The dormant Italian brand Cagiva is coming back with electric off-road bikes, with the first prototypes expected to come this fall at EICMA. The news was announced by Giovanni Castiglioni, chief executive officer of the Cagiva brand’s rights holder, MV Agusta, during the press launch for the 2018 Brutale 800RR (look for that review shortly).
I think this is the first time I’ve been truly afraid of a motorcycle. And I mean fear. The bike is invaluable and has a lot of important history. Cagiva entered Grand Prix racing in 1990 and had to battle against the ultra-rich Japanese manufacturers with seemingly unlimited budgets, in a day when expenses and rider salaries were peaking. A cheap rider was at least a million bucks, and still the small factory with the big heart pushed on and, eventually, against the odds, rose to the winner’s podium. Had finances not restricted the forward progression, a world title might’ve been possible.
Thou shall not take this lightly. The granddad of them all, the Ducati Monstro, brings in close to 70-percent of Ducati's income these days. But Cagiva's boss, Mr. Castiglioni, is not about to let the Bolognese people dig this gold mine all alone. After unveiling the 1000 Raptor at the '00 Milano show, a smaller but no less appealing 650 brother appeared at this year's Munich Show. When you consider the fact that in Italy, the small 600cc Monstro is number four in the sales hit parade with 4,500 pieces sold (twice the sales of the 900), it's no wonder why Cagiva came out with a smaller model of their own.
In those days only the Italians or the British could make a bike that handled properly. However, they found it almost impossible to make an engine that could match the best coming from Japan. Today, only a complete bigot would claim that the Japanese haven't got the handling game down to a pretty fine art. So where does that leave the Europeans? According to the Italians it leaves them taking care of style.