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Benelli Leoncino 250 - A mixed recipe which does taste good.

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  • [Ownership Thread]: Benelli Leoncino 250 - A mixed recipe which does taste good.

    I bought the Benelli Leoncino 250 on 21 August 2020 (2 days before my birthday).

    Tech Specs
    Displacement : 249 CC Single Cylinder
    Gearbox : 6 Speed
    Frame : Steel tube trellis
    Front Suspension : 41mm USD
    Rear Suspension : Monoshock
    Front Brake : 280 mm disc with 4-piston calliper
    Rear Brake : 240 mm disc with 1-piston calliper
    Front Wheel : 110mm 17 inch Alloys
    Rear Wheel : 150mm 17 inch Alloys
    Tyres : Metzeler Sportec Interactive M5
    Wheelbase : 1380 mm
    Ground Clearance : 170 mm
    Dry Weight : 155 kgs
    Fuel Tank Capacity : 12.5 litres

    Preface
    I was bed ridden since May 2020 due to some pressing health concerns, had to sell my then 'go to' motorcycle the Avenger Street 220 as well.
    The nation was in lockdown and there was no use of a motorcycle for a bed ridden person what so ever.
    My days started with Doctor visits, Lab tests, medicine, more lab tests and so on.
    Then came the dreadful day of May 29, 2020. The doctor feared my condition was more severe than anticipated. Came home, followed the routine, same everyday issues and procedures... and found out that the family was panicking a lot. One thing led to another and we (my wife and I) were making a 'Bucket List' of things I wanted to do before I.. you know.
    Anyway, the top of that list read "Buy a Benelli 600i"
    Called the dealership in June first week and they informed they had no bikes to offer, Delhi Dealership had been dissolved and only the one in Noida was operational.
    They offered me the Imperiale, I chuckled and declined.
    A week later they called back and asked if I would be interested in getting a Leoncino 250.
    To be honest, I never even heard the name before. I told them to send me some photos and they did.
    They even enclosed a pdf manual, which I read front to back in all its entirety.

    With a lot of to & fro, I finally decided to go for it and waited till I was able to walk.
    I originally intended to buy the motorcycle on my birthday, but had a few more tests to get done.
    I went 2 days early and made the purchase.
    Which makes it a rushed decision.
    (Am I proud of it? Yes, I am.)

    Buying Experience
    Buying the Leoncino has been the most rewarding and convenient experience for me so far.
    I have previously had experience with Hero Honda, Honda, Suzuki, Royal Enfield, Bajaj and KTM.
    But none of them compare to Benelli in any way. Kudos to the Benelli Noida team.
    I spent a good 4 hours there and every minute, I was accompanied by my client manager Mr Rajesh.
    I had a rather descriptive, 41 points long PDI Checklist with me and I verified every single thing on it.
    The bike was so 'fresh' that I failed to find even a single hairline scratch on it.
    To top things off, the benelli team was eager to get any input from myself as to what they can do better or how can they oblige.
    They also took care of my medicines, refreshment and documentation.
    The fact that they explained each and every aspect in detail and guided me so well was a feeling in itself.
    They even offered to deliver the vehicle to my place without any charge (if I was not able to ride it).
    Once my PDI was done, they took out a leaf from the manual and showed me their PDI Sheet which I had to sign, this time, they verified everything and explained it to me as well.
    Then came time to test ride the motorcycle and they told me "Not to hesitate and ride as long as you feel comfortable", which I did. Rode for around 2o minutes and checked if every sound and refinement was in order. It was.
    After I came back, they called their in-house mechanic to explain to me how to ride, how to maintain the bike, the Do's, the Dont's and such.
    Once everything was done, they took a photo for their social media and asked for my review of their services, to which I was more than thankful and they were more than modest.
    I gathered all the courage I had and decided to ride the motorcycle home.
    It was a 30 kilometer long journey which I honestly don't remember much coz all my attention was on 'Not to Crash'.

    First Ride Experience
    I didn't ride the bike for a while and feared that it might rot in the open space under my building.
    I rode it for the first time when Mr Ritwik from Motul India called and said he needed a favor. They needed a few photos for their campaign.
    2 photos of my motorcycle donning the 'Motul' Sticker in front of a monument. I didn't tell him my condition and decided to ride to them to collect the stickers and complete the shoot on the same day.
    I took out the motorcycle, cleaned it a bit. Cranked the ignition and the 'Benelli Sound' put a smile to my face. Considering it is a single cylinder, 250 CC motor, the exhaust note was deep and rumbly.
    The neighbors inquired about the bike and I graciously bragged about it.
    I took off and my initial impression of the bike was mixed. The seat height of 810mm felt tall for a 5ft 7in me. That, alongwith the weird riding geometry was mildly off putting.
    But none of it was too much for me to complain. Upon reaching India Gate for the shoot, I had gotten used to the ergos and was in good command over it. I rode it at a comfortable pace at around 70 kmph max (never got to put it in 6th cog).
    The attention I was getting from the crowd at every signal was also hyping me up.
    People were unaware of the brand, the model the make.
    Most of them gasped at the price of around 2.85 lakh.
    As I got home that day, I realized the urge of riding coming back to me. So much, that I made plans to ride it again as well.

    Consequent ride and after sales service
    First service was fast approaching and I hadn't even done 300 kms on the motorcycle.
    I was postponing the service and gave the motorcycle to my younger brother to ride and complete the odo.
    After a week or so, he returned the bike to me and gave his initial thoughts. In his own words, "Bhai maine 100 cross kiya, pata hi nahin chala".
    (I found out later, he clocked 129 that day). The motorcycle was parked under my building and was under the covers for another week.
    I decided to ride it for a short spin, went to warm up the bike and found out that someone broke the clamp at the handlebar ( the clamp that holds the LHS mirror).
    I was furious but there was nothing I could do. I called my client manager at Benelli Noida and he placed an order for the clamp. It took a week for the clamp to arrive and I went to get it installed as well as first service. Everything went smooth but it did occur to me that spares availability is still an issue here. Although, it has gone better from what it used to be in DSK times. The expenditure was as follows:
    Service cost including Synthetic Engine Oil (Benelli Brand), 1.5 litres : 4000/-
    Cost of Clamp : 270/-
    Yes, the service cost is on the higher side considering its a single cylinder 250 CC motor that puts out around 26 PS of power and 21 nm of torque.

    First Long Ride
    I completed my first long ride of around 800 kms on the Leoncino 250 recently (first week of March 2021).
    I took it to my hometown in Haldwani, Uttarakhand.

    Here are the Ride Details:

    Average speed : 115 kmph
    Top speed : 138 kmph
    Total journey : 810 kms
    Heat management : Excellent
    Comfort : Decent
    Off-Road : Quite good, rode on broken roads and even no roads for 7 odd kilometers. The Scrambler DNA does show.

    What to like:
    1. Tyres- Metzeler Sportec M5 Interactive, one of the best rubber out there.
    2. Suspension- although on the stiffer side, the suspension performs great on well paved roads.
    3. Quality of components used.
    4. Exhaust note- enough bass and rumble. As you rev the engine hard, the exhaust notes grows sweeter.
    5. The engine- Benelli's have some of the best engineers and it shows, the engine is high revving and packs a punch.
    6. The attention it accumulates.
    7. LED Headlight, its quite bright.
    8. Dual Channel ABS.
    9. Heat management.
    10. They Key, its foldable and quite premium.

    What not to like:
    1. Seat for the pillion is puny. Consider riding single.
    2. Availability of spares is still a bit cumbersome.
    3. Expensive to maintain.
    4. A bit on the heavier side.
    5. No grab rails for the pillion. Seriously, consider riding alone.


    Final Verdict
    Some might say that the modern Scramblers on offer are not true to their genes, and they will be right.
    Like many factory produced Scramblers, the Leoncino 250 falls short of its capabilities as a scrambler.
    Is that a good thing, NO. Is that a bad thing, Heck NO.
    See, most of us spend most of our time in the tarmac, with occasional off road and adventure.
    If you were and adventure junkie, you would not be reading this. You would have gotten yourself an Xpulse, Himalayan or a GS perhaps.
    This one is for those who ride in the city, and city is where it will spend most of its time.
    It gets road biased tyres, a practical handlebar and ergos which are meant for the urban jungle.
    It won't like it if you take it to the dunes.
    Unless,
    You replace the shoes.
    Put on some knobbies, get handlebar risers, adjust the preload and take it.... ANYWHERE.
    Agreed that it will still not be the best at "Scrambling", it will at least be in par with the Himalayans and the Xpulses for sure.



    P.S. Here is my channel link if you want to watch videos on the motorcycle : https://www.youtube.com/c/theXplorerRS

  • #2
    Thread approved.

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    • #3
      Quite a unique looking bike you have there!. I dont ever recall having seen these on the road.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks Brother.
        And the reason for this is the sheer non-availability of this motorcycle. I think only 10 of these are in North India.
        Awesome Machine though. Waiting to put some knobby tyres and hitting some trails.

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        • #5
          For your Ease & Comfort, here is a video about buying the Benelli Leoncino 250 : https://youtu.be/kBU6Q2M_Oqk

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