No doubt hoping to capture a little of the magic that has seen Triumph’s class-smashing 675 Daytona make a massive impression in road tests, track tests and sales charts, MV Agusta is developing its own 675cc triple - and in typical Claudio Castiglioni style, just about betting the company’s survival on it.
The projected MV Agusta F3 supersport bike will feature 4 radial valves per cylinder, which the company believes will give it a significant top-end power advantage over the Triumph. With the Daytona making 123bhp, MV is aiming at 135bhp or more, as well as a lighter weight chassis due to the use of more expensive and exotic materials.
MV engine whiz Andrea Goggi is already working on the motor, and master designer Massimo Tamburini is working on the F3’s design. Tamburini has designed some of history’s most memorably beautiful bikes, including the Ducati 916, MV Brutale and Mv F4 - so it’s reasonable to expect the F3 will be utterly stunning.
Sadly, although its products have always been at the absolute pinnacle of performance, aesthetics and desirability, it’s impossible to discuss future MV Agustas without speculating on the grimy business side of things - the beautiful bikes can’t keep on coming if the factory closes, and yet again it seems huge debts and cash flow problems are threatening the brand with extinction.
MV Agusta president Claudio Castiglioni acknowledges the financial strife the company now finds itself battling, but feels that the way forward is to diversify into new segments like the big-selling supersport market to start generating enough income to offset the company’s debt. In a recent interview for Australian Motorcycle News, Castiglioni spoke optimistically about the company’s prospects of finding the right investment partners to bring the new F3 range and a single-cylinder F1 range to the market.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “A new partner will arrive and MV will continue to exist. It’s too great a marque not to continue in business.” Then, perhaps in acknowledgement that his own passion-over-bottom-line business decisionmaking might have to be reined in, he added, “I’m not looking for a partner to just come in and write cheques and let everything continue as before; we need to completely restructure the company to do things differently and I’m confident I’ll find such a person or such a company.”
The supersport segment is going to be a key part of the MV revival plan, Castiglioni told Spain’s Solomoto. “[The supersport] segment is the largest, is four or five times larger than the 1,000 cc. MV can sell 6,000 motorcycles this year and perhaps 9,000 the next, but with this three-cylinder we can reach 15,000 or 20,000 units within a few years.”
If one thing’s clear, it’s that Tamburini, Goggi and especially Castiglioni are deeply passionate and completely dedicated to finding a way to get the most storied brand in motorcycling back into the black - even despite an unexpected and heartbreaking shafting that saw all the money from MV’s sale of its Husqvarna brand go back to creditors, with none re-invested in the company
Still, for the good of bike-lovers everywhere, we hope MV gets its affairs sorted out in time to give birth to another Tamburini masterpiece, this time in the hugely desirable three-cylinder 675cc format that’s taken Triumph to 3 years of utter dominance in road and track testing. Of course, the F3 will likely have to compete with a revised Triumph Daytona, as well as a similarly specified Benelli and a rumoured BMW supersport triple that’s said to be coming in 2010. Here’s hoping it will be a stand-up stoush we can all enjoy.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.