Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail 2022: the Lion scrambler test

The technical base is the same as the standard sister, but the look is that of the scrambler. 19-inch front wheel and many changes in the off-road sense, the new Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail is not afraid even of dirt roads. Continuing to have fun (a lot) even on the road

Manuele Cecconi

– Perugia

In this moment of authentic scrambler-mania, could a top player like Benelli neglect a segment that is at the peak of its popularity? What questions: obviously not. But the Pesaro-based manufacturer, which has been in the orbit of the Chinese QJ Motor for several years now, has decided to do even more, placing a scrambler at the top of its range. We are talking about the Leoncino 800 Trail, a slightly off-road version of the Leoncino 800 which, after having been long awaited by fans of the brand and beyond, debuted together with its sister at Eicma 2021, further expanding the family of neo-retro designer labels. Benelli. If we also include the Trk 800, an adventure that uses the same parallel twin from 754 cc, the result is a fairytale trident with which the Lion brand aims at 15,000 motorcycles sold in Italy in 2022, certainly an ambitious but realistic goal if we consider the pace taken so far. But no more chatter, let’s not get lost in gossip: we leave the market analyzes to a later date. Now is the time to get on the Leoncino 800 Trail, which awaits us there on the stand.


Do you have in mind the smooth Leoncino 800? Here: the technical platform is the same, as is the basic design. Here, however, the Benelli technicians wanted to dare more not only to enhance the off-road soul of this trail, but also to emphasize the factor fun, fun. The Leoncino 800 Trail is an even more fanciful bike, you can immediately notice it from the aesthetic characterization that Pesaro have decided to give it: the front LED headlight assembly is dominated by a small “nail”, a succinct top fairing that rows in the sense of sportiness , while the side number plates speak the language of flat track and clay ovals. Yes, in style this Trail is quite a lot trackerthanks above all to the new side discharge with high passage, a splendid “double overlaid” with a salami slice at the end that spreads a polite but gritty voice.

engine and frame

The voice in question is that of the twin in front of 76 horsepower and 67 newton meters of torque, an engine that, in spite of absolute performances similar to those expressed on the road, has benefited from some small changes to make it even more mellow and sweet in delivery, a nice plus when it crosses the dirt road. The chassis is also the same, while the braking system with four-piston radial calipers welcomes a double front disc from 320 mm with daisy profile. However, the most profound changes concern the cycling sector, where we find the same upside-down fork from 50 mm in diameter, but lengthened by 44, in combination with the same adjustable preload mono-shock absorber which registers a +5 mm in length. Thus the wheelbase increases (from 1,460 to 1,480 mm), ground clearance (now 191 mm) and the wheel travel, which increases from 130 mm of the Leoncino 800 “smooth” to 140 mm of this Trail.


Obviously in the team there are also the new rims, again with spokes, but with the 19-inch front end as befits a scrambler wheels that wear Pirelli Scorpion Rally Str tubeless tires in sizes 120 / 70-19 And 170 / 60-17. Almost only confirmations for the rest of the package, starting with the digital instrumentation with 5 “Tft screen pleasing to the eye but above all always clearly legible in all conditions, also thanks to the adaptive brightness. Made in China but proudly designed in Pesaro, the Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail is already available in the dealerships of the brand in two liveries, green and gray, and also in the 35 kW weakened version. The price? To take it home you need it 7,990 euros ex-dealer, as long as you don’t want to draw on the accessories catalog that Benelli is developing specifically for this bike: soon, among others, a skid plate, an oversized front fairing, a central stand, a suite of bags and various parts will be available. CNC to make it even more personal.


Those who (legitimately?) Expected some steps behind the road in terms of driving dynamics will be… pleasantly disappointed. We need precisely this oxymoron to convey the idea of ​​a bike that, despite the numerous modifications in an off-road sense, yields nothing in terms of feeling on asphalt. On the contrary. Stable and precise, the Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail is an excellent cornering companion: the chassis itself is more devoted to fun than to comfort – the rear in particular is rather stiff – and the engine is even more spirited than the numbers on the card technique they may suggest. Round and vigorous in delivery, the parallel twin is never too aggressive, so much so as not to regret the total absence of electronic controls. In dynamic terms the only limit is perhaps that of weightwith the 217 kg dry which, becoming 234 in the detection in running order, force a physical guide where the changes of direction become more sudden.

how are you / 2

Net of the aforementioned overall stiffness, which does not make it particularly friendly to holes and roughness, the Leoncino 800 Trail records good sensations in the comfort chapter. True, the seat height has increased by 29 mm compared to the road sister, from 804 to 829 mm (834mm), but the way the saddle is shaped makes this bike more than suitable even for those who are not particularly tall. The driving position, even more upright, does not tire even after many kilometers and helps to make you feel everything under control, even when you decide to venture into the dirt road: whether it is a dirt road or some other simple off-road passage, the Benelli 800 Trail proves capable of pulling unexpected off-road skills out of the hat, probably better than those found on the “usual” scramblers.

how are you / 3

Aware that they are not riding a specialist enduro or even a medium adventure with the 21 “front, the most savvy can undoubtedly get some satisfaction away from the asphalt, also counting on the excellent grip offered by the semi-knobs. from the Pirelli house. Which despite the tread pattern, they also behave very well in road use, for constant and total confidence even when you push a little more than… necessary. One last criticism we reserve instead to the braking system, which can be improved not so much in terms of power as on that of modulation: the front is not lacking in bite but has a dry attack, perhaps too aggressive to put newbies at ease. But apart from this, however a detail with which even beginners can take measurements within a few kilometers, we feel absolutely to recommend the Leoncino 800 Trail even to that part of users who are still fresh with an A2 license.

benelli leoncino 800 trail AT A GLANCE

In its sales projections regarding the Leoncino 800, Benelli expects to sell Trail for about two thirds of the total. Driving it, we understood why: to the good finishes and excellent value for money of its road sister, the Trail adds the load of greater versatility and an even more pronounced personality, practically without giving up anything. Then tastes are tastes – and God forbid! – but this fanciful and fashionable scrambler has all the credentials to deserve the title of flagship of the house of the Lion.


  • Like it: style, fun on the road, off-road performance.
  • Do not like: front brake a bit “rough”, maxi weight

Technical sheet: benelli leoncino 800 Trail

  • Engine and gearbox: Type: 4-stroke in-line twin; Cooling: liquid; Distribution: Dohc with 4 valves per cylinder; Displacement: 754 cc; Bore x stroke: 88 x 62 mm; Compression ratio: 11.5: 1; Maximum power: 56.0 kW (76.2 Hp) @ 8500 rpm; Maximum torque: 67 Nm (6.8 kgm) @ 6500 rpm; Lubrication: Forced wet sump; Power supply: Electronic injection; Consumption: 4.9 l / 100km Clutch: Multidisc in oil bath; Gearbox: 6-speed; Final transmission: chain.
  • Chassis and brakes: Trellis frame in tubes with steel plates; upside-down fork suspension with ø 50mm stanchions, 140 mm of wheel travel; rear suspension with swingarm with central mono adjustable in spring preload and hydraulic brake, 140 mm of wheel travel; front brake with double semi-floating disc ø320mm, 4-piston radial caliper; single disc rear brake ø260 mm, double piston caliper and Abs; tubeless spoked front wheel, 19 inches; 17-inch tubeless spoked rear wheel.
  • Tires: front 120/70 R 19 M / C 60V; rear 170/60 R 17 M / C 72V.
  • Dimensions: Length 2200 mm, width without mirrors 870 mm, height without mirrors 1210 mm, saddle height 834 mm, wheelbase 1480 mm, height from the ground 191 mm; weight in running order 234 kg; Tank capacity 15 l
  • Price: 7,990 euros fc


Arai Concept X helmet; Dainese Pro-Armor Back back protector; Dainese Classic Slim Text Pants; Dainese San Diego Jacket; Tcx Rook WP boots; Spidi G-Warrior gloves.

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