Benelli is all set to resume operations in India by kick starting an aggressive launch campaign that would see 12 new products by 2019. The medium displacement motorcycles are expected to lead the game while big and small displacement offerings would follow closely.
The Benelli Leoncino 500 is likely to be a part of the initial batch of launches alongside the potent TRK 502 Adventure tourer with which it has a lot in common. Leoncino 500 is offered in three trims – standard, Trail, Sport. It is not clear if only one variant is coming to India or all three.
Benelli already made progress with the launch process of the Leoncino 500 scrambler with its erstwhile partner DSK Motowheels as evident from the spyshots of the motorcycle testing near Pune. Rest of the process including CKD assembly operations would be carried forward by the new partner Mahavir Group based in Hyderabad.
The retro-classic scrambler pays tribute to the original Leoncino by following its core design principles. A majestic lion mascot on the front fender is complemented by a smooth flowing body work, optimum blend of classic and modern features, and a clear display of sporty intent. Features worth mentioning are circular LED headlamp, tail lamp and turn indicators, and fully digital instrument cluster.
The motorcycle employs a trellis frame which is supported by an inverted telescopic front fork and a rear monoshock. The original model will be equipped with alloy wheels and road tyres but there could be a more intense version of the scrambler with spoke wheels and dual-purpose tyres. The motorcycle looks like it can take a wide range of accessories so the owner would have a lot of customization options.
The engine is the same unit that serves the TRK 502. The 500 cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin mill is tuned to deliver 48 PS and 45 Nm of torque. The power house is matched to a 6-speed transmission.
The Benelli Leoncino 500 will pickup up a fight with entry level offerings from well established premium marques like the Ducati Scrambler, Triumph Bonneville, and the upcoming Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. An attractive price tag will be a great starting point.