Mysterious MV Agusta 921cc Sportbike Design Filed in China

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

And why it may never see the light of day

Qianjiang Motor has filed a design with China’s intellectual property office for an Inline-Four sportbike. That in itself is hardly unusual, as Qianjiang, or QJ Motor, produces a number of models for its domestic market. What’s odd about this filing, however, is that the unknown motorcycle isn’t badged as a QJ, or one of its subsidiary brands like Benelli. It’s an MV Agusta.

Granted, it doesn’t look like any MV Agusta we’ve ever seen, and the styling isn’t what you would typically expect coming from Italy. For one thing, the designers credited in the filing are Chinese, and there’s a distinct lack of MV’s signature flourishes. Just looking at the illustrations, and you’d be hard pressed to find any Italian DNA on it. Except, that is, for the MV logo on the engine.

Much of the engine is obscured behind bodywork, but we spotted enough to get a visual match with the 921cc Inline-Four that MV Agusta debuted at EICMA in 2022 on the 921 S concept. The design of the cylinder casings look different, and some of the tubing has been rerouted, but as illustrated in the overlay below, the similarities are undeniable.

Unfortunately, identifying the engine doesn’t shed much light on what this bike is. MV Agusta and QJ Motor announced a “strategic partnership” in 2020, for distribution in China and “important developments on the industrial front” to come. Since then, we’ve seen the two brands collaborate on the Lucky Explorer Project 5.5 concept, while QJ beat MV Agusta to market with the 921 engine with its SRK 921 RR.

The SRK 921 RR is officially a QJ model, though it does carry some of MV Agusta's styling influences.

The Lucky Explorer 5.5 has since been cancelled with Pierer Mobility gaining a majority stake in MV Agusta. Meanwhile the SRK 921 RR, revealed in January, appears to share the same chassis and engine as the bike in the design filing. The engine carries QJ Motor badging, but the color scheme and four stacked exhausts makes it look more like an MV Agusta than the sportbike in the design filing.

So, what are we to make of all this? We’re not really sure, to be honest. The design was submitted on Oct. 17, 2023, which means it was filed well before Pierer Mobility announced it would acquire a majority stake in MV Agusta. That may mean the mystery motorcycle may no longer be in the works, at least as an MV Agusta. The 921cc engine was only revealed a couple of years ago, but some time after Pierer Mobility took control, any mention of the engine or the 921 S concept has been scrubbed from MV Agusta’s website.

The mystery sportbike may still live on, perhaps as a Benelli or a QJ. It’s possible that was the plan all along, though it should be noted QJ also submitted design filings in China for the SRK 921 RR, and it included a cover with clear QJ Motor badging, while other Benelli filings also bore the brand’s name. Including the MV logo on the engine in the design filing was a distinct choice.

Without knowing the specifics of MV Agusta’s agreement with QJ Motor, or whether they are still in effect, we are left with few clear answers. From what we do know, our assumption is that this was originally intended to be an MV Agusta 921 sportbike, but is unlikely to ever surface as a product from Varese.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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Join the conversation
  • David K David K on May 16, 2024

    It looks alright until you see the price. Luckily, there are many other motorcyle options out there that it can be compared to.

  • Huy Nguyen Huy Nguyen on May 17, 2024

    It's a QJMotor SRK 1000 RC concept, debuted at EICMA 2023

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