Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1997 08 13

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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EUROFILE BY ALAN CATHCART lipped about the reasons for this, bu t it's thought tha t new com pa ny boss Osca r Cecchinato has restructured the company 's ambitious lineup of new models, and wan ts to focus the efforts of chief engineer Angelo Ferrari's R&D de partment on the n ew liquid-coole d 90degree V-twin eng ine p resently under development in both 1000cc and 1200cc forms, which is urgently needed to power the next generation of Moto Guzzi models. T riumph600cc supersport It's decided: Triumph will (l JOHN KEOGH Design '97 enter the 600cc supersport class in the y~a r 2000, w it h a n all-new fo urcylinder motorcycle set to be lau nc hed at the Mu nich Show in September 1999. The British company's management. led by owner John Bloo r, is understood to have completed its evaluation of the worldwide supers port market and the options available tu the com pany in attacking it and , as forecast in Euro File ea rlie r this yea r. has opted for a fue l-injected 16-valve four-cylinder desig n, rat her than a sma ll-scale version of Triu mph ' s exis t ing 12- va lve .T S9S triple. At the same time, Triumph manag ement is underst ood to re cognize Lthat this is a perform ancedri ven class, in which raeTriumph has decided to take on ing success fuels sa les . Triumph wi ll the Japanese in a realm they've therefore provide factory backup to com- long dominated: 600cc pet e in 600cc su persport raci ng, bot h at supersport racing. The British World level and in the lead ing Na tional marque w ill build a 16-valve lourrace series, s uc h as the Unite d States , cylinder 600 , to be ready for Bri tain, Gennany and A ustralia. Contrary to rumor, the new engine has no t ye t run on the dyno, but is scheduled to do so in February '98 - but only if Ferrari has a clear run at getting :r § '" ! " '" >- production - and racing· in the The Triump h 600 will thus be ai med year 2000. very much at the pe rforma nce end of the supersport market: Expect a short-stroke engine capable of 14,OOO-plus rp m in race form, wit h fuel delivery by the same sophisticated French Sagern EFI as used on the TS9S. The new engi ne will be placed in a revised version of the Daytona's weldedup cast-alloy tubular frame. All this will be de livered at a price w hich, like the T59S, is very competitive with the Japanese machin es, and will be d istinctively clothed by . Triumph's styling team, led by John Mockett. Cagiva 600,too Triu mph's forthcoming 600 may be the first four-cylinder Euro pea n entry in to the increasingly sig nificant su pc rspo rt ca tegory - but maybe not by much, if Cagiva boss Claudio Castiglioni's plans for a 600" su persport v ersi on of its fort hcoming fuel-injected four-c ylinder ra nge reach fruition ..Cagiva will definitely debut the F4 - featuring a tubularsteel space-frame chassis and drop-dead styling by Massi mo Tambu rini - in 7S0cc L- i :3 --'" ,- superbike form at Milan in Sep tember, wi th production sched uled to start next Ap ril of the first of a range of V ar~se built four-eylind er models. Up n e xt will be th e N 4 roads ter alrea dy designed by Tamburini's CRC studio, an d due to be launched in September '98 at Munich. But, d ep ending on the success of the new four-eyli nder range in the mark etpl ace, Cagiva's next objective is to follow in Triumph' s foo tste ps a nd e xp a n d it s rang e in to th e 600cc supersport category. The projec ted launch da te for the Cag iva 54 is 2001 - a year later than the British·com pany's bike. G restructures uzzi Manufacture of Moto Guzzi's ne w Ippog ri fo . launched at last yea r's Cologne Show in naked roadster form with six-speed 7S0cc engi ne, has bee n delayed a whole 12 months u n til the 1999 mod e l yea r, wit h prod u c ti on scheduled to start in Se p tem be r ' 98. Guzzi facto ry ins iders .rema in tigh t- it u p to speed, without the distractions of an array of new models powered by the existing air-cooled motor. Informed Italian industry sou rces discou nt the currently widespread co njecture that Cecchina to's a ppoin tment is the first ste p tow ard a m~rg~r with Aprilia - of w hich he had overall responsibility for manag ing before being head -hu nted for the top Guzzi job. Cecc hi na to led Aprilia 's comeback from a perilous financial .state five years ago to its present pre-eminence amo ng Ita lian manu facturers - but it see ms that, after do ing so, he fell out with Aprilia boss lvan o Beggio, whose family owns lUO pe rce nt of the com pa ny . This d isagr eement apparently caused Cecchi nato to s tep down from the num ber-tw o slot at Aprilia and to leave the com pany unde r so me thing of a clo ud - the exact reasons for w hich are unclear, but are appa rently a decisive factor against any link between Guzzi a nd Aprilia while the two former allies are at the helm of the respective compa nies. We'll sec... Aprilia superbike racer delayed Speaking of Aprilia, the new RSV1000 cagiva looks for cash It's the Castiglioni broth ers ' plans for Cagiva's short-term future that are critical in terms of the company's survival, thoug h - and in sp ite of Claudio Cas tiglioni's asse rtion that he has no plans to rep eat the TPG /Ducati ope ra tion wit h Cag iva, informed sources in Italy insist that he's presen tly negotiating to bring in an outside inves tor as a minority partner in the new Cagi va co mpany. But eve n with the injection of opera ting capital that such a partner would bring, cash flow is going to be critical during the start-up phase of four-cylinder production - making it more likely than ever that wh en the F4 is unveiled at Milan on Sep tember IS, it will carry the historic MV Agusta name, rather than that of Cagiva. "Cas tiglioni need s to genera te instant sales of the F4 to underwnte ItS production, as well as the expansion of the whole Cagiva company," says an Italian industry insider who's convinced that the reb irth of the MV Agusta name is immin ent . "The Cagiva marqu e has zero cred entials in the four-stroke cc mark et - its SOO Grand Prix race record on ly helps sell two-stroke spo rtbikes like the 125 Mito, and ot herwise Cagiva is perceived as being a prod ucer of low-end transportation , w ith the accen t on offroad and cheap, basic stree t mod els. However mind-gra bbing Tambu rini's styling is, and high-tech its engi neering. the F4 will be a tough sell in today's mark et as a Cagt va: whereas, bad ged as an MV Agusta, it' ll be back-ord ered for years - and at a price premium, too. Plus, if you were sma rt enough to bu y wh at is argua bly the most famous and pr estigious name in the wh ole motorcycle world, as Cagi va did five years ago wi th MV Agus ta, and that marque was indelibly linked in the minds of the public with exotic four-cylinder machinery, when else wou ld you revi ve it except when you launched your own four-eyli nder superbike? Cagiva will never have a better chance to revive the MV name than they do now - or a better reaso n." So, come mid-Sep tember, whe n the wraps are pulled off the first four-cylinder street bike to be built in Italy since MV Agosta ceased . pr oduction of its own 750cc fours exactly 20 y~ars ago, if that bike is painted red an d silver and carries the MV Agusta name on the tank, do n' t be Expect Cagiva'. F4 :r superbike to be badged surprised. § . And in 1999, the World Super bike an MV Agusta In an Cham pionshi p co u ld well se e th e effort to capita lize on z '" return of the MV Agust a ma rq u e to the histor ic marque 's ~ top-level ro ad ra cing - p rovid in g a four-stroke racing ~ history. . stern cha llenge not only to its tradition~ al Japanese rivals, bu t also to its Ducati ~ compa triot marque, half-sister in the o JOHN KEOGH Design '97 , - _ - - ' Cagiva empire. - ~

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