2023 Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail (bike review)

Benelli’s Leoncino 800 Trail has landed down under, and we’ve got our hands on one. Like other models from the brand, it’s easy on the eyes, with some cool styling touches. Let’s dig deep and see if there’s more to this bike than just its good looks.

Walking around the bike, there is obvious attention to detail and some real Italian styling cues, despite being manufactured in China. The Benelli is anything but low cost or low quality – so you can throw that perception straight out the window here.

Straight away our eyes are drawn to the super sexy twin slash cut mufflers that appear from beneath the number panel, giving the bike a real scrambler demeanour. Full LED lights, spoked rims and the Benelli lion reinforced the Leoncino 800 Trail’s style.

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Its beating heart is a 754cc, liquid cooled, four stroke, twin-cylinder engine delivering 56kW of power and 67Nm of torque. It’s user friendly on the road, and provides enough oomph to have some serioud fun off it.

A double overhead camshaft, with four valves per cylinder, as well as a 43mm double throttle body, wet anti-slip clutch and 6-speed gearbox, complete the picture for the 2023 Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail (which is the same setup as the road only Leoncino 800).

2023 Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail
2023 Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail

The soundtrack that exudes form those trick twin exhausts as you push the Leoncino 800 Trail higher in the rev range is super rewarding. Handling is reasonable too, thanks to a tubular trellis frame setup that utilises steel plates.

It’s designed to deliver easy and nimble handling on the road and aesthetically pleasing looks. The Trail comes fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR rubber, which look super cool wrapped around the 19-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear.

Up front is an upside down fork with with 50mm diameter legs that are coated gold and look premium. This setup offers 140mm of travel and works quite well both on and off road. On the rear is a single swingarm.

It features adjustable spring preload and rebound damping, and offers 140mm of travel. The rear does an okay job, but for this rider who tips the scale at just over 100kg, it’s a little too firm. That’s especially so on by and potholed roads.

The braking setup on the Leoncino 800 Trail works well in pulling up the bike’s 234kg mass. While that sounds heavy, and it is, rivals like the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special tip the scales at 260kg, and the Benelli is easy enough to manage.

2023 Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail
2023 Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail

With that said, the Leoncino 800 Trail has a low and manageable seat height of just 834mm. On the braking front, it features ABS on both wheels, which appears permanent, even in off road situations.

A double semi floating 320mm disc with 4-piston callipers can be found up front. Even under heavy braking, it offers good feel and bite and was more than adequate. The rear also performed well, utilising a 260mm single disc with floating calliper.

Rider information is displayed via a TFT screen, but there are no selectable ride modes – it’s basically a hop on and go scenario with this bike. In saying that, it’s reliable, capable and a whole lot of fun.

Available in three colour options, including Terrain Brown, Forrest Green and Rock Grey (as tested), the 2023 Benelli 800 Trail comes with a 2-year unlimited kilometre warranty and is priced from $13,490 ride away.

Although it’s not the cheapest bike in this category, it does have stylish looks and dependable performance, ensuring it will win over fans and potential buyers alike.

2023 Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail
2023 Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail

Our test bike was provided by Benelli Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Benelli 800 Trail, contact your local Benelli dealer.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Riding experience
8
Style and comfort
8
Braking and handling
7.75
Overall bike performance
7.75
Value for money
7.5

SUMMARY

Pros – great styling; ease of use; nimble handling; off road capable.
Cons – no selectable riding mode; a little heavy; dearer than some rivals.
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.

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<strong>Pros –</strong> great styling; ease of use; nimble handling; off road capable.<br> <strong>Cons –</strong> no selectable riding mode; a little heavy; dearer than some rivals.2023 Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail (bike review)