Italian exotica firm pens deal with Chinese firm to build new range of 350-500cc bikes
Times are tough, and everyone has to work harder to stay ahead of the game. And when it comes to motorcycle manufacturers, that means expanding your range, spreading your appeal – and also cutting your costs. Even ‘premium’ brands like Ducati, KTM, Triumph and BMW have gone down this pathway – building smaller-capacity bikes, and moving part of their production to countries where labour and other costs are cheaper.
So it’s no surprise that the most premium brand of them all – MV Agusta – is now following suit, and has signed a production deal with Chinese firm Loncin. In a recent press release, the Varese superbike-mongers has announced a new strategic partnership with Loncin, aimed at producing an all-new range of machines in the 350-500cc sector. And the deal will also involve Loncin in marketing the firm’s existing 675, 800 and 1000cc bikes into China.
Loncin isn’t quite a household name here of course – but it’s got plenty of experience in this kind of work. It’s been one of BMW’s production partners since 2005, building engines and bikes for the Bavarian firm’s 400 scooter range, 650cc and 850cc engines.
The release speaks of four new 350-500cc machines being launched before 2021, but gives little in terms of detail. Putting on our ‘informed speculation’ hats, we’d imagine a mini-Brutale or Dragster naked machine, a Turismo Veloce style tourer on stilts, and a posh little mini-superbike in the mould of the F4 and F3 machines, plus maybe a retro-styled machine like the new Superveloce 800? The partnership will focus on the MV Agusta brand and its values, so you’d not expect to see a budget commuter or a scooter in the range.
Expect something in the way of a product announcement at the Milan show this November. More, as ever, when we get it!