Benelli has undertaken heart transplant surgery on its Leoncino, removing the 500 mill and installing the 754cc parallel twin in the standard to give it a new lease on life. That said, the 500 selling for under $10k, and LAMS approved, will continue to be offered.
In Leoncino 800 the updated styling (new tank and oval headlight) reflects the enhanced power. How much exactly? The liquid-cooled parallel twin, now Euro5 emissions ready, outputs 56kW (72hp) at 8500rpm and torque of 67Nm at 6500rpm.
That compares with 35kW and 45Nm for the 500cc versions. Supporting the engine is a new trellis frame with steel plates, ensuring nimble handling. Wet weight is a claimed 222kg to the 210kg measured of the 500.
The oval headlight is full LED with the Leoncino logo at its centre.
TFT instruments relay the important information, while suspension comprises fully adjustable USD Marzocchi forks up front, and a monoshock at the rear adjustable for preload and rebound damping.
Brakes, twin discs, are by Brembo, using a four-piston radial-mount monobloc calliper, while a 260mm disc on the back is acted upon by a double-piston calliper. Wheels are conventionally sized 17-inch alloys, and the tank holds 15L of fuel.
The Leoncino 800 arrives in New Zealand next year, with pricing and full specification to be revealed closer to the time. Expect a trail version of the bike too, with offroad rubber and a bigger front wheel.
Look out also for the TRK 800 adventure bike, expected to debut in 2022 as well.