Harley Agusta?

26 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Harley Agusta?

Harley Agusta?

Despite a tough first quarter. Harley-Davidson is apparently financially solvent enough to entertain buying most of the troubled Italian boutique builder MV Agusta, according to a Forbes story cited by Hell for Leather Magazine .

MV Agusta boasts a rich history that includes an astounding 37 world Grand Prix titles (14 of which were delivered by Giacomo Agostini), but the Italian bike builder is in debt to the tune of 95 million euros. Forbes indicates that Harley hopes to write off 35% of that debt, when and if such a purchase occurs.

This news comes after I recently tested MV’s outrageous (but not sold out) six-figure superbike, the F4CC. You’ll hear my thoughts in an upcoming review, but in the meantime what do you think could happen if the 105 year-old American legend purchases the 63 year-old Italian sportbike manufacturer?

Photo Illustration © Basem Wasef

Comments

June 6, 2008 at 10:27 am

(1) Pete says:

Hmmmmm….Kinda like mating a Ferrari with a Massey Ferguson. You end up with a really pretty, stupid fast hay bailer – or – a 2009 antique Enzo.

I don’t see much good coming out of it….I bet in a couple years H-D will be desperate to unload MV, much like MB couldn’t wait to lose the Chrysler anchor.

What possible gain could MV be expecting. An established dealer network? “Hi there….do you sell black leather MV chaps?”

If H-D was smart, they’d climb in to bed with someone who could drag them in to the late 20th century…an exotic Italian ain’t it!

June 6, 2008 at 12:15 pm

(2) motorcycles says:

Pete,

Ya never know… in the 1960s Harley acquired Aermacchi, and their expertise at building small bikes helped Harley to draw a new audience of riders who didn’t want or need big V-twins. If Harley can figure out the whole sportbike thing (without resorting to a gussied up power cruiser like the V-Rod), they could have one foot in the cruiser/touring bike world and another in the sportbike world.

Seems like diversification wouldn’t be bad for H-D, and what better way to mix up the gene pool than to inject some seriously dissimilar DNA?!

I don’t know about the dealer network being a big help. I’ve even found it odd to see Buells at H-D dealerships.

I think the Buell connection makes sense… if a die-hard Harley fan is going to migrate towards another type of bike, they’re more likely to do it if there’s an air-cooled twin onboard.

My guess is their vision with MV involves something deeper than just a dealer network. Imagine mating a V-Rod with a Brutale… it’s kind of like cross-breeding a great dane with a whippet; the possibilities are endless!

Basem

I don’t know that Aermacchi did H-D any good…they sold a handful of those really awful 250′s….that was about it.


Pete,

Aermacchi was a better merger on paper than it was in reality, but I’d imagine the potential for innovation is very different nowadays. Look at how long it took for Ducati to get in the black; everybody knew they could build a great bike, but they needed the infrastructure to do it right.

MV Agusta 1100 Grand Prix

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