Benelli Leoncino 250 vs KTM 250 Duke vs Suzuki Gixxer 250: Spec Comparison
How does Benelli’s quarter-litre motorcycle stack up against its similar cubic capacity foes?
Benelli has once again dipped its toes into the quarter-litre segment with the Leoncino 250. While it might be the Italian brand’s most affordable motorcycle on sale in India currently, it still costs half a lakh more than the KTM 250 Duke. And if performance and affordability are mentioned in the same breath, then one does need to take a close look at the Suzuki Gixxer 250 too.
So, how does the Leoncino 250 fare against its two rivals on paper?
No surprises here, the KTM possess the most powerful engine of the lot. It is super peaky and therefore needs to be revved hard to bring out the best from the 248.8cc mill. It will be quick in the hands of an experienced rider but its mild mannerisms will appeal to the newbie as well as the matured biker. The Gixxer 250 is sporty, packing in a mean mid-range punch. While it might not outrun the Duke in standstill acceleration, it surely has the upper edge in terms of roll-on acceleration. The fact that the Benelli makes its max power as well as peak torque at higher revs than the other two bikes gives it a major disadvantage -- especially considering that its output numbers are not as impressive as the other two bikes.
Again, with its more premium components, the KTM has the edge here. Its chunkier upside down fork, trellis frame, cast aluminium swingarm and radial calipers are certainly a notch above the two bikes featured here. Benelli has ditched the 50mm USD fork found on the TNT 300 and the Leoncino 500 for a 41mm USD unit. On paper, the Leoncino 250 and the Gixxer 250 are quite evenly matched.
Being the urban scrambler that it is, the Leoncino 250 has a very upright riding stance. At 810mm, the saddle height does not feel too high. Plus, its wide handlebars will give you enough leverage to hustle its heft around.
Surprisingly, the Gixxer 250 has the shortest wheelbase of the lot. It is also the lightest as well as the most accommodating motorcycle in this company. Larger riders will feel that there should have been a bit more room to move around in the saddle.
KTM’s racy genes are also found on the 250 Duke. There is some form of respite offered for the rider as the seat is slim and roomy with enough cushioning to qualify as comfy. 830mm might sound a bit too high but as the ingress section is narrow, it allows the rider to flat foot the bike quite easily. And not to forget, the 250 Duke has the largest fuel tank in this comparison here.
Price and Verdict:
On paper, the KTM 250 Duke makes the most sense as it packs great performance which are matched with equally great components. It also proves to be a mild-mannered Duke which does city duties as well as the highway runs. While it will require an experienced rider to find its limits, the 250 Duke is quite newbie-friendly.
However, spending nearly Rs 40,000 more than the Gixxer 250 is a bit hard to justify. The Suzuki comes across as a polished no-nonsense motorcycle that can do it all. It has got an easier riding stance and to top it all up, it is the most affordable motorcycle here.
The Benelli just feels exorbitantly priced, especially for a 250cc motorcycle. Sure, it might be a premium product and looks classy but for a cost-conscious market like ours, it will be hard to find takers for the Leoncino 250.