Benelli is an Italian company, owned by Chinese overlords, and have been a go-to brand for affordable sportbikes. Here in India, they did fairly well. But anyone’s who ridden one will agree that the naked bikes in its stables had started to feel a bit, old. Well, at this year’s annual motorshow in Milan, they displayed the production ready 752S, and the Leoncino 800 concept. If this is what the future for Benelli looks like, bring it on!
Benelli 752 S
We got a glimpse of this motorcycle last year, but it is now production ready. The bike you see here will hit showrooms in 2019 (and yes, that includes India). So, let’s get down to the facts. It gets a brand new 754cc, parallel-twin engine that makes 77 bhp at 8500rpm and 6.8 kgm at 6500rpm, and gets counter balancers to keep vibrations in check. Now if that doesn’t sound like a tasty proposition, we don’t know what will. A 50mm Marzocchi fork up front and a monoshock on the rear, coupled with brakes from Brembo are indicative that this is going to be a quick bike. This slots perfectly into Kawasaki Z650 and Triumph Street Triple territory, and should make for a very usable street fighter. Now when it comes to design, the tail-section looks distinctly Benelli, but the front and side profiles bear a striking resemblance to the Ducati Monster. That doesn’t deter us one bit, especially since Benelli has always managed to price all of its bikes extremely competitively, and if this rides anything like what it looks like on the spec sheet, then it has a winner on its hands. This will light up Benelli’s fortunes here in India and we can’t wait to take one for spin.
Leoncino 800 Concept
If the 752 S is the immediate future, the Leoncino 800 is indicative of what to expect. The Leoncino 250 has been available in the international market for a while, and the Leoncino 500 (which we will see in India soon) was launched last year. With the Leoncino 800, Benelli seems to be taking direct aim at the Ducati Scrambler. It appears to have the same engine as the 752 S, as well as some of the hardware such as the suspension and brakes. It will make roughly the same power, and it really does nail the retro-scrambler look quite well. Benelli stayed mum on when we can expect to see a production ready version of this, but from the looks of it, it could be sooner than later.