Interview With KTM's Stefan Pierer - Part 3

Alan Cathcart’s conversation with Stefan Pierer continues, as the PIERER Mobility president and chief executive officer discusses electrification and other future technologies. —ED.

Interview with KTM’s Stefan Pierer – Part 1
Interview with KTM’s Stefan Pierer – Part 2

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Interview with KTM's Stefan Pierer – Part 2

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.

Interview with KTM’s Stefan Pierer – Part 1
Interview with KTM’s Stefan Pierer – Part 3

Alan Cathcart: Let’s talk about MV Agusta, where last November you purchased 25.1% of the equity from its present owner, Timur Sardarov. What is your future strategy for your involvement in the brand?

Stefan Pierer: As part of that 25.1%, it’s taking the first step of working together very closely on current production models. So we’ll take care of the whole supply chain, we’ll buy all the parts needed for MV Agusta’s production for the coming year, and then, after finalizing that, we’ll take over worldwide distribution of the finished product. This is the first step to help them make their entire operation profitable as a company.

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Interview with KTM's Stefan Pierer – Part 1

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.

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MO Interview: Moto Morini's Alberto Monni

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.

In my exclusive interview with him that month, Mr. Chen stated his intention to immediately develop a range of Moto Morini models with 650cc Parallel-Twin engines. These would financially underpin the high end 1,200cc V-Twins which the company had exclusively manufactured ever since its 2003 revival. He was as good as his word, and exactly three years later, the Moto Morini X-Cape 650 go-anywhere Adventure bike entered production at the Zhongneng factory in Taizhou, 400 km south of Shanghai, for sale all over the world. This has now been joined for 2023 by two Seiemmezzo models built on the same DOHC eight-valve 650cc Parallel-Twin platform sourced from rival manufacturer CFMoto, whose factory in China is only 25 km from Taizhou. One is an urban Scrambler, the other a Naked Roadster. All three models were entirely developed in Italy by Moto Morini, then productionised by Zhongneng in China.

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MO Interview: Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Designer Adrian Sellers

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.

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MV Agusta Owner Timur Sardarov Interview

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.

Only one thing was wrong: it wasn’t true. What was announced on November 3 was that MV Agusta and Stefan Pierer’s private holding company, Pierer Mobility, had reached an agreement on future strategic cooperation, as a consequence of which KTM AG would acquire a 25.1% stake in MV Agusta Motor S.p.A. According to the press release announcing this acquisition, “Within the framework of this strategic partnership between the two European motorcycle manufacturers, KTM AG, a company of Pierer Mobility, will provide MV Agusta with supply chain support and take over the purchasing. Furthermore, in the course of this cooperation, MV Agusta will partly distribute its product range via Pierer Mobility’s worldwide distribution network.”

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The Clay Modeler Bringing Motorcycle Designs To Life - Part 2

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.

The original plan was not for the interview to be broken up into two parts, but after answering my initial questions, Nick inevitably steered the conversation towards virtual reality and how it is redefining what he does. So animated was he towards VR that he started to get goosebumps talking about it. When someone is that excited about a topic, it’s only right to give it its own separate story. And that’s exactly what we’ve done. Here, Graveley dives deeper into VR and what it means for the industry. After that, we look towards the future, get a closer look at his process, talk about beautiful design, and end with a look towards the future. Enjoy.

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The Clay Modeler Bringing Motorcycle Designs To Life – Part 1

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.

Nick Graveley is the man (well, one of them, anyway) tasked with doing exactly that. It’s designers who get all the glory (or wrath, if you’re Terblanche), but deep in the trenches, Graveley is shaping clay and bringing to life these designs born from someone else’s mind.

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MO Catches Up With Eric Bostrom

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.

Back home I had many racing heroes too, and as someone who generally roots for the underdog, Eric Bostrom quickly landed himself as one of my favorite riders. Aboard the old and heavy Kawasaki ZX-7RR, E-Boz wrung its neck against the likes of Mat Mladin and Nicky Hayden, sometimes coming away victorious. To this day, he’s the reason I sometimes browse the classifieds when my wife’s not looking, hoping to score a ZX-7 for a good deal.

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An Extended Interview With Ducati North America CEO Jason Chinnock

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. was there, and we brought you some sights and sounds that caught our eye.

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Jorge Lorenzo Talks 2019, His New Bike and Rival Marc Mrquez

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.

Lorenzo has been forbidden from speaking due to his contract with Ducati, but now that the new year is here Lorenzo’s Ducati obligations are now over, which means he’s free to talk. In this interview with Red Bull, Lorenzo’s new energy drink sponsor, he talks about what’s to come for the new year, how he thinks he’ll do, and what he’s excited about the most. You can see the interview in the video below. A transcript of the interview will follow if you missed something.

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This 12 Year-Old Is Better At Interviewing Than We Are!

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!

This video comes to us from the folks at Yamaha MotoGP and it caught our attention because whenever Yamaha teams up with Colin Edwards to make a video we’re guaranteed a laugh or two. So sit back, relax, and remember the name Hayes Edwards. The kid’s already pretty good on two wheels.

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Interview: Rod Copes, President Of Royal Enfield North America

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.

2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan Preview

EICMA 2017: Royal Enfield 648 Twin Revealed

Royal Enfield’s UK Technology Center Tour

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Rod Copes, President of Royal Enfield North America, to discuss what we can look for in the upcoming model year.

MO: We’re anxious to see where Royal Enfield is going in 2018. The new engine and bike models are exciting. What’s do you have planned for us in the next year?

Rod Copes: We’re finishing up phase one of our business in the U.S., establishing a team to get the infrastructure and dealer network. We’ve been focusing on that, preparing for when we get the proper new motorcycles. We’re on the cusp of that. 2018 is going to be a very exciting year with three new motorcycles for us in the U.S. that really match the consumer riding habits.

The Himalayan with the brand-new engine and chassis is going to be great, at a nice price point at $4,500, and the new Twins, the parallel-Twins, the Interceptor and the GT, that are going to be highway-worthy and really a nice value at under $7,000. We are incredibly excited to really start getting our brand awareness out there. The beauty is that we have authenticity with the history and the story of Royal Enfield which goes back to 1901. Next year’s going to be all about getting the story out and getting the brand out – with some great new motorcycles.

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MO Interview: Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali on The V-4 and the Future 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.

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MO Interview: Stefano Benatti, Energica U.S. General Manager

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.

Energica Motors USArecently named Stefano Benatti the U.S. General Manager and tasked him with growing the company’s brand in the States. So, when Benatti contacted MO to say he’d be in the neighborhood, we jumped at the opportunity to meet with him and learn more about the changes at Energica. The fact that the offer included a chance to ride the present generation Ego and Eva was merely icing on the cake. The interview that follows was conducted at pull-out with a spectacular view of the San Gabriel Mountains after a spirited ride up the Angeles Crest on Energica’s current offerings (pun intended).

2015 Energica Ego Review – First Ride

2015 Energica Ego Second-Ride Review + Video

2016 Energica Eva First Ride

MO: How long have you been in your General Manager position at Energica?

SB: Only five months, but the roadmap was very tough. We’re opening our new dealer network for improved brand awareness in the U.S. It’s just a huge job. Of course, now we are in the early stages for the U.S.

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