Benelli is fast becoming a strong contender in the mid-sized big bike market. With their enticing entry-level offerings such as the Benelli 502C cruiser, and of course, the Leoncino 500, the Chinese-owned Italian manufacturer’s offerings are best suited for those with a fondness for retro flair.
That being said, Benelli is upping their game with their latest model, the Leoncino 800. Available in 2 trim models, the big-bore retro-styled machine can be purchased as a street bike dubbed simply as the Leoncino 800. Those with a penchant for adventure, who occasionally find themselves going beyond the confines of paved roads would likewise be better served by the Leoncino 800 Trail which, as the name suggests, comes with adequate off-road capability.
The standard Leoncino 800 features a similar design language as its little brother, the Leoncino 500. The well-loved round headlight with an imposing and muscular fuel tank has been carried over nicely. On top of that, the Leoncino 800’s notably beefier engine gives the bike a bulkier appearance overall. Interestingly, the Leoncino 800 is equipped with a center stand — something that’s sure to come as a welcome convenience for would-be owners of this bike.
Moving on to the Leoncino 800 Trail, a glance at this bike definitely screams scrambler. Featuring all sorts of design cues found in scramblers from nearly all other manufacturers, the Leoncino 800 Trail features high mounted pipes, a fly screen, and faux racing number plates. All these give the Leoncino 800 Trail an overall taller appearance, while the knobby tires and larger front wheel give the bike a burlier aesthetic.
It’s important to note that the new Benelli Leoncino 800 isn’t all show and no go. Underneath that retro styling is a slew of components that make this bike mean business. For starters, both the standard and Trail versions come equipped with 50mm Marzocchi inverted forks, with full rebound, compression, and preload adjustment as standard. To add to the bike’s premium underpinnings is a set of radially-mounted Brembo brakes that inspire confidence when bringing this bike to a stop.
At the heart of the new Benelli Leoncino 800 sits a brand new 754 cc parallel-twin engine. Churning out an adequate 76 hp, the Leoncino 800 now sits at the big boys’ table, going up against the likes of the Yamaha XSR700, and even the Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle. As of the moment, there still isn’t word as to whether or not we will see the new Leoncino 800 on Philippine shores anytime soon. That being said, the Benelli Leoncino 500 continues to be a strong contender with a sticker price of just P369,000.