2016 Benelli Leoncino at EICMA 2015

2016 Benelli Leoncino at EICMA 2015





Benelli unveiled its most exciting new model at the 2015 EICMA in Milan. The all new Benelli Leoncino is the revival of the Italian brand’s legendary and beloved post-WWII motorcycle which went by the same name. By far, the new Leoncino is the most interesting bike that we have seen from Benelli after its acquisition by the Qianjiang Group. The modern take on the classic Benelli Leoncino is an attractive scrambler.

There has been a backward shift in the motorcycle industry with many manufacturers trying to re-ignite the image of the bikes from the scrambler era. Benelli has responded by unleashing the Leoncino, which means lion’s cub in Italian, into the market.

We did not have our hopes high initially when Benelli released the teaser image of the new bike with a line saying, ‘the legend is coming back’. We thought this could just be a concept bike from the Pesaro firm. But that was not the case; we were completely taken by surprise when the Benelli Leoncino was revealed to the world.

The beautiful new Benelli Leoncino is a sight for sore eyes. The design of the bike is very simplistic yet appealing. The body work features harmonious lines that contrast the rugged underlying machinery of this re-imagined Italian beauty. With the new Leoncino we feel that the Chinese owned brand might have a good future after all. Benelli has brought back the artful way of designing a motorcycle which had eroded away over time.

This scrambler from Benelli is powered by a new 499.6 cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled DOHC engine. This is the same engine which is shared by the new light weight adventure tourer TRK 502 which was also unveiled at Milan. The engine features electronic fuel injection system and develops 47 hp at 8,500 rpm with a peak torque of 45 Nm coming in at a very low 4,500 rpm. The torquey engine is mated to a 6-speed transmission with a hydraulic clutch which will ensure effortless riding.

The bike is held together by a newly designed, light but sturdy steel trellis frame. The suspension is taken care of by 50 mm upside down forks at the front and a monoshock at the rear. Brakes feature twin 320 mm patterned discs with two-piston floating callipers at the front and 260 mm single disc also with two-piston callipers. The wheels are in traditional scrambler style with larger 19” spoke aluminium alloy wheels at the front and smaller 17” wheels at the back shod with off-road tyres.

The Benelli Leoncino also features modern LED lights for the headlights, tail lamp and also the turn signals. The seat too gets special attention to detail with two toned leather finish.

The only factor that would come in the way of success for the Benelli Leoncino is the looming bad image of Benelli as a result of its unreliable bikes. But we hope that Benelli has turned things around by addressing the concerns with utmost care to change its unfortunate image.


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