Benelli piqued our interest when it said that a legend was returning, and now we know what machine the Italian brand was referring to: the Benelli Leoncino. A historic name for Benelli, the Leoncino (Italian for “lion cub”) was the model that defined the Italian company after World War II.
Like many motorcycles during that time period, the Leoncino offered Italians an affordable way to get around town, when many families could not afford a car, nor could the Italian infrastructure support four-wheeled mass transport.
As a result, many of Italy’s iconic names go their start in this manner (the same can be said of Japan’s motorcycle brands), so the hyper is certainly worthy of a legend’s return. The model teased of course, is a different story.
From the choice of names to resurrect, we can surmise that Benelli is about to offer another budget-oriented motorcycle for the Western World. We only get a brief glimpse of the new Benelli Leoncino, and it appears to be a no-thrills “standard” street bike.
It would be a cruel joke if the machine in question turned out to be the Benelli Due in disguise, a model that Benelli has trotted out at EICMA time and time again, with no end in sight, that also happens to fit the bill and rough silhouette of the bike in question.
We hope that’s not the case, though even still, it’s hard to get excited about a budget-friendly people mover that borrows such a storied name in Benelli history. Hopefully next week proves us wrong.