Benelli has launched yet another motorcycle in its home country. We are probably tired of this phrase but the same cannot be said about the recently unveiled motorcycles by the Chinese bikemaker. This time around, Benelli has taken the Leoncino 500 as a base motorcycle to carve out a café racer dubbed Leoncino Sport. Four years back, Benelli showcased it in a concept version at the EICMA. It might have taken the company a considerable amount of time to make it a reality but looking at the images, they have done a rather brilliant job in executing their plan.
The Leoncino 500, even in its standard form, is one handsome looking motorcycle and the Sport builds on that very foundation.
The updates for the Sport aren’t minimal and that is what makes it even more interesting. Let us get down with the aesthetic and ergonomics first. To lend it that café racer appeal, Benelli has included clip-ons in the mix and then there’s also that large windscreen up front.
Although we think that the implementation of the windscreen could have been done with a little more finesse. The headlight cowl is supported by two braces that are bolted exactly where the handlebar of the standard model would be mounted and that is exactly what makes it look a little industrial. The clip-on handlebars should provide a more aggressive riding stance but the position of the footpegs remains unchanged.
Other highlights of the motorcycle include a new blue backlit LCD console and to be honest, it looks a lot better than the unit found on the standard motorcycle. And then how can one not notice that gorgeously sculpted double-barrel exhaust that replaces the two-into-one unit seen on its siblings. To make it look even more rugged, Benelli has opted for wire-spoke rims and added a small saddle bag on the right side for added retro appeal.
It is powered by the same 499.6cc parallel-twin engine, but in the Sport, this unit puts down 48.94PS at 8,500rpm and 47Nm at 5,500rpm. Interestingly, this is 1.5PS and 1Nm more than the standard model despite the bike being 2kg heavier. Benelli has also carried over the same suspension setup from the standard model that includes beefy 50mm USD fork and the monoshock.
The Benelli Leoncino 500 Sport is certainly a looker and we cannot think of any reason why Benelli shouldn’t bring this here. Café-racers are getting more and more popular in our country and it wouldn’t hurt to see the Leoncino 500 Sport making its way here.