2016 Benelli Leoncino Brings Back the Lion Cub

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Benelli is not a brand we usually talk about with great reverence, as the Italian company has steadily lost its luster since its acquisition by China’s Qianjiang Group.

Benelli’s motorcycles were never known for being terribly reliable, and unfortunately the artful designs that they exuded have slowly eroded away over time.

The big announcement for Benelli at the 2015 EICMA show is the new Benelli Leoncino, the “lion cub” model that’s rooted in Benelli’s post-WWII history.

This modern take on the classic Benelli Leoncino is an attractive scrambler model, which makes 47hp from its 500cc parallel-twin engine.

This also means that the Benelli Leoncino a well-suited A2 license machine in Europe, and its wire-spoked wheels are 19″ in the front and 17″ in the rear, and should make the Leoncino surprisingly adapt at light off-road use.

Radially mounted four-piston brake calipers up front are mated to wave-pattern 320mm brake discs, which are held by 50mm upside down forks. A 240mm brake disc handles things in the rear.

The design of the Benelli Leoncino is modest, yet tasteful. The headlight is an LED unit that is becoming quite popular with the European brands, while the frame is made formed a steel trellis.

We imagine the biggest barrier to the Leoncino’s success will be the baggage that comes with the brand. If another motorcycle manufacturer had debuted the above motorcycle with these same specs, the reception would like be much warmer. Maybe that will change with time.

Source: Benelli

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