A year and change after its debut at EICMA, it seems MV Agusta is ready to bring its Lucky Explorer 9.5 adventure bike to North America.
Or should we say, KTM is ready to bring it here? And maybe not to Canada … yet.
In a story that appeared on the Cycle World website, Ben Purvis reports that documents filed with the NHTSA indicate the Lucky Explorer 9.5 is headed to the US market. We would expect that to happen in coming months, with the bike a late 2023 or early 2024 model.
Working back from that information, we can also assume the machine is probably coming to Canada sometime not-far-off. Admittedly, Canada has been a bit of a backwater market for MV Agusta for several years. But now that KTM dealerships are selling and servicing MV Agusta motorcycles (as part of last year’s buy-in), we can expect that to change.
If you want more deets on the Lucky Explorer 9.5, here is our initial story from when the bike first appeared. Basically, it’s running a big-bored version of MV Agusta’s 850 triple put in an ADV chassis, with bodywork and graphics that looks like a Dakar Rally racer from the 1980s or 1990s. It just needs some cigarette adverts on the side to seal the deal.
KTM’s long term plans?
There has been some speculation about KTM’s long-term plans for its deal with MV Agusta. Currently, the Austrian manufacturer controls 25.1 percent of MV Agusta, and some of the Italian manufacturer’s workers are worried about a takeover. That would mean a move away from the Varese factory to Italy, they fear, just as KTM’s buy-out of Husqvarna took Husky away from its then-Italian base.
In an interview in Italian moto-mag DueRuote, KTM executive Hubert Trunkenpolz says his company does indeed want to take over MV Agusta—but instead of getting rid of staff, they want to keep everyone on board and massively ramp up production. MV Agusta only made 1,000 motorcycles last year, he says, and that isn’t enough to compete on a global level. He says KTM wants to ramp up MV Agusta production to 12,000 bikes a year.
Will it work out? The Italian moto industry is a graveyard of zombie brands, but if anyone can turn the situation around, it is the crew at KTM and its parent company Pierer AG. They’ve made KTM successful, they turned Husqvarna around, and they’re currently revitalizing GasGas. If they turn that experience towards MV Agusta, we’d expect impressive results.