MV Agusta President Claudio Castiglioni Dead at 64

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Nov. 22, 1946 - Aug. 17, 2011

mv agusta president claudio castiglioni dead at 64

MV Agusta President Claudio Castiglioni has died from illness at the age of 63.

The former owner of Ducati and Cagiva succumbed to illness Aug. 17 in a clinic in Varese, Italy. Castiglioni was the definition of a motorcycle magnate, gaining renown from owning (as well as selling) several motorcycle brands.

Castiglioni became president of Cagiva after the company was founded by his father, Giovanni Castiglioni in 1978. Under Castiglioni’s leadership, Cagiva bought out other well known brands such as Ducati, Husqvarna, Moto Morini and MV Agusta.

Cagiva sold Ducati to Texas Pacific Group in 1991 and in 1999, the company was restructured to make MV Agusta the main brand. Husqvarna was sold to BMW in 2007, and in 2008, Castiglioni sold MV Agusta to Harley-Davidson. The Harley-Davidson era for MV Agusta was brief, and the Motor Company sold the Italian brand back to Castiglioni and his son, Giovanni, in 2010.

While his ownership of several motorcycle brands (including the controversial sale of MV Agusta to, and from Harley-Davidson) may be the first thing many people remember, Castiglioni is also well known for some of the motorcycles produced under his leadership such as the Ducati 916, the Ducati Monster, the MV Agusta F4, and the upcoming MV Agusta F3.

[Source: MCN,, MV Agusta]

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Claudio Castiglioni, 64 years old and President of MV Agusta Motor S.p.A. passed away this morning in Varese, Italy after a courageous battle against an illness.

The man who personally elevated the Italian motorcycle industry to its current role as world leader and the businessman who excelled with MV Agusta, Cagiva, Ducati and Husqvarna brands has left us.

After his experience in the family business’s specializing in metalworking and manufacturing, in 1978 Castiglioni founded the company Cagiva which continually developed new and innovative motorcycles that have influenced the direction of the Italian and world motorcycle markets through the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Intuitive, tenacious, and a true visionary: these qualities drove Claudio Castiglioni to purchase the historic brands like Ducati, Husqvarna and MV Agusta. Coupled with his vision, diligence, hard work and financial investment these brands have once again become the protagonist of the two wheeled market.

Claudio Castiglioni has given us some of the most important motorcycles ever built, personifying performance, elegance and style: Cagiva Elefant and Mito, Ducati 916 and Monster as well as the MV Agusta F4 and Brutale.

Finally, the President crafted the latest jewels in every detail, a testament to his insatiable passion for motorcycles: the MV Agusta F3 and Brutale 675.

Racing has always been one of his greatest passions, and his forays into competition have resulted in success at every level of world championship racing. With Cagiva came the titles of World Motocross Champion as well as the triumphs in the most enduring desert race, the Paris-Dakar. Also with Cagiva were the numerous successes in the 500 GP class. Ducati, under his guidance, dominated entire seasons of the World Superbike Championship thanks to models such as the 851 and 916. Finally, Husqvarna acquired a number of World Championships in Enduro, Motocross and Supermotard.

At the very center of his personal and professional history there is MV Agusta, to which he dedicated over 15 years creating motorcycles which have come to be considered the world wide icon for style and exclusivity as well as representing excellence Made in Italy. With the MV Agusta motorcycles, nothing was ever left to chance, the smallest details were reviewed and revised hundreds of times in order to create motorcycles that are simply unique, personifying perfection. Behind every detail, there are the ideas, heart and soul of Claudio Castiglioni.

For the past year, the President has left the guidance of MV Agusta to his son Giovanni, who has been by his side during many of the battles that have formed the story of the manufacture in Varese. These challenges, day after day, constructed and invisible fabric that was so well woven by this truly unique person and businessman.

Giovanni, with the same passion and tenacity as his father, from this day forth will continue to create what Claudio Castiglioni described as “the most beautiful motorcycles in the world”.

The funeral will take place Friday August 19th at 14:00 in the Church of the Brunella in via Crispi, Varese (Italy).

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