After a period of trial and error, torn between his full-bodied past and his Chinese-accessible present, Benelli has finally found a path that corresponds more to his story. Not the recent one but that of a time when the lion scratched most of the roads in Italy.
Roadster or Scrambler? A little of both maybe. But whatever the trend towards which it is categorized, the design of the motorcycle hits the mark. Inspired, stylish, seductive, the lion cub from Pesaro reconciles us with the brand. The reservoir does a lot to identity; but also the pocket size, the stubborn headlight, the muscular fork, the bi-round dashboard, and the little lion advocating on the front fender.
Pleasant; nothing to complain about. A fine example of the Italian school. Once caught in the pilgrim’s gaze, the Leoncino will be able to take him along in his tales of the road. The story is told in melody, because of a motorization that allows dynamism, light more than fiery. The twin-cylinder of 500 cm3 pulls out exactly the 35 kW regulatory of the A2 license, that is to say 47.6 horses. With a torque of 4.6 mkg reached at 4500 rpm, the relaunch promises to be complacent, in line with the fun-retro spirit of the roadster. Not violent, but far from sad. A small fifty horses for a machine of 207 kilos, that already allows good laughs.
On the technical side, the 500 Leoncino is strong with its inverted 50 mm fork and its double brake disc with radial calipers. The rest of the chassis is more classic with a frame and a swingarm made of steel tubes, but no less efficient. It will then be necessary to compose with suspensions a bit more evolved than the usual basic elements in this range of displacement. In addition to the classic rear shock preload, there is the rebound adjustment for the two damping devices. 6-speed gearbox, 13.5-liter tank and spoke rims complete the equipment.
Until recently, low-displacement machines had a hard time generating real interest. 250s, 300s … silhouettes that sought each other … and the public too. All this is evolving, and the growing penchant of the market to seduce A2 licenses gives birth to motorcycles such as this 500 Leoncino. The engine is the bridge between the timid 2 and 1/2 and the 650/700 trusting the market, the design is most pleasant, and its power is calibrated as close as possible to its conquests. It’s been a long time since a Benelli had inspired this feeling: the desire to discover.
What will be done at the end of 2017; the Leoncino takes a long time to arrive.
What you must remember
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Model marketed in
170 km / h
The technical aspect
Benelli 500 Leoncino 2017
- Width: 877 mm
- Height: 1120 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,443 mm
- Dry weight: 186 kg
- Weight in running order: 207 kg
- Train before
- secondary by chain
- Rear axle
(69 x 66.8 mm)
at 8,500 rpm