Benelli Leoncino 500 Sport: What To Expect
The sporty version of Benelli’s scrambler is headed our way. Here’s a look at its design, features and more!
Update: We have ridden the Leoncino 500. You can read the complete road test review here.
With the demand for cars and two-wheelers at an all time high, many manufacturers have embraced the idea of launching multiple products that cater to the customers’ specific requirements. However, to do this in a cost effective way, many have resorted to developing and using a modular platform that can be equipped with a plethora of engine options. They include carmakers such as the Volkswagen Group (including Audi and Skoda), BMW and even our humble Maruti Suzuki. Now, both Harley-Davidson and Benelli have joined the league by announcing their future product plans. While we’ve extensively covered Harley’s plans, let’s take a look at what Benelli has got up its sleeves.
The legendary Italian motorcycle manufacturer has already said that its new lineup of motorcycles for 2018-19 will be based on modular platforms. The Benelli Leoncino 500 Sport, which was first unveiled at the 2017 EICMA, is a prime example of this. While it is likely to be launched in India next year, now would be a good time to check out what the latest variant of the Leoncino is expected to pack.
Design & Features
The Leoncino Sport features an LED headlight which is beautifully capped by a dome-shaped fairing. Completing the dynamic look of the bike are lowered clip-on handlebars, a rear seat cowl, radiator guard and a sportier dual-barrel muffler. Panning to the rear, the tail seems more compact and sleeker than its standard sibling. Benelli has even reinterpreted the classic offset number plate holder from classic race bikes and added a little utility box with a lock. It’s properly small, so don’t expect to store anything other than a tool box and some documentation. The colour scheme seems to be inspired from Husqvarna motorcycles with a silver base and fluorescent yellow highlights on the wheels, tank, front and rear cowl.
At the heart of the Leoncino 500 Sport lies the same inline-twin, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled motor as the standard version. It pumps out 48.6PS of power at 8500rpm and 46Nm of peak torque at 6000rpm. A 6-speed transmission transfers power to the rear wheels via chain drive.
The Leoncino 500 Sport employs a steel tube trellis frame with adjustable 50mm upside-down forks at the front and a rear monoshock with preload and rebound adjustability. This makes it the most affordable motorcycle with an adjustable front suspension in its price range.
Braking duties are handled by twin 320mm discs with four-piston radially mounted callipers up front and a 260mm disc and a single-piston calliper at the rear. Additionally, it also gets dual-channel ABS as standard.
Considering that the standard Benelli Leoncino is expected to be priced at around Rs 4.5 lakh, we can assume that the Sport will command a premium of at least Rs 50,000 for the additional goodies it comes with. At this price point, the Leoncino 500 Sport will compete against the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 (expected Rs 4.25 lakh) and the Harley-Davidson Street Rod (Rs 5.86 lakh, all prices, ex-showroom Delhi).