Italian bikes are famed around the world thanks to their excellent performance and long earned prestige. However, a question of what brand offers the best arises. The answer to that question will likely be challenging to come by if you have neither used nor know anything about Italian motorcycles. That is the purpose of this article to inform you of the top ten bike brands from Italy.
Top Brands of Italian Motorcycles
Ducati is arguably one of the most popular bikes from Italy. They are produced by Ducati, a manufacturing company based in Bologna, Italy.
The company started as a radio equipment manufacturing company in 1926. It was a family business, headed by Antonio Cavalieri Ducati and his sons. In the year 1950, the company produced its first motorcycle. It had a 48cc engine and a top speed of 64km/h. The company made headlines in the 1960s, by being the first to produce 250cc road motorcycles.
Currently, the brand is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen group, a German automobile giant.
This is another famous Italian brand with a rich history. The manufacturing company was founded a short while after world war II by Cavaliere Alberto Beggio. It started with just the production of bicycles. However, the company at the helm of Ivan Beggio joined the motorcycle world in 1968 by producing the first 50cc bike. Aprilia is well known in the sports arena for its success in road competitions.
The brand is generally into the production of two-wheeled vehicles such as mopeds, scooters, motocross, and superbikes. Some of its popular sport motorcycles are the RSV4 that boasts of a V4 engine and the 1,000-cc twin-V RSV Mile bikes. Also, there is the RS250 among others.
Aprilia is currently a subsidiary of Piaggio and is one of the main places in the motorcycle industry in Europe.
Bimota started as a brand dedicated to designing top-notch motorcycle body parts on already produced engines from other brands. The chassis design was the motivating factor that made Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini start this company. Together, they helped changed the narrative in the seventies. The company derived its name as a blend of the surname of the founders. They have worked with notable bike brands around the world, especially Italian and Japanese brands. They redesigned models from Japanese manufacturers such as Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Honda in the beginning. Bimota also helped Lamborghini to design and build motorcycles in the late seventies. They added Ducati and Yamaha to the number of brands that they had customized their products in the eighties.
In recent times, Bimota has not been doing well. Their main factory in Rimini was closed in 2017, while other productions at other locations were stopped or postponed. The Kawasaki Heavy industries bought a significant stake in the company late last year and made known their intention of producing Bimota motorcycles with Kawasaki parts.
Cagiva is a manufacturer of motorcycles and is based in Italy. Its name is a blend of the founder’s name and the place where the company was founded. Giovanni Castiglioni founded the brand in 1950 in Varese. It started as a metal component producing company until Giovanni’s sons changed the narrative in 1978 by delving into the motorcycle manufacturing industry.
The company began to produce dirt motorcycles in the eighties and expanded into North America by opening a branch there. It then contracted notable people in the industry at that time to help them develop and test their motorcycles. The result was a brand with bikes that boasts of powerful engines and interesting features. An example of those bikes was the Cagiva motocross MX line, which was characterized by one spring in the front forks, which in turn controls the compression and rebound.
This manufacturer is one of the oldest around in the bike scene. It was founded in 1911, and they were into diverse industries, such as the production of guns in the past. However, this is no longer a part of the brand.
It is more concerned with the production of midsized bikes. Therefore, you are not likely to find a Benelli moped nor scooter. The target market of the brand majorly set in Europe. Benelli’s product designs are closely related to those of more prominent Italian brands, for example, Ducati. The Benelli TRK 502 and the 502c have a close resemblance to some bikes designed by Ducati.
The Moto Guzzi is another Italian motorcycle brand with a rich history. It is one of the oldest in Italy and Europe that is still in production to this day.
It was founded in the year 1921 in Mandello del Lario, Italy. This was a period of boom, and it was easy to venture into manufacturing.
The company was run by the family for some years until it became hard to maintain. Therefore, through receivership, the company was bought in 1966 by a company owned by the Italian government. During the period, the Guzzi motorcycle came back to life thanks to the development of the first v-twin engine by Carcano. This was a significant milestone for the company even to this day.
The company experienced another change of ownership by Alejandro de Tomaso, and it remained so until the beginning of the twenty-first century when Aprilia bought it.
Aprilia is another motorcycling giant on its own; however, it was acquired by Piaggio along with all its subsidiaries. This acquisition made Guzzi a subsidiary of the famous Piaggio group ever since then.
The Mv Agusta is also known as Meccanica Verghera Agusta; however, the first two words are now popularly called MV. The motorcycling company was established in 1945 in Cascina Costa, Italy, a place not far from Milan. The company’s founder went after his passion and invested in the two-wheel industry after making it big in the helicopter industry.
The company at first started with just the production of small-sized motorcycles until it moved into the design and development of super racing bikes. This led to a successful winning streak in the Grand Prix.
MV Agusta entered the Grand Prix racing not long after it was founded. However, it came into the spotlight in the year 1948 when it won the Italian Grand Prix. Franco Bertoni rode the Agusta to victory in the 125 cc class that year. The company then capitalized on that victory and made more history.
MV Agusta won big in the 1952 world championship as Cecil Stanford rode to victory in the 125 cc category. Ever since then, the motorcycle brand went on to dominate all the other classes in subsequent competitions.