Harley-MV Agusta to wed?


Now for that Willie G. styling touch …

There’s a report in Forbes magazine that Harley-Davidson is working on a deal to buy MV Agusta.

Rumours about Harley mergers are nothing new, as Harley and Ducati were said to be interested in marriage a while back, and nothing has come of that – and this story comes to us via an Italian newspaper that does not offer any sources for its info.

According to Forbes, the Italian newspaper Messaggero says Harley would pay off most of the Italian manufacturer’s debt, which is about 200 million euros (Cdn $317 million).

As a result, Harley would own about 80 per cent of MV Agusta’s capital. About two-thirds of the Italian company’s capital is currently owned by a finance company.

And in a deal that might attract less notice but could have large repercussions, the Indian company M&M (Mahindra and Mahindra) is reported to have bought a controlling interest in Italian Engines Engineering, a leading Euro motorcycle design and engineering firm. M&M has worked on the Ducati 1098, HyperMotard, and 999, the Benelli TNT, and Yamahas, Hondas, and other motorcycles.

The deal will give the Indian company a powerful influence on the design of bikes for the Indian market, and perhaps also for the world market.


  1. You’re spot on McGarvey.

    John, I’d tell you about my recent and amazing 3500km trip on my Road King…but why? Keep blathering on buddy :roll

  2. Its no different than when Mercedes-Benz bought Chrysler. What a death bet for Mercedes. You simply cannot take companies from Europe with superior engineering and design philosophy with American barnyard “hope-it-works, slap-it-together engineering”. The two don’t mix.

    I’ll proudly be a Harley basher until I die. Sorry, but I’ll never support a company who named its bikes after an obese child. “Fat Boy” Or suggests I have tassels and I wear chaps. The build quality is a joke and the bikes are 50 years out of date, and incredibly overpriced. Crap crap crap.

  3. Somebody mentioned HD’s previous attempt to manage an Italian brand. Well, when Aermacchi bailed out, HD named the new company AMF-HD (American Machinery Foundry). Foundry?! That tells it all.

    Times might have changed, but, if the Porsche-engineered V-Rod never got accepted as a “true Harley”, I can’t imagine how far a AMF-MV-like would go.

    I hope they’ll keep the two brands separated, although I’m not sure how they’ll be able to market the Italian art pieces without taking advantage of the massive HD distribution network.
    As an Italian who lives in the States, I’ll root for a success anyway

  4. What happened the last time H-D bought an Italian company? H-D nearly went bankrupt; then when it cut that withering limb off, paid attention to markets when developing bikes, and engaged in some corporate discipline it became one of the most successful motorcycle corporations in the world. Interesting that the Harley bashers seem to be content to see MV in a constant state of bankruptcy; does it not occur to them that perhaps the innovation and engineering of MV combined with the marketing and corporate discipline of H-D might be win-win?

  5. The entire concept is just unforgivably WRONG!

    “Hyuk hyuk! You crazy Italians! All you gotta do to make a bike is take this here hollow tubing and bolt on a couple wheels. Then find the most outdated engine you can find, and there you go! Sheeeet.”

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