The Benelli Leoncino 500 Sport is finally a reality


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After four long years of waiting, Benelli fans finally get the Sport variant of the Leoncino 500, the only catch is that the bike is available in China, at least for now.

The 2017 EICMA saw Benelli unveil the Leoncino 500 Sport, a cafe-racer-style motorcycle based on the Leoncino 500. Similar to the standard base bike, the Sport gets additional upgrades, including clip-on handlebars, a rear guard. breeze, a unique exhaust, metal wire wheels and even a saddlebag.

Note also the new group of gauges that Benelli supplied with the Sport. It gets a blue LED backlit cluster, which may find its way into other models in the near future. It still keeps the same LEDs, taillights, turn signals and headlights, but with a windshield, as on the standard model.

Benelli Leoncino 500 Sport
Benelli Leoncino 500 Sport

It also gets extra horsepower under the tank, as the 499.6cc parallel-twin produces 48 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 34.67 lb-ft of torque at 5,500 rpm. Gains over the standard model are minimal as the Sport only gets about a horsepower gain in power and a gain of about three-quarters of a foot-pound.

Still, progress is progress, and potential buyers will benefit from the same 50mm inverted forks as the standard model as well as the very accessible 30.9-inch seat height. In addition, it also has dual disc front brakes and a single disc at the rear, which could be the same units as the standard Leoncino.

I particularly like the look of the bike. The exhaust in particular is something different for the model, and the metal wire wheels give it a vintage vibe. However, there are a few things that don’t really make me squirt, like the saddlebag that’s on the side. It’s a little awkward, but it’s safe to assume the rider can take it off.

Despite minor complaints about Benelli’s Leoncino 500 Sport, it looks like the Sport could make its way to North America, as the brand launched the Leoncino 500 Trail not too long ago.

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About Todd Wurtsbach

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