Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs

Benelli Leoncino “ShapeShifter” by Cardsharper Customs

I was able to see, touch, hear this motorcycle last weekend. It was on Warsaw Motorcycle Show. First of all – I wasn’t aware that Leoncino existed until a couple of months ago when Jacek Mulak (founder of Cardsharper Customs) shared the news on the Facebook group.

Benelli decided to give him the Leoncino model to modify

Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs
Well, maybe not simply “decided to give”, as it was Jacek’s persistent convincing of Benelli (and few other brands) that made this cooperation possible. It took weeks to make this happen, Benelli were the ones who decided to give it a go… and the result is very pleasing

This is not a regular type of custom build. It is an entirely new motorcycle, provided by Benelli Poland, customised by a Polish workshop: Cardsharper Customs. And it is more than just a decoration of Benelli area on the Show.

Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs

Jacek shared that:

It took over 2 months to finish. I had to delay other clients projects to make this one in time for the Show.

The mods

Cardsharper Customs straightened the line and lowered the general profile of original Benelli Leoncino. The most prominent change is a front fairing – that is mounted lower, as is the instrument cluster. The headlight is stock, but without the turn signals and the original cover.

Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs

The tail is completely modified using custom-designed stainless steel support frame, and side panels are aluminium. To keep the line clean and give the bike more aggressive look the original tank was leaned forward a little.

Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs

The exhaust is smaller. The original rear fender that hugs the tire and carries the number plate is gone. It was moved to the left side of the rear wheel, on a custom made aluminium bracket.

Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs

Jacek decided to leave the front fender original, as it fits the general style perfectly (he just removed the lion figure from it).

The key to this Cafe Racer is in the name

As I wrote before, this build has hidden features; the “ShapeShifter” name has a deeper meaning. Cardsharper Customs designed this motorcycle not only as “modification kit” -meaning that no changes made to this particular bike are irreversible.

Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs

Give me two hours and few tools, and I’ll return this motorcycle to its original form.

But it is also easily customizable – a three in one concept. The idea of using flat aluminium bars and the hex screws that are visible as design pieces is very straightforward. Not only it provides weight saving. But after removing a few of the bolts, You can change the looks of the bike within minutes. I mean like 5 minutes of work using one or two sizes of hex keys, and You can have three different tails. I’ve seen it live. Check out the photos below to view every option.

Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs
What You see here – is hidden under the aluminium tail cover. Let’s call this an option number 2.

Just imagine the possibilities this kind of modular design offers!

You can buy Yourself a two-seater kit (provided with additional passenger foot pegs, or an adventure kit with a top case and side luggage mounting points. I hope it will be the thing.

Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs
Shortest tail. Option number 3.

I’m happy that this motorcycle exists. I  keep my fingers crossed that it will help to promote the returning Benelli brand back on the map. And at the same time will boost the interest of custom bike enthusiasts with the brand. The brand that is way older than Moto Guzzi and Ducati.

Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs
Jacek and his build

I can’t wait to see the other version Cardsharper Customs are working on – Leoncino Scrambler. 
Links: Cardsharper Customs | Benelli Poland

Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs

BTW. This is by all means not a blog to review the new machines or to write sponsored posts. But as I could see the models Benelli has for 2019 – I find the value for money extraordinary. I know that these bikes are built in China. But the factory that makes these motorcycles was build ONLY for Benelli. It’s not a series production of bikes that get sold under ten different labels. Plus they are designed in Italy, sold with warranties, under the names of serious importers. These things look durable, the upside-down front forks put to almost every model are pretty solid, the materials and build quality – doesn’t put any red flags up. I encourage You to see for Yourself.

I will test drive their TRK adventure bike soon for sure!

Benelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper CustomsBenelli Leoncino "ShapeShifter" by Cardsharper Customs