Italian two-wheeler manufacturer Benelli has already established itself in the premium motorcycle segment in India. Now, the Pesaro-based manufacturer has entered the scrambler game with it's new 'Leoncino' models.
The name ‘Leoncino' sounds a bit awkward but it's Italian for ‘Lion Cub'. The new models pay homage to Benelli's lightweight motorcycles of the past, especially of the 1950s. The manufacturer offers the model in two versions - the base Leoncino and the Leoncino Trail.
Both Leoncinos features a liquid-cooled 500cc parallel twin engine stuffed inside Benelli's traditional trellis frame. The powerplant produces 46bhp of power at 8,500rpm and 44Nm of torque at 5,000rpm.
The engine arrives with electronic fuel injection, overhead double camshaft timing system and 4 valves per cylinder. It is paired with a 6-speed transmission with a hydraulic clutch.
Other features such as ABS, digital instrument cluster and LED technology are also included. The noteworthy design on both the Leoncino and Leoncino Trail is the Lion of Pesaro, which is placed on the front fender like an exquisite ornament.
Benelli Leoncino For Road
The base Leoncino features 17-inch alloy rims shod with 120/70 and 160/70 tyres. The suspension at the front is a 45mm upside-down fork rather than a traditional right-side-up fork with 4.9 inches of travel and mono shock out back, providing 4.4 inches of travel.
Braking duties are carried out by four-piston calipers biting on dual 320mm discs up front and a single 260mm disc with a single-piston caliper at the rear.
Off-Road Worthy Leoncino Trail
The off-road worthy Leoncino Trail features the same frame and brakes but is upgraded by Benelli to deal with rough terrain. The Trail features a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear alloy rims wrapped in 110/80 and 150/70 tyres.
The suspension at the front is a hefty 50mm fork and out back, it has the same suspension as the Leoncino Street version. But, it offers more suspension travel over the base version - 5.3 inches front and 5.4 inches back.
Benelli offers both the street and off-road scrambler in four different colours: red, silver, green and black.
Benelli says, "The all new Leoncino represents an authentic and pure hearted design concept that rediscovers the style and accessibility of the original, all while delivering a contemporary motorcycle that provides a sporty and exciting experience. Original."
We can expect Benelli to launch the Leoncino and Leoncino Trail in India by mid-2017, and the price is expected to start at Rs 6 lakh. Both the Leoncinos will be locally assembled here.
Most of the motorcycle enthusiasts including us are huge fans of scramblers. Once the Leoncinos are launched, both of them will be pitted against the mouthwateringly gorgeous Ducati Scrambler. We have to wait and see how the 500cc twin would perform against the counterpart.