With neo-retro styling and an approachable price, the 2021 Benelli Leoncino is coming to America—part of the 100th-anniversary celebration of Benelli motorcycles. It features a 500cc parallel-twin DOHC powerplant fitted into a perimeter-style steel-tube frame.
The fuel tank and seat provide a nostalgic touch, with the Leoncino features an inverted fork and a single cantilevered shock signaling modernity; the shock has adjustability for spring-preload and rebound damping. In an appeal to newer riders, the height of the passenger-friendly seat is just below 31 inches. The Lion of Pesaro stands on the front fender, as Leoncino is Italian for “little lion”—a premium styling touch.
With 47 horsepower on tap at 8500 rpm from the slightly oversquare engine, Benelli allows that the Leoncino is “inspired by café racers of Benelli’s golden years.” To respect that, and the 33 ft/lbs of torque available at 5000 rpm, Benelli fitted the 2021 Leoncino with Pirelli Angel ST rubber on 17-inch wheels, with dual 320mm discs grasped by radially mounted four-piston calipers. Other modern features include an LED headlight (in a retro nacelle) and a digital dash.
The ’21 Benelli Leoncino hits the showroom floor with an MSRP of $6199—the same price as a 2020 Honda Rebel 500 and the 2019 Honda CB500F. Watch for an Ultimate Motorcycling test soon.
2021 Benelli Leoncino Specs
- Type: Parallel twin
- Displacement: 500cc
- Bore x stroke: 69 x 66.8mm
- Maximum power: 47 horsepower @ 8500 rpm
- Maximum torque: 33 ft-lbs @ 5000 rpm
- Compression ratio: 11.5:1
- Valvetrain: DOHC, 4vpc
- Fueling: EFI w/ 37mm throttle body
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable inverted fork; 4.9 inches
- Rear suspension: Cantilevered rebound-damping and spring-preload adjustable shock
- Tires: Pirelli Angel ST
- Front tire: 120/70 x 17
- Rear tire: 160/60 x 17
- Front brake: 320mm discs w/ radially mounted 4-piston caliper
- Rear brake: 260mm disc w/ single-piston caliper
- ABS: Standard
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 56.8 inches
- Seat height: 30.9 inches
- Fuel capacity: 3.6 gallons
- Dry weight: 410 pounds
- Colors: Red; Black
2021 Benelli Leoncino Price: $6199 MSRP