Benelli India today launched the Leoncino 500 at Rs 479,000 (ex-showroom, India). Internationally, the Leoncino 500 is available in three variants – the Standard, the Trail and the Sport. For now, India only gets the Standard variant, which has been made available in two colour schemes – silver and red. Benelli India has begun accepting bookings for the Leoncino 500 for an amount of Rs 10,000 on its website.
Powering the motorcycle is a 499.6cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected twin-cylinder motor that develops 47.6hp and 45Nm of torque. The engine sits within a tubular steel-trellis frame that’s suspended on a 50mm USD fork and pre-load adjustable monoshock.
The Leoncino rides on 17-inch wheels at either end; it gets ABS as standard. Braking hardware includes a 320mm twin-disc setup (with four-piston callipers) at the front, and a 260mm disc (with a single-piston calliper) at the rear.
Vikas Jhabakh, managing director, Benelli India (pictured above), said, "The Leoncino combines tradition and passion with contemporary style, innovation and performance. The modern version of the Leoncino is a pure makeover of the original model and is a tribute to a legend of Italian motorcycling that largely contributed to the history of the brand, which today finds its identity in the modern world."
"With the Indian motorcycle market gearing up for new segments and superbikes witnessing a progressive growth in the last few years, we have taken a strategic decision to bring in some of the globally renowned Benelli products into the Indian market. We are building a strong customer base and network across India and we are confident in driving sales and register positive growth in the coming years,” he added,
According to Autocar India, at Rs 479,000, the Leoncino is Rs 31,000 more affordable than the TRK502, which costs Rs 510,000 after its recent price hike. While it has no direct rivals at the price point, its closest competition is the more expensive Ducati Scrambler Icon (Rs789,000), although that bike brings much more power and badge value. There is also the Harley-Davidson Street 750 at Rs 525,000; it is a different style of motorcycle but produces similar performance figures.
After becoming a part of Qjian Jiang (QJ) in 2005, Benelli has further strengthened its position in the market with Geely investing $166 million (Rs 1,174 crore) in QJ. This makes Qjian Jiang, China’s second-largest motorcycle manufacturer. Today, Benelli's production capacity is said to be about 12 lakh vehicles per year with about 14,000 employees. It is established in 70 countries.
In India, Benelli has partnered with Adishwar Auto Ride India (AARI) to manufacture and import range of Benelli bikes from Italy and South East Asia regions.
Also read: Benelli India expands dealer network with new showroom in Noida
Benelli's new TRK 502, TRK 502X launched at Rs 500,000