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Benelli Leoncino 800 set for EICMA 2019 bow

The Benelli Leoncino 800 breaks cover ahead of its anticipated production-ready launch at 2019 EICMA, a year after the concept version starred

A showroom-ready version of the all-new Benelli Leoncino 800 has been spotted ahead of its anticipated reveal at the 2019 EICMA show in Milan next month.

The large capacity scrambler was first revealed at last year’s Italian showpiece in concept form, but appeared close to production standard already, so it’s perhaps no surprise this leak – which comes courtesy of a filing in China – suggests little has changed in the design.

Only toned-down detailing on the neo-retro machine – such as the loss of wire-spoke wheels and more modest engine casing – are among the few notable differences on this model, but they could yet appear on alternative trim levels. 

Despite the unflattering lighting in this production image, it’s clear the Benelli Leoncino 800 retains the same handsome appearance of other models in the Leoncino range – notably the 500 – with an unmistakable Italian flair, albeit with a rugged finish. 

Those with a keen eye may have spotted the tiny lion motif on the front mud guard, which is a cute nod to the Leoncino name which means ‘little lion’ in Italian.

Even so, the Leoncino 800 isn’t so ‘little’ in the engine department, sharing the 754cc parallel-twin from the Benelli 752S, which generates 76hp for the naked bike.

Benelli Leoncino 800 to spur on historic firm’s re-growth

The Leoncino 800 comes as Benelli revels in an upturn in fortunes that has already seen it post a huge 8.9% rise in sales during the first-half of 2019.

Spurred on by investment from its Chinese owners Qianjiang and a positive response to its latest models in Italy, where it is now troubling the overall sales charts, Benelli is well on course for a record year.

Looking forward, the handsome new Benelli TNT 600 is on the horizon to take on the Kawasaki Z650, Honda CB650R and Yamaha’s MT07.

Revealed unmasked in patent images which were (accidentally) leaked to the press, the Benelli TNT 600 is expected to get its formal unveiling at November’s EICMA in Milan alongside the Leoncino 800.

The images show a number of updates to the machine. Most notable is the new front-end design, which has ditched the large, round headlight and gone for a dual headlight design. 

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