Alan Cathcart’s conversation with Stefan Pierer continues, as the PIERER Mobility president and chief executive officer discusses his motorcycle brands (namely, KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas), and some of their competition. This includes MV Agusta, of which PIERER gained a stake in 2022. —ED.
As the Coronavirus pandemic gradually disappears in the rear view mirror of history, in its aftermath the global motorcycle industry continues to experience rapid and sustained growth. Leading this charge among European companies is the KTM Group, whose parent company PIERER Mobility AG finished 2022 on a continued high, after a 12th successive record year which saw sales of its three current brands KTM, Husqvarna, and GASGAS continue spiralling upwards to 375,452 motorcycles in 2022, an increase of 13% compared with the previous year’s 332,881 units. Of those, 268,575 of these motorcycles carried the KTM badge, 75,266 were Husqvarnas and 31,651 were GASGAS motorcycles, a sales volume of 375,492 motorcycles. Add to that the 118,465 pedal cycles and E-bicycles sold in the same period under its Husqvarna, GASGAS, Felt and R Raymon labels (up 15% compared to 2022’s 102,753 bikes), and the company’s overall revenues increased to EUR 2.437 billion in 2022, up 19% year-on-year.
Just over four years ago, Italian trophy marque Moto Morini narrowly avoided joining the many other defunct brands from all our two-wheeled yesterdays already deposited in motorcycling history’s trash bin. But in October 2018 Chen Huaneng, the owner of Chinese scooter and minimoto manufacturer Zhongneng Vehicle Group, saved it from extinction by acquiring 100% ownership of Moto Morini from the previous Italian owner.
The man with overall responsibility for creating Royal Enfield’s first twin-cylinder modern-era cruiser is New Jersey native Adrian Sellers, 42, who after a four-year stint with Honda R&D in Italy and, before that, nine years at Yamaha’s Design Laboratory in Los Angeles, was appointed the Indian company’s Head of Custom and Motorsport in 2016, based at its UK Technology Centre at Bruntingthorpe. Let’s leave it to him to tell us how the ground-breaking Super Meteor 650 came about.
It was the talk of last week’s 2022 EICMA Show: MV Agusta, Italy’s most prestigious and historic manufacturer, winner to date of 270 Grand Prix races, 38 World Riders’ Championships, and 37 World Constructors’ Championships, had supposedly been acquired by KTM. Stefan Pierer, the most powerful man in European motorcycling, had captured his most iconic trophy brand yet, to add to his roster of Euro-marques including KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas. Indeed, according to one supposedly authoritative source, he’d be sealing the takeover deal with MV’s current owner, Russian entrepreneur Timur Sardarov, on the Thursday before the Valencia GP, November 3. This would permit him to announce at the final race of the 2022 season that MV Agusta would be returning to MotoGP racing in 2023 – albeit as a KTM subsidiary.
In Part 1 of our interview with Nick Graveley, we discussed who he is, how he got started in clay modeling, and how he goes about his work. In talking with Graveley, his enthusiasm for the job was infectious, and the conversation naturally flowed, going a lot longer than we initially anticipated.
Here is a group of names you’ve probably heard of: Massimo Tamburini, Miguel Galluzzi, Gerald Kiska, Hans Muth, Adrian Morton, Pierre Terblanche. Hell, even if you don’t know these names, you’ve definitely seen their work. These are the men responsible for some of the greatest contemporary motorcycle designs in all of history. But have you ever thought about how a design goes from a napkin sketch and turns into a real-life motorcycle? There must be a process by which a 2D rendering transforms into a 3D object.
I like to think I got into motorcycle racing at the tail end of an epic time for American motorcycle racers. It was approximately around the year 2000. A young whippersnapper named Valentino Rossi was all the buzz, but in the 500cc paddock, Kenny Roberts Junior took the crown. Over in World Superbike, the epic battles between Troy Bayliss, Nori Haga, and Colin Edwards were just hotting up, with the Texas Tornado sealing the deal and making it two American world champs in the same year.
Ducati North America CEO Jason Chinnock has a lot to say, and given the chance, he’s more than happy to say it. With this in mind, rewind your clocks a bit to November 2018 and the first stop of the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, California. The show itself came on the heels of EICMA, where most of the major product unveilings for 2019 were displayed for a worldwide audience. Long Beach was the first crack North American audiences would have at seeing the 2019 moto-porn in person. Motorcycle.com was there, and we brought you some sights and sounds that caught our eye.
One of the biggest news stories in MotoGP for 2019 is Jorge Lorenzo leaving Ducati after two years and joining the factory Repsol Honda team, replacing the now-retired Dani Pedrosa. The move comes as a bit of a shock for a few reasons, but it also pairs the three-time MotoGP World Champion with five-time – and reigning – champ, Marc Marquez.
Kids say the darndest things, don’t they? They also ask some great questions, often when you least expect it. That’s just what happens here, when factory Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales are interviewed by 12 year-old fan Hayes Edwards. Wait, Edwards? As in Colin Edwards? Yep, we’re talking about the offspring of the Texas Tornado, having a sit down with two of the fastest riders in the world – and honestly, we’re impressed with his questions and composure!
Royal Enfield has been on a roll lately. First, the manufacturer has a new engine to broaden its offerings, particularly in the U.S. market where the additional displacement makes for a more viable highway machine. Powered by the new 648 Twin, two new models will hit showrooms in 2018. Both the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 will be introduced in the coming months, and we’re anxious to throw a leg over them and see what this new engine brings to the table. Then there’s the adventure-focused Himalayan, which is based around a new 411cc single-cylinder engine and stands in between the lightweight and middle-weight offerings from other manufacturers.
Motorcycle.com was lucky enough to be offered a sit-down interview with Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali on the new V-4 and the future, during the Laguna Seca World Superbike weekend. It’s fairly widely known that Domenicali is the real deal, a true enthusiast whose motorcycle expertise is matched not only by his business prowess, but also by his graciousness and shared excitement with Ducati owners, fans, media and the fellow motorcyclists he encounters on the road. We came prepared for our interview with some leading and wide-ranging questions designed to unearth not just Claudio’s insider knowledge of the new V-4 program, but also his thoughts on future models and opportunities.
On three separate occasions we’ve had opportunities to ride Energica’s entries in the electric motorcycle market. Each time we’ve come away impressed with the bikes and their underlying technology. While an Ego or an Eva could be someone’s only motorcycle, given the right circumstances, the $35,000 entry price meant their market was largely well-heeled motorcyclists looking for something unique to add to their stable. An electric bike in this class of motorcycle faces additional challenges to the more mundane range and charging time issues that all electric vehicles must surmount.