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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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…
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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:
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
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 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|
|Bore x stroke||88 x 62 mm|
|Rated output||56 kW (76.2 hp) @ 8500 rpm|
|Gasoline provide||Digital gas injection with throttle physique ø 37 mm|
|Exhaust system||With catalytic converter and oxygen sensors|
|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|
|Seat top||805 mm|
|Moist Weight||222 kg|