Having recently opened bookings for the Imperiale 400 ahead of its launch on 25 October, we have now learned that Benelli will launch the Leoncino 250 in India soon afterwards, sometime around mid-November 2019. Its larger sibling, the Leoncino 500, was launched earlier this year, and Benelli will now bring the 250cc version to fill the void left by the discontinuation of its TNT 25.
The smaller 250 will look largely similar to the Leoncino, sporting a slightly different headlight and different graphics schemes. That’s not a bad thing because the Leoncino pulls off the neo-retro scrambler look rather well. The underpinnings, however, are all new, since the steel trellis frame, swingarm and suspension are all specific to the Leoncino 250, as is the fully digital instrument cluster.
The heart of the baby Leoncino is a single-cylinder 249cc motor paired with a 6-speed gearbox. Even though the Leoncino’s engine is derived from that of the TNT 25’s, the power output has decreased a fair bit - 25.8PS and 21.2Nm compared to the previous 28.5PS and 21.6Nm. We suspect this is because the Leoncino has to meet more stringent BS6 emission norms, hence robbing it of some of its performance.
In terms of cycle parts, the entry-level Benelli will get a single 280mm petal disc brake at the front, a 240mm petal disc at the rear, dual-channel ABS, a 41mm upside-down front fork and rear monoshock, and front/rear tyre sizes of 110/70-R17 and 150/60-R17.
Once launched, the Leoncino 250 will likely become one of Benelli’s most affordable motorcycles in India. Benelli is expected to price the motorcycle competitively, in the range of Rs 2.2 lakh-2.5 lakh (ex-showroom).