My new Italian-Chinese Scrambler: Benelli Leoncino Trail

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by ChopperCharles, Feb 6, 2021.

  1. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    For the Leoncino, you can just put rear turn signals on the front, and that brings it back to the stock look. If you're really anal, you'll swap the left to the right and the right to the left, so the barely noticeable words on the lenses are right-side up. OR, just buy a set of two front signals off of AliExpress for the same price as one rear signal from SSR/Benelli USA, which is what I did. So now my signals are stock for every other country except the USA. They're really, really bright and really good signals and I might use them on other bikes, because they're so nice. So many aftermarket signals are either dim AF, or shitty AF, or both. Rarely do aftermarket signals have rubber stems.

    Charles.
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  2. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    So, this bike is great. And my brain is weird. For the longest time I've been thinking of my SCR950. Romanticizing it and itching to ride it and hemming and hawing about selling it. Then I actually ride it, and then suddenly remember how uncomfortable it is for me, and all the flaws and shortcomings. When the Leoncino is in my garage, I don't feel a great desire to ride it. I'm not romanticizing it at all. I feel like it's my new bike, I should ride it. And then I do, and I'm super, super happy. I'm like, why wasn't I itching to ride this thing? It's GREAT!!! It's super smooth on the highway, no buffetting, corners are drama free and easy, the brakes don't fade, and it's just so comfortable to ride. When I'm on the Leoncino, I don't want to get off.

    Charles.
  3. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    Woahboy.

    So.... I disassembled the bike to check the valves today. The valve cover was a stubborn-ass cockwaffle to remove. The service manual says to remove the throttle cables, remove the four bolts holding the valve cover on, lift it up and rotate it counter clockwise.

    What the manual doesn't mention is that you also have to remove the throttle cable mounting plate (phillips screws, one of them clear the other has enough frame in the way that your impact driver will cam out immediately). Once that's off, you need to unbolt the MAF sensor (more goddamn phillips screws), detach the left-side hose where it connects to the intake manifold, and fold it out of the way. NOW you can attempt to rotate the valve cover. If you've already halfway moved the cover then you're in for a world of hurt because now everything is in the way. But assuming youv'e removed everything, also unclip the hard brake lines from the frame and cut the two zip ties holding the wiring harness on the lft side of the frame. Now wiggle the valve cover around, trying every weird angle you can think of. Eventually you'll find a place where it seems it could rotate counter-clockwise. The trick is to get the left front corner of the valve cover up on top of the cam sprocket and jammed into the corner of the boxed frame. There is exactly zero pube's worth of clearance to do this. You're actually scraping the cover against the frame and forcing it a bit. Once past that point, BAM it rotates right out. It would be somewhat easier if the cast pry-point bosses were not there. I may dremel them off. In any case, I got the cover off. Finally. I'd give the difficulty level a 7.5. 10 being carb 1985 Honda V30 Magna carb and airbox installation.

    I haven't checked the clearances yet, I've been working in the garage for hours and it's millah time now. The book says 0.25mm for exhaust and 0.15mm for intake. I'll get my feelers in there tomorrow, once the sun is back out. (Garage lighting isn't the best)

    Charles.
  4. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    While I’m in the garage dicking around after checking the valves... I noticed an old Honda toolbox from some ancient 80s bike. Maybe a cx500 or gl500, but it really could be anything.

    ... and it looks about the same size as the charcoal canister I removed some time ago. The rubber straps even fit....

    03244E0D-5D2D-4E40-8B58-F69DC99FDEF0.jpeg

    Some repositioning and cajoling later and I’ve got a place for a few hand tools. Nice.

    AA9F1351-E7FC-460B-BD07-30C93A42EC6D.jpeg

    Charles.
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  5. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    Oh yeah, one other thing. After unplugging all the connectors for several sensors for some reason the bike started up and had the check engine light on. I made sure all the sensors were plugged in, so no clue why it came on. But to reset it on the Leoncino, hold the throttle wide open, turn the ignition on, and wait for it to go through the boot procedure fully. Then turn the ignition off and then on three times, while the throttle is still pinned. Then release the throttle and start the bike. No more check engine light.

    Charles.
  6. alex4515

    alex4515 Been here awhile

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    The bike started up on its own??
  7. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    Ugh no.
  8. Mr. Fixit

    Mr. Fixit Reevaluating

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    Why did you remove the charcoal canister?
  9. B02S4

    B02S4 Aye

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    You put your right foot in...:D
  10. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    Removing complexity and weight and cleaning up the look of the engine. It’s something that needs to be replaced every 15k miles, it’s susceptible to clogging with water crossings, and it causes the tank to fill slowly because of the California style neck and no direct to atmosphere vent, and if you overfill the tank it causes weird running and starting issues.

    also it was ugly. :)

    Charles.
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  11. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    The more I ride this bike the more I like it. Also my gas mileage is slowly getting better. I’m not sure if it’s the break in mileage or the temperature, but two fillups ago I got 40mph. One fillup ago I got 42mpg. Today I managed 44mpg.

    I am noticing when it’s in the high 70s or low 80s the engine temp is over 180*. When it’s 60 outside it’s 155 Degrees or less.

    charles.
  12. jamesjamesjames

    jamesjamesjames n00b

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    Great content @ChopperCharles. Would be interested to hear more about the skid plate on your Leo?
  13. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    What about the skid plate? It’s from aliexpress and it fits fine. Three aluminum brackets attach to the oil pan and the skid plate attaches to them. The brackets are very soft and easy to bend — I had to bend the right one to clear the stock exhaust.

    edit: this is good. You want the brackets to collapse and not transfer the shock to the oil pan mounting bolts.

    Charles.
  14. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    EBD29F6F-226B-46FB-9EC0-D295301ADAB4.jpeg

    Been having a great weekend at Mountain View Motorcycle Campground. Took an intro adventure riding class and had a great time. I did drop the little lion, at less than walking pace. Let it down slowly onto gravel. The oil pressure switch took a hit somehow, and my oil light wouldn’t go off. Unplugged it and plugged it back in and all was good. The skid plate doesn’t cover the lower hoses nor the oil pressure switch and it was just a weird hit to get in there.

    Once we figured it out, only my pride and my left hand guard and mirror have any damage, and it’s so minor I’ll just let it stay.

    I also did some service and found the shifter pivot had no lube, and the brake pedal has a hard stop preventing the pedal from being adjusted high enough to be usable while standing. I think I can remove the stop and replace it with a smaller one though.

    The bike performed very well and I’m quite happy with it. The suspension is soooo smooth on the blue ridge parkway or any of the backroads we road. It was also really excellent on the rock gardens and deep rutted and potholed dirt roads we were on. I never ran out of travel and I never felt a hit to my spine or kidneys which is GREAT. The tires however... they’re no good at all for gravel or dirt. They slip and slide really easily. They’re pretty nice for the street though. The Tourances are supposed to get 10k on the rear easily.... but I’ll probably swap them out for something more dirt oriented a lot sooner.

    Charles.
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  15. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    A couple more pics of the bike.

    P4170045.JPG

    P4170059.JPG

    Charles.
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  16. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    I took an ADV riding class this weekend. Great class. One of the lessons was clutch control. Don't touch the throttle, and just use the clutch to paddle-foot your bike up a gravel hill. The two CB500Xs in the class were stalling it out occasionally and just having a harder time of it than me. I had it so easy with the Leoncino that I started doing the same exercise in 2nd gear instead of first. I could get the bike moving and my feet up in first gear almost immediately. Talked to the owners (Jeff or Jack I can't remember who I asked) about the power on the CB500X, since I'd never ridden one. From what he told me, the CB500X starts making power around 3000 rpm, and then pulls and pulls until redline.

    The Leoncino is different. It has gobs of torque available right off of idle, it makes most power from idle right to about 6500 rpm, and then it tapers off sharply to the 8500 rpm redline. It has a really strong bottom and midrange! I was tooling around these gravel roads and using 1st or 2nd as engine braking down steep grades, with no problems whatsoever. I often found myself in too high of a gear, 3rd or 4th where I needed 2nd, and the bike just pulled right out, never threatening to stall. It was really, really easy to ride on slightly technical stuff.

    The suspension was great, and I had an amazing time. The only real downside is the stock Metzler Tourance tires. They're great for the street, and the rears last 10k. Fronts last 20k. And... I'm so blasted frugal I'm having a hard time replacing perfectly good tires with something more gravel oriented. :)

    Charles.
  17. WDG

    WDG Not entirely domesticated

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    I’m sure I missed it in a prior post, but what screen is that? It looks really nice on the Leoncino.

    Good to know about the power curve. That should make for pleasant day-to-day riding.
  18. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    The windshield is this one off of eBay:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/164601538635

    There's not really a brand name, it's the 49cm tall version that comes in clear, smoked, or black. I've got the black one. It comes with a bunch of differently-sized rubber bumpers and nice long screws, so you can adjust the angle. I added one thick and one thin bumper to the top two mounts and two thin bumpers to the bottom mounts, and that gives me a good angle. There's still some buffetting but it takes the wind off my helmet and chest, and is absolutely necessary in the cold. I also have a small flyscreen that I will swap back on once it's summer time.

    Charles.
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  19. zap2504

    zap2504 Dave E.

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    Looks like you also swapped out your pleather saddlebags with textile (and got the new tank filler mount for your bag, handlebar muffs). Stuff off the SCR? Did you get the headlight replacement you talked about earlier?
  20. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    I'm still working on headlight replacement. And yeah, I put the mounts off the pleather bags onto a set of Kappa/Givi RB100 bags that I bought, and then sliced the straps off. I need to add a stiffener to the upper portion of the bag, but they work great and I'm really happy with them so far. Muffs are universal for all my bikes, they're the old model of Hippo Hands Alcan. I nomrally have them on my CSC RX3. Givi filler mount is specific for the Leoncino, this is the first time I've ever had a quick release tank bag like this. The only thing I stole off the SCR950 is the RAM ball to mount my phone charger.

    Charles.
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