Despite the slowdown, the Indian automotive market is abuzz with launches here and there and Italian motorcycle manufacturer Benelli has introduced another model – this time a quarter-litre scrambler.
The Benelli Leoncino 250 – a smaller capacity version of the Leoncino scrambler line-up, was launched in the Indian market last week and will be taking on the likes of the Ktm Duke 250, RC 200, Honda CBR 250R and some others.
A single-cylinder powers the Leoncino 250, 249cc four-stroke liquid-cooled engine, which features dual overhead camshafts, and four valves to the cylinder. Electronic fuel injection along with a 37mm wide throttle body is of-course list requirements for any contender in the 250 cc segment. The motor produces 25.8 PS power at 9250 rpm and 21 Nm of torque at 8000 rpm.
Visuals include a completely redesigned full-LED headlight, a tad more “feature”istic and prettier looking than that on its 500 cc sibling. A digital instrument panel with visual clarity under the worst of conditions adorns the head of the motorcycle. The bike also flaunts a laser cut lion on the front fender – an iconic reminder of the Leoncino’s heritage.
Ride and Stability
The suspension includes a set of 41 mm upside-down forks on the front, and a pre-adjustable Monoshock mounted on the rear swinging arm. Braking comes courtesy of a 280mm floating disc with a four-piston caliper on the front end, and a 240 mm disc mated to a single-piston floating caliper on the rear. Safety features include a Dual Channel ABS.
Seventeen-inch aluminum alloy wheels sport a 110/70-R17 tyre on the front and a 150/60-R17 rubber on the rear.
Price and Features
The bike will be priced at Rs 2.5 lakh (ex-showroom) and the company is offering a 3-year unlimited kilometre warranty which comes as a standard regardless of the state or city. The booking amount is set at Rs 6000 and is fully refundable in case of cancellation or delay in delivery. The bike can also be booked on the company’s official website.
The company is offering the Leoncino 250 in four colours – Red, White, Grey, and Brown.
Simply put, and in the words of Benelli India’s MD, the Leoncino 250 is an expression of style combined with tradition and innovation. It is a classic motorcycle redesigned with modern elements and promises to be a great ally both on city roads and long-distance rides.
The Leoncino 250 brings Benelli India into the affordable superbike segment and holds great promise for the company’s desire to increase its market share in India. Recent sales momentum has been encouraging and with their standards of customer service efficiency, Benelli is looking at a growing and loyal customer base.
Benelli is currently working on multiple different models to be built on the same 250 cc engine as the Leoncino along with variations in engine sizes as well. The company aims to add variants in 250, 300, 400 and 500 cc categories for each of its motorcycles. If there’s one thing they’ve grasped properly, its the love we Indians have for variety. We simply can’t seem to get enough of it – owing to our humongous population. Although in addition to providing variety, the company will also need to make sure its models target the correct sections of the Indian motorcycling enthusiast communities, along with proper pricing and if possible even discounts to push sales initially.
Royal Enfield Interceptor and Continental GT 650 Siblings
A few other popular motorcycles in the same price range as the Leoncino include tough contenders from a variety of engine segments. They include the Royal Enfiled Interceptor 650, the Continental GT 650, both larger than the Leoncino in cubic capacity and with twin cylinders. The air-cooled 648 c engine makes 48 PS of power and 52 Nm of torque and provides for decent acceleration and admirable cruising capability on the highways. The only significant difference between the two unidentical twins is their build and riding stance. The interceptor presents an old school vibe, whereas the GT is a cafe racer with sporty approach and styling. The interceptor comes at a price tag of 2.51 lakhs and the GT at 2.6.
KTM Duke 390
Next is an all too well-known motorcycle that – with its siblings- took our motorcycling community by storm. The Ktm duke needs no introduction and at 390 cc, producing 44 PS and 37 Nm of torque is a desire on two wheels. The closest price range rival for any motorcycle of a similar cost, the duke also comes with a plethora of bells and whistles, including a first in the class full-color TFT display and instrument console with Bluetooth connectivity. Incredibly zippy, it struggles in city traffic and is a monster on the highways – being able to cruise at speeds of 120-130kmph in sixth gear effortlessly.
Last but not least, comes the Honda naked street motorcycle CB300R at rupees 2.42 lakh. The 300R is currently a CKD import and once assembly begins in India, the price would drop further down. The bodywork is not very road dominating but still has a very high finesse vibe to it. All LED lighting, a digital instrument console and a liquid-cooled 286 cc single-cylinder engine that produces 30.5 PS and 27 Nm of torque make it a springy lightweight performance motorcycle.