Rumors of Moto Morini's demise have been greatly exaggerated

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Morini_Scrambler.jpgThis morning, Italian motorcycle manufacturer Moto Morini entered voluntary liquidation. That may sound terribly dramatic, but, in the bizarre world of Italian business, is merely a means of protecting a company from unpaid creditors while further investment is sought. The move came after Moto Morini failed to pay its 65 employees, who continue to work, for the month of September. Despite the lack of payroll, motorcycle production and new model development continues; the company plans to show the Moto Morini Supermotard 1200 at EICMA in November,  production of that model will commence in January.
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Despite economic conditions, Moto Morini has sold 15% more bikes
already this year than it did during the entirety of 2008.
Unfortunately, that’s still a little short of the companies break even
point of 2000 sales.

Talks are underway with two potential investors while a third has
expressed serious interest. It’s likely that one of those three will
provide the company with the necessary capital to exit bankruptcy, but
a full-on sale remains a possibility.

We’re greatly relieved to discover that the company isn’t kaput, our
dream of someday owning a Moto Morini Scrambler remains alive.

Moto Morini

  • Andy

    Sell some bikes in North America, then maybe a profit would be in sight, not just breaking even.

    • robotribe

      The narrow-focused North American market won’t solve any boutique maker’s ass; especially a bike maker who specializes in the types of bikes most American riders buy the least.

      Between Ducati, Triumph, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, BMW and MV Agusta, there’s little room for them, and even fewer well-healed customers left to absorb a new Euro-brand bike in N.A. If they’re hurting to pay their own workers, it’s a strong sign that they probably don’t have the marketing dollars to compete with likes of Ducati, Triumph or the Piaggio group for new N. American recruits.

      I like their bikes from the reviews I’ve read and photos I’ve seen, but it looks like I’ll have to keep on dreaming unless an EU citizenship shows up in my Christmas stocking.

      • vic

        the thing is that the US market is so big that even a small niche(and well priced) manufacturer can probably sell a good amount,plus they have big rocking twins in them which is bound to please some of it’s potential customers,couple that with heritage,exotic looks and price and it can prove to be a winner

  • generic1776

    They just need to grey market some bikes over here… then we need to pass them off as a vintage bike at the DMV to get them registered….. I uh… rebuilt an old yamaha virago… uh… yeah. I just used modern parts… yeah.

  • Chuluun

    Really hope they make it, they’ve a couple of very strong products in the Scrambler and the Granpasso. I think the 9 1/2 was a major disappointment to many in Europe, a keenly-anticipated bike that just wasn’t different enough to carve itself a niche. But in terms of model development they seem to be on the right track now, just look how much better the Granpasso is than Guzzi’s Stelvio for example (despite being styled by the same designer!).

  • hjworton

    Morini have done amazing things for such a small company in such a short period of time. The trouble being – as robotribe says – that the marketplace is so crowded.

    The bike themselves are a mixed bag – I bought myself a en-demo Corsaro a couple of years back. The test ride had me hooting like a loon…that engine is so good, my favourite in years of riding. The trouble was that the bike felt half-finished, which I found very disappointing. The company were excellent in terms of customer relations but I quickly sold the bike on. The problems the Corsaro faced are now history, so I’m told.

    Morini deserve to find someone who will back them to carry on trading, I just fear that it is just a matter of time before they disappear for good.

  • Jonathan Justman

    I’d buy a Corsaro Veloce in a second if it were sold here in the United States. There’s always room for another motorcycle manufacturer here so long as the product is good – sales will drop off from the manufacturers who do not make as good (or desirable) a product to make room for the new guy.

    • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

      completely agree. I visited their factory a few years ago and it was a very memorable experience.
      HJWorton’s comment is right. They have accomplished an amazing amount for such a small operation.

      Long live Moto Morini

  • http://www.dainese.com DaineseDan

    I truly hope they can keep things afloat. As for coming to the U.S., I completely agree there is room in the market, even in this economy. I know of two dealers just here in the Bay Area alone that are chomping at the bit to pick up Morini.

  • http://www.txsbr.com/ Ben

    I agree with Robotribe as I look at the sales of other such bikes over here. There’s room in the market, but I wonder if there’s enough interest to turn a profit?

    Optimistically, I really hope so.

  • Generic1776

    Of course a good example of Italian design/build which flopped horribly is the Honda 599 (Hornet 600)

    While people like me may have thought “that looks like the perfect bike”, in reality it wasn’t a CBR600rr and the exchange rate from design/build to sales floor priced it outside the competition.

  • http://leovinceusa.com jon

    I didn’t read any of this but their ad campaign in Rider is amazing.

  • LADucSP

    I love Moto Morini.

    I want one so bad. I wish they’d bring them to the US.

  • Paul Miller

    This looks like it’d be a nice bike with come street tires!!! Bring it to N. America!

  • Arthur Farrow

    Yeterday I was at the MORINI factory. The UK Morini club had a long scheduled visit. Some flew, some railed and some rode. I rode my Corsaro Veloce the 1500 km from Lodon mostly at 14o kph with my son on his standard Corsaro with is wife on pillion.

    Im a big ,man, well tubby actually 200 pounds and 5 foot 8 and despite my reluctance took the Morini instead of my FJR. Heck am I glad I did as despite owning it for 2 years I have had such FUN using this amazing bike as intended. Pass storming in the Swiss alps and roaring up the autostrada…and in comfort!!! That really surprised me..no arse ache at all!!

    So to the factory. Well its true no bikes are comming down the production line BUT all staff have been paid and we saw all including an audience with Lambertini the brilliant designer.

    The engine of this bike is a true stunner. None of the crash bang wallop of a Ducati . So much torque you can just play oprening and colsoing teh throttle from 2 thou…it just makes me giggle!!

    Lets say ahgin these bikes are FUN

    Off to DUCATI this afternoon..surprisingly (or not) they have ALSO stopped bike production. The world market has slowed you know and some sjustment is necessary

    I can assure all that the fctory seem very chipper and we saw R & D working on new models.

    So demise is exaGERATED BECAUSE JUST ONE SUPPLIER (INTERBNATIONAL CONGLOMERATE)got stroppy…same company supplies to DUCATI who must be getting worried about Morinis wonderfull clever engine.

    Buy a MORINI and help them go from strenth to strength.

  • Strega Rossa

    I have owned 2 1981 Moto Morinis both 500cc Stradas and only 50 numbers apart! Morinis were not I have owned 2 1981 Moto Morinis both 500cc Stradas and only 50 numbers apart! Morinis were not imported into the US in large numbers and the 500 continues to be a rarity.

    I’d LOVE to throw my leg over the Corsaro 1200 Veloce. I hope they showcase this baby at the Javtiz motorcycle show next year…. in red, of course. into the US in large numbers and the 500 continues to be a rarity.

    I’d LOVE to throw my leg over the Corsaro 1200 Veloce. I hope they showcase this baby at the Javtiz motorcycle show next year…. in red, of course and then import it for us Morini lovers. Herdan are you listening?