This is the Benelli Leoncino 500. It’s a new naked scrambler style bike from Benelli that I had for a day to write a review of.
For those that prefer watching video to reading (or if you want to hear what it sounds like), here’s my video review available on YouTube.
Now on with the review…
Firstly, styling wise I think it’s a great looking bike. It has the retro scrambler looks but with a modern twist. It has some nice touches like the LED indicators and daytime running lights. It even has a small metal lion cub (fun fact of the day, Leoncino is lion cub in Italian!) on the front mudguard.
As far as comfort is concerned, I found it to be really good. Initially I thought the seat and suspension were hard but I’m comparing it to my usual bike which is an adventure bike. The riding position is comfortable and upright so even long distance it should be good, especially for a naked bike. As the seat height is low (only 785mm) it would suit smaller riders too.
The switchgear is all pretty much as expected for this style of bike. No fancy rider modes or anything. It does have ABS though which can be switched off. It also has a lovely LCD display which I found to be really clear and easy to read. This includes all the usual speedo and rev counter as well as a proper fuel gauge and trip meters.
The engine a 500cc inline twin. It has 47 bhp and 45nM of torque which is actually fine for a bike of this type. It also means is A2 license friendly (in the UK). It never feels underpowered and the exhaust sounds great. At low revs is burbles nicely and under hard acceleration it has a great howl to it.
So how much does it cost? Just over £5000, which I think is a bit of a bargain! Especially if you compare it to say a Ducati Scrambler which is nearly £7k, and a Triumph Scrambler at around £8k. It looks great, rides and handles really well, seems really well put together and everything is decent quality.
So who do I think it suits? I think it would be an excellent first big bike for someone who’s just passed their test, someone coming back to bikes, or even as a bike to be used as a stylish commuter.
I was thinking of the 3 things I like best about the bike and they are as follows:
How easy it is to ride. It always felt light and manoeuvrable.
Engine/sound. Enough power to be fun, and the exhaust sounds great.
Price. I think it’s a bargain for what it is!
So are there any negatives?
There were some slight vibrations at around 4–5k revs. You could feel this through the pegs and see it in one mirror (though after adjustment this all but went). And some people may find the suspension on the hard side. I rode it for a few hours though and didn’t find it uncomfortable at all.
Finally, I’d just like to say a big thank you to the Benneli dealer who lent me the bike to review it. This is Ride Motorbikes who are based near Keighley in Yorkshire. Do please contact them if you’re interested in seeing or buying a Leoncino yourself as I know you’ll be well looked after. https://ridemotorbikes.co.uk