, trip and gear position indicator. The lights are LED and the standard Leoncino is built for street use and comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, with a 45 mm upside down front fork with 125 mm of travel. The swingarm is suspended by a laterally mounted monoshock with 111 mm of travel. Braking is handled by twin 320 mm discs on the front wheel gripped by four-piston calipers and a single 260 mm disc gripped by a single-piston caliper. ABS is standard.
Engine and Performance
The Benelli Leoncino will be powered by a 499.6 cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine tuned to put out 47 bhp at 8,500 rpm and 45 Nm at 5,000 rpm. With an unladen weight of 186 kg, the Leoncino is expected to be a compact and fun motorcycle to ride. The Leoncino is expected to return fuel consumption figures of around 25 kmpl and with a 13.2 litre fuel tank, that’s good for over 300 km range on a single tankfill. The engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox and the Leoncino is expected to be a fun to ride, compact motorcycle, suitable for the urban runaround.
Price, Launch and Variants
The Benelli Leoncino is expected to be offered in two variants. The standard Leoncino will come with 17-inch alloy wheels and street-focussed tyres. The Leoncino Trail will be the more off-road oriented variant, sporting dual-sport (on-road/off-road tyres) and a larger 19-inch front wheel. The Benelli Leoncino and Leoncino Trail are expected to be launched together, in all likelihood, by the end of 2018, or at the most, early 2019. Prices are expected to be in the range of ₹ 5.5 – 6 lakh (ex-showroom).