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scrambler with lion heart

22 mayo, 2021
benelli leoncino trail 9

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This variant of the Benelli Leoncino 500 has turned out to be a pleasant surprise, a motorcycle ready for your first adventures on and off the road. It arrives with an optimal balance between peculiar aesthetics, refined behavior, performance and ease of piloting. A very complete model that you should know if you release the A2.

Just a year ago we were in Rimini, Italy, testing the Benelli Leoncino 500 for the first time. It was a pleasant surprise, an asphalt scrambler built from the 500 cc twin-cylinder engine that had been released a year earlier by the TRK 502, the A2 maxitrail from the Pesaro brand.

It is a model that it works surprisingly well, with a very fine touch and a very noble and predictable behavior, but the truth is that it was missing a slightly more rustic aesthetic, to call it in some way that does not sound at all pejorative, so that it would appeal to motorcycle lovers who, probably, will never touch the field, but who it seems from the first glance that they are capable of entering it.

Because, let’s not fool ourselves: a little more suspension travel, spoke wheels instead of alloy wheels and more off-road tires (with a 19 ”diameter front wheel) are enough for this Benelli Leoncino to acquire the name Trail and be more attractive. Is it also more versatile? Let’s see it as we go that movement is demonstrated by walking.

Benelli Leoncino Trail, half new

Actually, the Trail is a version of the Leoncino that we had already seen in the salons when the normal one was introduced, although it has reached dealers a few months after the first. As we said in the Rimini presentation, the Benelli TRK 502 has been a commercial success Huge since it began to be marketed, especially in Italy (although Benelli Spain is not doing badly with it).

If your little-big heart can move your set with some ease, much bulkier and heavier (especially if we are talking about units equipped with suitcases and fenders, as many are seen), it is clear that there will be plenty to give joy to the Leoncino.

The engine is derived from that of the 301, but was designed from the outset to be modular and to be able to grow in displacement without compromising its reliability. That is, it is actually the other way around: that of the little naked is a 500 with a smaller displacement.

benelli leoncino trail 13

The 500cc twin engine that debuted with the TRK once again amazes us with its good character and performance.

Still cold It has a touch that all of us who have been able to try it have liked, since it sounds very regular, vibrates very little and manages to provide a very linear response. In addition, it has a very well staggered gearbox that allows very decent accelerations, so this is a good option for those who consider staying in the A2 and do not aspire to get the A to ride more powerful motorcycles.

We said that it sounds fine, and here we must emphasize the pleasant surprise that it supposes to hear it when you go to its controls. The sound it emits is not at all reminiscent of a twin cylinder, neither in V nor in line, and it is hoarse and thin, more similar (saving the distances) to that of a tricilíndrico with little covered exhaust, but without being strident. The truth is that it is a sound that we could qualify as beautiful, despite the fact that this is pure subjectivity.

Revised ergonomics for the Benelli Leoncino Trail

The driving position changes slightly compared to the normal Leoncino, because the handlebar is located a little higher and, with a little more suspension travel, you feel a hair taller.

benelli leoncino trail 8

Although we cannot consider it as a true trail-type bike, it is a very attractive and well-finished scrambler. A bit of luxury in category A2 always comes in handy …

But the truth is that the change is very subtle and only the shorter users may prefer the asphalt version to this Trail for this reason. It is a motorcycle with which both feet reach the ground well and that gives a lot of confidence when doing maneuvers while standing still., both on top of her and carrying her on foot. And this aspect is vital for users who begin to move with motorcycles of a certain package.

The seat is very comfortable, the handlebar falls into your hands where you expect it (it can be easily moved closer or further away, to finish it off) and it has height adjustment of the pedals, so that anyone can adapt these knobs to their morphology. One point to check is that the brake lever is adjustable, but that it has four positions to which one is further, so that little hands will not get along too well with your brake master cylinder. Otherwise, the mirrors are visible; the controls, correct… Everything is nice about her.

benelli leoncino trail 1

The handlebar includes markings for its adjustment, something not very common outside of pure off road.

A trail with firm suspensions

The 125 and 118 mm of suspension travel of the normal are extended here to 135 and 145 (front and rear in each case). It’s too much difference? Well, it is enough to raise the crankcase a bit off the ground, so that we protect the underside of the engine from possible knocks.

If we add to that the largest diameter of the front wheel, We will think that the trail is clearly more jacket, but both the fork and the shock absorber are very firm for that.

The truth is that what improves a lot, aesthetics aside, is the ability to fight against the obstacles of the day to day in the form of broken asphalt, manhole covers, potholes or curbs. If I had to choose between both versions for my day to day, I would undoubtedly opt for the trail for its extra point of robustness and versatility.

benelli leoncino trail 11

In the field you have to take into account the hardness of its suspensions, but you can go on excursions without problems.

What do you want to prove with a clue? You can do it, don’t worry, but don’t get emboldened, just that. The ABS is disconnectable to be able to do it without fear (the switch is camouflaged in the left-hand mirror bracket) and the Metzeler Tourances that he carries can with everything mounted on larger and heavier motorcycles, so here they are left over.

The tweezers Radials of four pistons of the normal one are changed by axial ones of two that, the truth, they are left over for the day to day of this Leoncino Trail: the others seem even excessive. Here there is good touch and enough power and the only downside is what has been said about the position of the lever.

Benelli Leoncino Trail, with a good ending

Well that, despite the fact that it is a compact and quite light motorcycle, the chassis is left over and the steering, thanks to the larger diameter front wheel, shows a lot of poise once you get it into the curve. It is a model that gives a lot of confidence and with which you will have smiles when driving it, and not only when contemplating its aesthetics full of good details and with a much more than worthy finish.

By the way, the reliability of this Leoncino Trail will be more than proven thanks to the initiative “Solidarity Kilometers” that Benelli has launched in our country: all the kilometers that the media and professionals of the world of the two wheels accumulate with this same unit that we have been able to test, which has registration number 0886 KPJ, count towards making donations to the Children Against Cancer Foundation.

Up to 30,000 km accumulated in your marker, € 1 will be donated for every 10 km traveled and € 2 for every 10 km of more, until December 2019. If you want to follow the action, you can do so by going to

benelli leoncino trail 10

The rear view is very personal, and that despite the fact that it is a very brief and compact bike.

benelli leoncino trail 15

Both suspensions are adjustable: the fork in hydraulic extension brake and the rear in spring preload, with an accessible manual knob and extension by means of a screw.

benelli leoncino trail 2

The optional screen is perfectly integrated into the aesthetics of the Leoncino and the anchors are very well finished. Highly recommended.

benelli leoncino trail 12

The lion emblem on the front fender is a striking detail.

benelli leoncino trail 4

The license plate holder is the same as that of the standard Leoncino: floating and anchored on the left side. It does not seem to us the most practical solution, but aesthetics rule in this case.

View from the Benelli Leoncino Trail

In favor: Engine character / Sound / Aesthetics and finishes / Balanced behavior
Against: Hard suspensions / Levers too far from the grips

Benelli Leoncino Trail data sheet

benelli leoncino trail 14

Motor type: 2 cyl in transverse line 4T LC DOHC 8V.
Bore x stroke: 69.0 x 66.8mm x 2.
Displacement: 499.6 cc
Maximum power: 47.6 hp (35 kW) at 8,500 rpm.
Maximum torque: 45 Nm (4.6 kgm) at 11,500 rpm.
Compression: 11.5: 1.
Feeding: Delphi MT-05 electronic injection with 37 mm bodies.
Start: Electric motor.
Clutch: Multi-disc in oil bath, cable drive.
Gearbox: Of 6 relationships.
Secondary transmission: By chain of seals.
Direction Geometry: Na
Chassis type: Round section CrMo steel multitubular.
Swingarm: Steel multitubular.
Front suspension: Inverted fork with 50/135 mm bars with hydraulic rebound adjustment.
Rear suspension: Direct-to-swingarm shock absorber with knob and extension preload adjustment, 145mm wheel travel.
Front brake: 2x 320mm discs, axial pump, 2-piston axial calipers, switchable ABS.
Back brake: 1 disc 260 mm, 1-piston caliper.
Tires: 110/80 x 19 and 150/70 x 17.
Total length: 2,100 mm.
Maximum height: 1,160 mm.
Distance between axis: 1,450 mm.
Seat height: 815 mm.
Maximum width: 800 mm (without mirrors).
Weight in running order: 180 kg with dep. full, 170 kg dry.
Gasoline deposit: 15 liters.
Registered price: 5,999 euros.
Official guarantee: 3 years.
Importer: Benelli Spain.
Telephone: 902 557 237.

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