MV Agusta plans a host of new engines from 300cc to a 950cc triple and an adventure bike in the next two years, but no electric motorcycle.
New boss Timur Sardarov says in perfect English with a heavy Russian accent that the factory on the shores of Lake Varese near Milan, an epicentre of the coronavirus contagion, is back to full production.
“The lockdown is over, we opened last week, everyone is back to work and we are back on track,” he says.
That track involves a host of new models over the next two years, starting with the Superveloce 800 unveiled 18 months ago.
It was to launch last month, but will roll out the factory doors this week after being delayed by the pandemic, Timur says.
“China is an established manufacturing country. The way they do things they are a quick-reacting economy, not disorganised. They have one goal and they are ready to grow again. Their market is showing incredible growth already after the coronavirus.
“Let’s be very clear, we are developing our own platform and Loncin will industrialise it and produce for us for the world market.
“The 300-400cc segment is profitable in Europe.”
He rebuts suggestions the low-capacity Chinese-made bikes will dilute the premium Italian brand.
“Porsche is a premium product, but they have different products from $1m down to $50,000 and it’s still a premium product by quality not price,” Timur says.
“They (the Chinese-made bikes) will be the most expensive bikes in their category because they will have premium components.
“In comparison with KTM and Honda they will be more expensive, but have better performance and better build.”
New engines up to 950cc
Timur rejects the notion that their triples and four-cylinder engines are getting old.
“A lot of manufacturers are using old engines, but our engines are very modern and much more modern than our competitors,” he says.
“Our triple was built about 10 years ago, but four years ago it was 80% new. It has the best power-to-weight ratio and horsepower in the world. There is no more powerful triple than ours.
“So while everyone else is trying to reach where we are, we are still improving. From Euro 5 next it will be 40% new. It will be more different from what it was four years.”
He says that likewise their four-cylinder engine, developed when Harley owned the company before the Global Financial Crisis, is now 80% new.
Timur confirms they will add a 950cc triple by 2022 that will be “the best available in the market”.
“Then we will also build 400-500cc engines, but I won’t tell you what configuration they will be — that’s a surprise and I won’t tell you.”