Benelli India has started promoting a new motorcycle on its social network handles. The Italian brand is promoting the new model with #ReadyToRoar, thus hinting that the company may launch the Leoncino 500 in the Indian market. August could be the month when the new model goes on sale.
In case you are wondering why we expect the Benelli Leoncino 500 to be mystery model, the Ancient Greek word “leōn” translates to “lion”. The Italian middleweight product is sold in three versions in the international market – Standard, Trail and Sport. However, Vikas Jhabakh, Managing Director, Benelli India, said in an interview earlier this month that the company would introduce a single variant (Standard) of the Leoncino 500 in our market. The company may introduce the other two variants based on the demand in the market and the sales performance of the standard model.
The Leoncino 500 trio use the same 499.6 cc inline twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected engine that generates 46.6 PS at 8,500 rpm and 45 Nm at 5,000 rpm. This engine, which will be paired with a 6-speed transmission, will likely get upgraded to BS-VI a few months later. Anchoring department comprises 320 mm twin-discs with four-piston callipers on the front wheel and a 260 mm single-disc with a single-piston calliper at the rear. The safety net is handled by dual-channel ABS.
The road-biased variant features 17-inch alloy wheels with tubeless tyres on both ends. A pair of beefy, 50 mm upside-down front forks and an asymmetrically mounted, preload-adjustable monoshock at the back performs the shock absorption tasks. Other premium features on the motorcycle include a projector-style headlight, LED blinkers and a fully-digital instrument console. The rear tyre hugger-mounted number plate gives the Leoncino 500 a minimalistic look.
The standard Leoncino 500 may debut in the INR 4-5 lakh* price bracket. Once launched, the Italian middleweight bike will rival the Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650. The 650 cc bike from the Chennai-based two-wheeler brand is available from INR 2.50 lakh*.
The Leoncino also comes in a quarter-litre avatar, although the Indian launch details are scarce. Benelli India aims to launch five models and introduce up to 45 dealerships by the end of 2019.