1956 – Benelli “Leoncino 125 Sport GT” – Italy
The Benelli workshop was born in 1911 thanks to Teresa Benelli, who wanted to guarantee a future for her 6 fatherless kids. In 1919 a 75cc 2-stroke engine was produced, the prelude to the first Benelli motorcycle in 1921: the Velomotore, a 98cc light motorcycle.
From this moment on the production increased and the commercial success led to the enlargement of the factory in the 30s, when the company reached the pinnacle of success.
After WWII the factory is basically destroyed and the Benelli brothers started converting military bikes left on the battlegrounds into civil vehicles.
In the 50s and 60s Benelli motorbikes gained many commercial and racing successes. After different owners the company was bought in 2005 by the chinese group Q.J.
The Leoncino model dates back to 1951, and until 1958 they produced different versions: between 1951 and 1956 (up to the Leoncino Rikshaws) all the models were powered by a 123cc 2-stroke single cylinder engine with aluminum head and cast iron cylinder. The new 4-stroke Leoncino 125, on both the Normale and Sport version, was powered by a single cylinder 4 stroke engine with overhead valves with a 70° angle between them. This new 4-stroke version though wasn’t much successful. Because of that, today is a rare and valued model.