‘Full renewal’ for Moto Guzzi by 2013

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At a stockholder’s meeting in Milan today, Piaggio told investors that its 2010-2013 strategic plan includes, “a full renewal of the range of engines and products for the Moto Guzzi brand.” This fits with what Miguel Galluzzi and Pierre Terblanche — who’re handling the design side of re-inventing the Guzzi brand — told us back in July: out with overweight, under performing, lazily designed bikes and in with light weight, high technology and futuristic looks. And that’s before the two designers say they’ll really get going.

The press release announcing the 2010-2013 plan is embedded above, but we’ll summarize the relevant portions below. Unlike last year, when Piaggio released full details including its plan to produce a “mid-size” Aprilia sportsbike by 2012, it looks like we might only get this abbreviated version this time around.

“On the European market, the Plan aims to consolidate the Group’s leadership in scooters and boost motorcycle market shares for the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi brands. New engines will be developed for Aprilia, accompanied by a full renewal of the range of engines and products for the Moto Guzzi brand.”

So far as Aprilia’s concerned, those “new engines” likely include the aforementioned mid-size sportsbike and the the 1,200cc, four-valve-per-cylinder v-twin that just debuted in the Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200. An educated guess would be that, given it’s winning ways in SBK, any smaller capacity Aprilia would seek to compete in World Supersport and would therefore adhere to those regulations.

Motociclismo.it claims a three-valve, 1,200cc v-twin was announced during the meeting, going on to speculate that that configuration’st typically flat torque curve at the expense of top-end power suggests the engine is destined for a Guzzi.

Also announced at the meeting was the intention to expand existing and build new manufacturing facilities in India and Vietnam. This bodes well for Piaggio’s penetration of the market in South Asia and China, but the company says products produced there won’t be destined for western markets.

When we interviewed Miguel Galluzzi and Pierre Terblanche, they said the Guzzi’s life support plan is in two parts. “Guzzi is a very well known brand, but in the last maybe 10 years it has been treated badly,” Piaggio design chief Miguel Galluzzi told us. “We are fixing a few things – simple things that everyone can understand — and then we’ll work from there. The work we are doing right now is in two phases: make stronger what we have and work towards the future.”

Pierre Terblanche suggests that the three concept bikes we debuted in studio shot form back in July are part of the first step. “It was a very conscious choice to do something that was aimed towards the existing customer, but without alienating the customer who likes more modern stuff,” Terblanche told us.

While this first stage through 2013 will focus on serving people who’d already consider the brand, but want something a little more competitive — read “Boomers and affluent younger motorcyclists who want a retro — the challenge after that point will be to re-invent the brand and make it appeal to a whole new generation.
“The real change will come in two to three years,” said Galluzzi, suggesting the more radical change will arrive after 2013. “The older crowd is going to go away at some point…Guzzi has the ability to do anything it wants.”

Click here for our original Terblanche/Galluzzi interview and here to see the three Guzzi concept bikes that preview the 2010-2013 first step towards Guzzi’s recovery.

  • SockMonkey

    They’d have an instant customer (me) if they’d just put a 24 or 25 liter fuel tank on the Stelvio. 18 liters on an adventure touring bike? Really? It’s the little things, folks…

  • http://twowheelsplus.blogspot.com/ andehans

    New engines for Aprilia, but only renewal of engines for Guzzi. Still, this is exciting news.

  • http://www.harvestclassic.org eggmasterduke

    Doesn’t Terblanche have some German eyeglasses to go design or something? Why does he always have to go fucking around with Italian bikes. I would have been super happy with the MGS-01, but nooooooooo, now we have to have another set of ‘forward thinking’ Terblanche bullshit slathered onto a perfectly workable platform. If he would just simplify and put function over form, I’d be a lot happier than his usual discombobulated juxtposition of angles, naca ducts, and slots.

    I’m not saying that Guzzi doesn’t desperately need some new designs, but they don’t have to be this over-stylized crap.

    • pdub

      Still angry at him for the slaughtering the sacred cow of the 916 with styling of the 999? Some including myself and others with more valuable opinions (Troy Bayliss?) think that was and still is one the boldest, unique and functional sport bike designs ever. Time has been kinder to that bike than people were at it’s introduction. Even if it still is ugly in some eyes you can’t slag off all of Terblanche’s creations. The supermono? The mh900e? The hypermotard? The sport classic and Paul Smart? The man gets bikes. I’ll be very interested what comes of this whole Piaggo thrust.

      • http://www.harvestclassic.org eggmasterduke

        I appreciate the functional improvements that he incorporated into the 999 and gen 1 Multistrada, but I just can’t get past the lack of style. You make a good point re the other models, which are all pretty damn sexy.

  • Bald Shaun

    “out with overweight, under performing, lazily designed bikes and in with light weight, high technology and futuristic looks.”

    I like the sound of everything except “futuristic looks”. Seriously, people don’t buy a bike with an oddball transverse v-twin tractor engine for “futuristic looks”. Give me an updated V1100 or Le Mans, shave a hundred pounds and add a few ponies and you’ll have my money. The most talked about Guzzi in recent memory has been the extremely retro V7 Racer. Please Guzzi, give us something like that with decent power, low weight, and a top notch chassis. Let Aprilia do modern.

  • pdub

    This article dovetails nicely with the recent Michael Uhlarik piece on manufacturers’ motorcycle development being out of focus with the market in the motorcycle as passion rather than motorcycle as transportation crowd. Piaggo sound like they get it in concept. They sound like they have the sight picture, windage, and range to the target. Will be very interested to see what comes of this. They get that simply building retro nostalgia bikes won’t cut it even though there is some room for that sort of thing a la Ducati SC and half of the Triumph line. They also know they can compete between the showroom and checkered flag at the pointy end of the spectrum with the track bike with blinkers niche. There’s a big area in between that can be filled with all sorts of compelling rides. Ducati is doing that right now. No reason Piaggo/Aprillia/Guzzi can’t get in there and take some of the pie from the japanese as well.