Famed Italian motorcycle brand Cagiva appears set to make a comeback with a new line of motorcycles. Except that unlike its gas-powered classic models, Cagiva is being reborn as an electric motorcycle company.
Founded in 1978, Cagiva originally focused on gas-powered off-road motorcycles.
The brand expanded its offerings over time, and the business underwent various restructurings and ownership changes.
The last Cagiva motorcycles rolled off the line in 2012 while the company was owned by parent MV Agusta.
MV Agusta had gone through its own series of financial hurdles, but now appears to be back on solid ground. With sales taking off, MV Agusta is now looking toward an electric future. And it plans to revamp the Cagiva brand to get there.
While MV Agusta first announced its aspirations to breathe new (and electric) life into Cagiva in 2018 with an accelerated timeline, the company has updated its plans and says the time is now. Within the next 12 months, Cagiva is expecting to roll out its first electric motorcycle.
But don’t expect to see some large electric sport bike like MV Agusta’s Italian cousin Energica. Instead, Cagiva is focusing on smaller electric motorcycles in the 4kW (5.3 hp) range. I’ve long been a proponent of such electric motorcycles that bridge the gap between electric bicycles and electric sport bikes.
Cagiva is expected to produce light electric motorcycles, perhaps similar to this Sur Ron Light Bee
No one has seen an electric Cagiva model so far and there aren’t yet any images or renderings to show what Cagiva is working on. But according to Canada Motor Guide, Cagiva’s parent company MV Agusta is partnering with Chinese motorcycle company Loncin to build a new 350cc gas-powered motorcycle.
While that might not mean much to electric motorcycle fans like us, consider this: Loncin recently showed off an impressive electric motorcycle produced under its premium subsidiary VOGE. The ER 10 electric motorcycle, which we got up close and personal with at EICMA 2019 in Milan, fits the bill perfectly for what Cagiva is looking for: a lightweight, low-powered electric motorcycle in the 150cc to 250cc equivalent range.
At 100 km/h (62 mph) top speed, the VOGE ER 10 falls somewhere in between highway-capable electric motorcycles like Zero’s entire lineup and smaller electric motorcycles designed purely for city travel.
The VOGE ER 10’s liquid-cooled and swingarm-mounted 6kW (8hp) mid-drive motor actually peaks at higher power output and should be plenty for sporty acceleration, especially on a bike that only weighs 115 kg (250 lb).
The VOGE ER 10 electric motorcycle, from a subsidiary of Loncin
And as if this story didn’t already have enough layers, we can go one level deeper. The VOGE ER 10 is actually based on the Sur Ron White Ghost, an electric motorcycle design created by Sur Ron in 2018, but that was never brought to market. As the tale goes, Loncin purchased the rights to the White Ghost and used it to produce its first electric motorcycle under the VOGE brand.
All of this is to say that an electric motorcycle designed by a Chinese startup that may be produced by a premium Chinese subsidiary of a larger Chinese motorcycle company could serve as the basis for the first electric motorcycle produced by a revamped Italian motorcycle brand under the direction of a larger legacy Italian motorcycle manufacturer hoping to compete with a coming wave of smaller Asian electric motorcycles. *Gasps for air*
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