The Benelli Leoncino series now has an older sibling in the form of the new Leoncino 800 and the Leoncino 800 Trail that have made their global debut. The motorcycles were originally showcased at EICMA 2019 and these are the production-spec versions of the middleweight scrambler motorcycles. Keeping up with the smaller-sized offerings in the range, the new Leoncino 800 series retains the classic elements of the design language while power comes from a larger displacement motor coupled with more sophisticated hardware. The new Benelli Leoncino 800 will compete against the Kawasaki W800, Ducati Scrambler, the upcoming Triumph Trident 660 in the segment.
The new Benelli Leoncino 800 is offered in two versions. The standard version remains road biased and comes with the traditionally-shaped yet muscular fuel tank, sculpted lines, and throwback tail section. The Leoncino branding on the side panels bring a contemporary appeal to the motorcycle, while the round LED headlamp with the U-shaped LED daytime running light is also a mix of old and new. The bike rides on 17-inch wheels at the front and rear with a 120-section tyre upfront and a 180 section unit at the rear.
The Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail, on the other hand, gets a bunch of off-road friendly enhancements like the high-mounted exhaust pipes, a small flyscreen, knobby tyres with a 19-inch front wheel and longer travel front suspension. Both versions gets 50 mm Marzocchi USD forks at the front with rebound, compression and preload adjustment. On the road-biased version, the suspension travel measures 130 mm, while on the Trail it goes up to 140 mm. The seat height has been increased on the off-road friendly version to 828 mm. At the rear, both versions get a preload adjustable monoshock.
The 2021 Benelli Leoncino 800 is underpinned by a tubular steel frame while power comes from the 754 cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine that develops 75 bhp and 68 Nm of peak torque. The motor is Euro5 compliant, which means it can be easily adapted to BS6 norms, and is paired with a 6-speed gearbox assisted by a slipper clutch. Braking performance comes from Brembo units on either version.
The new Benelli Leoncino 800 and Leoncino 800 Trail will go on sale internationally in a few weeks from now. However, we do not expect the model to arrive in India anytime soon. Benelli India is yet to upgrade its existing line-up to BS6 norms, but we do expect that to happen more frequently next year. The Leoncino 800 could make its way to India though towards the end of 2021 or the year after.