by Aldo Ballerini
After the press presentation of the new Leoncino 800 Trail, here we are with the first hot considerations. First of all, this Trail version looks a lot like its road sister tested a little less than a month ago: the riding position is comfortable, the rider’s back remains straight and the arms grip a nice wide handlebar that helps to hide the weight when changing direction and make it easier to drive in strait and on dirt roads.
The difference more great between the two versions is the versatility of the Trail that, between the suspension with greater travel and the knobby tires, does well even off-road, obviously without exaggerating by looking for too rough surfaces or accentuated holes, which do not fall within its repertoire due to the lack of light on the ground.
Another small difference compared to the “road” lies in the feeling with the front: here the combination of knobby tire and 19 “spoked wheel makes itself felt, giving it to the Trail less sporting behaviorwith less quick turns insertions but at the same time pleasantly round and intuitiveas well as greater inertia when changing direction, minimized by the large lever offered by the handlebar.
The engine is also convincing: the 754 cc forward-facing twin has a rather fluid response to the throttle, it is not a marvel in the first 3,000 rpm but on the other hand this makes it easy to manage in uncomfortable situations even by those who do not have much experience. (if in doubt, the 35 kW version is also available for those with an A2 license). Then he shows a decent back up to 5,000-5,500 for immediately afterwards to change – slightly – character and to make available to the pilot an interesting extension.
The braking system is proportionate to performance, with the pair of front discons that stand out for their modularity and usability, also thanks to the good support offered by the forksoft in the calibration but with a more than discreet smoothness.
Like his sister Leoncino 800, too the Trail has no electronics to support driving: therefore, no electronic accelerator, no traction control or weakened engine maps useful in case of wet asphalt, which would not have spoiled given the standard knobby tires. In defense of him, however, we can say that between the intuitiveness of the chassis and the progressiveness of the engine, everything can be easily managed with the right dosage of the right wrist. Just like it used to be.
For the complete test of the Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail we refer you to the service that you will find published on Motorcycling in June, also complete with our surveys at the counter.