Benelli Leoncino 800 Overview | Motorbike Take a look at

Benelli Leoncino 800 Overview

By Wayne Vickers, Photographs by Rob Mott

No, it’s not an Italian citrus flavoured drink, it’s Benelli’s ‘little’ lion that has grown up and located its roar. Whereas the bike was first launched with a 500 cc heartbeat, the brand new Leoncino 800 now shares the identical 754 cc engine discovered within the 752S mannequin. Confused? Yeah I can’t assist clarify mannequin naming both. Was a 500, is now a 750 cc.

See Benelli Leoncino 500 Path Overview for a run down on the smaller model.

The Benelli Leoncino 800 arrives from $13,490 ride-away
The Benelli Leoncino 800 arrives from $13,490 ride-away

Bizarre naming apart, there’s fairly a bit to love concerning the new 800. It does are available two variants, a street oriented model as on take a look at right here and a ‘Path’ mannequin that comes with barely longer suspension set-up, extra floor clearance, a 19-inch entrance wheel and a distinct exhaust. Fairly a bit extra equipment for not much more buck really. However right here we’re centered on the extra street going model that I received to spend a few weeks aboard.

The Leoncino 800 also marks an evolution from the 500, offering a step up
The mannequin additionally marks an evolution from the five hundred, providing a step up for full licenses

First impressions are fairly strong. It’s fairly properly styled actually. The bike definitely noticed loads of consideration and compliments from passers by and onlookers. Appears fairly properly completed too on the entire, that tank paint trying significantly tasty, although I do have a factor for that matt/satin end. You’d reckon portray the body a color aside from black would have been a factor although.

'Bars offer good leverage but aren't too wide
‘Bars provide good leverage however aren’t too vast

The seat top is good and low, bars suitably vast for good leverage with out feeling like steering a Texas Longhorn. You do discover when shifting the bike round at a standstill that it feels heavier than you would possibly count on (the bike is a contact over 220 kg), and the steering lock just isn’t as beneficiant as you may think.

The seat is a low 805 mm, however weight is 220 kg
The seat is a low 805 mm, nevertheless weight is 220 kg

That steering lock will come into play if you end up making an attempt to modify lanes whereas filtering via standstill site visitors however in any other case its not a problem. The steering is sort of sluggish however not heavy in any respect.

Steering lock may be a limiting factor in some situations
Steering lock could also be a limiting consider some conditions

The engine and driveline is sort of good. Despite the fact that it has some minor tweaks from the 752S and places out virtually precisely the identical specs – it feels slightly tamer on this bundle as a result of added weight.

The parallel-twin produces 76 horsepower
The parallel-twin produces 76 horsepower

The bike is fuelled effectively, has a easy backside finish and mid-range, and even has an additional little push from round seven thousand that’s fairly good. It’s usually with out fuss although I did discover it beginning to get slightly grumpy in heat site visitors. Might have been simply my bike, however I ponder what it’d be like on a correct scorching summers day…

Leoncino 800 compression is run at a fairly low 11.5:1
Compression is run at a reasonably low 11.5:1

However in all different conditions the Leoncino 800 was fairly at residence. Loads of shove out on the open street and ideal at residence as an city weapon. No want to make use of a lot of the highest finish although – hold it within the midrange at its happiest. Beautiful gearbox too. Very nice shift really feel. The clutch can also be fairly good though I did discover the preliminary a part of the clutch pull would give slightly mechanical resistance often again via the lever.

67 Nm ensures loads of shove for the open street, or city situations

Dealing with and braking is the place I discovered the brand new 800 to have some shortcomings. Brakes first. Twin 320 mm Benelli branded discs up entrance felt slightly weak for my liking however the greater challenge was a tough and completely wood lever really feel. Not lots of suggestions out there for what was taking place.

The iconic Benelli lion
The long-lasting Benelli lion

They appeared to work, however you needed to give them a correct squeeze…after which really feel what they have been doing from the bike’s behaviour somewhat than via the lever. I suppose ABS is there readily available for those who do get to the purpose of locking up.

The dual 320 mm disc brake setup is let down by a wooden feel at the lever
The twin 320 mm disc brake setup is let down by a wood really feel on the lever

On the different finish the rear had good energy and really feel, however my bike had the squealiest of squealy pads on it. That would have simply been some contaminant on the pad following the beating from the media launch so I’ll give it a free go.

The rear brake offers a bit more feel and power
The rear brake gives a bit extra really feel and energy, with a reasonably minimalist exhaust

The suspension was additionally not fairly the place I needed it. Moreso initially. The forks are tremendous beefy 50 mm jobbies however appear significantly agency – particularly so round city and proved reluctant to take care of bumps and floor modifications – on the high of the stroke particularly.

Pirelli MT60 rubber is also fitted
Pirelli MT60 rubber can also be fitted

It felt prefer it may have performed with barely much less fluid perhaps? Sadly they aren’t adjustable by clickers which put me straight onto the rear pre-load setting that was backed proper off after I picked mine up.

The rear shock gives preload adjustability

Whereas I’m on it. That preliminary harshness in flip made the seat arduous work after far more than an hour. Breaks required. Shorter journeys not a problem, and actually I fairly just like the sculpted seat form round city, however yeah my butt-ometer was crying foul on any large days.

Forks by comparison aren't adjustable but are hefty 50 mm units
Forks by comparability aren’t adjustable however are hefty 50 mm models

The excellent news is that very like my expertise on Ducati’s Desert X lately, upping the rear pre-load improved the entrance finish feeling noticeably – turning it into one thing that whereas nonetheless fairly agency, was not as harsh. It nonetheless felt reluctant on the very high of the stroke, however the stability of the bike was a lot better as soon as I received the 2 ends working in unison and even the seat turned slightly extra manageable comfort-wise.

When dialled in, floor modifications are far much less abrupt however nonetheless general far stiffer than I might have thought suited the driveline. So bear in mind that this bike is sort of delicate to rear pre-load settings.

Dialing up the rear preload helped balance the bike
Dialing up the rear preload helped stability the bike

Sprint and controls are okay, whereas the design has an annoyingly pointless mirrored tacho high and backside (the Tiger 900 can also be responsible of that), the TFT does have a pleasant matt end that made taking photographs simpler so Rob was pleased! Sprint pics can really be a ache.

The dash runs dual tacho displays, in a simple layout
The sprint runs twin tacho shows, in a easy structure

The controls of the menu nevertheless, akin to resetting journey meters are fairly odd. About 5 – 6 button presses to get it performed… That received outdated fairly fast. And you may’t reset the journey meter or entry any of the menu controls whereas shifting.

There's quite a lot going on, on the switchblocks
There’s quite a bit occurring, on the switchblocks

So for those who replenish and take off, you gotta wait to cease once more to reset the journey… I simply didn’t hassle utilizing it ultimately. Which could possibly be problematic as I wasn’t getting superb mileage, having to refill at across the 230 km mark. Nonetheless – it’s not pretending to be a tourer.

Going through the dash to reset the trip meter was quite the mission
Going via the sprint to reset the journey meter was fairly the mission

The one different factor to say can be that the rear mud-guard kinda doesn’t do what it’s meant to. I ended up getting fairly the moist bum from water flicked up throughout rain. Greater than as soon as. Possibly they aren’t anticipating house owners to experience within the moist. Arduous to keep away from that in Victoria lately…

The rear guard unfortunately fails on protecting from fling
The rear guard sadly fails on defending from fling

As with the 752S, value is the place it begins gaining factors again once more in an honest approach. At 13 and a half grand experience away it gives strong worth. I reckon a fast fork service by somebody who is aware of what they’re doing to type that final little bit of reluctance on the high, and perhaps some braided line motion on the entrance brake would have this factor dialled in fairly effectively.

Riding the Leoncino 800
Having the suspension on the Leoncino 800 checked out, significantly the forks, and a few braided strains added can be ideally suited, and certain take away the primary criticisms

It’s not a powerhouse. That 220 plus kilo heft robs many of the additional grunt that the five hundred cc to 750 cc improve delivered as a result of it’s round 25 per cent heavier. However the Leoncino 800 has received a sure swagger about it that after spending a while on it, I grew a lot fonder of than I assumed I initially would. I anticipated it to be fairly nice round city, however I most likely didn’t count on it to be fairly as a lot enjoyable as a site visitors carving software.

Benelli Leoncino 800
Benelli Leoncino 800

Undoubtedly price a glance, particularly for those who’re up for a little bit of tweaking to type the entrance suspension and brakes out (which I don’t suppose can be tremendous costly workouts and would assist immensely). It’s received some strong competitors round it on the dearer finish of the spectrum, however I feel it’s priced fairly sharply (from $13,490* ride-away) and deserves to seek out some followers.

Try the bike on the Benelli Australia web site:

Benelli Leoncino 800
Benelli Leoncino 800
I just like the Benelli Leoncino 800 for:
  • Good easy driveline with an honest burble
  • Fairly effectively styled and completed
  • Surprisingly good site visitors filtering weapon
  • Arduous to argue with that value 
Benelli Leoncino 800
I’d just like the Benelli Leoncino 800 extra if:
  • Forks may do with a tweak (or some adjustment)
  • Sprint controls are fairly clumsy
  • Entrance brake feels very wood
  • Engine would possibly show a bit stroppy in Summer time site visitors?
Benelli Leoncino 800
Benelli Leoncino 800

Benelli Leoncino 800 Specs

Benelli Leoncino 800 Specs
Engine In line 2 cylinders, 4-stroke, liquid cooled , 8 valve, double overhead camshaft
Max. Torque 67 Nm @ 6500 rpm
Clutch Multidisc moist clutch
Displacement 754 cc
Bore x stroke 88 x 62 mm
Compression ratio 11.5:1
Rated output 56 kW (76.2 hp) @ 8500 rpm
Lubrication Moist sump
Gasoline provide Digital gas injection with throttle physique ø 37 mm
Exhaust system With catalytic converter and oxygen sensors
Certification Euro 5
Gearbox Six-speeds
Last drive Chain drive
Body Trestle in metal tubes
Entrance suspension Upside-down forks Ø 50 mm, 130 mm journey
Rear suspension Rear swing arm with central shock absorber spring preload adjustable, 130 mm journey
Entrance brake Double semi floating disk ø320 mm with 4 pistons calliper and ABS
Wheels Aluminum alloy, 17” x MT 3.50” DOT
Entrance rim dimensions 17” x MT 3.50” DOT, 17” x MT 5.5” DOT
Rear brake Single disc ø260 mm with single piston floating calliper and ABS
Tyres Pirelli MT60 120/70 – ZR17, 180/55 – ZR17
Usable tank quantity 15 Litre
Size 2140 mm
Top 1160 mm
Seat top 805 mm
Wheelbase 1460 mm
Moist Weight 222 kg