company_name = Cagiva
company_type = Subsidiary
slogan = Power to the People
founder = Giovanni Castiglioni
foundation = 1978
location_city = flagicon|Italy Varese
location_country = Italy
industry = Motorcycle
parent = MV Agusta Motor S.p.A.
homepage = []

Cagiva is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer. It was founded in 1950 by Giovanni Castiglioni in Varese, originally producing small metal components. It went into the motorcycle industry in 1978. The name is a portmanteau derived from the founder and the founding location, i.e. "CAstiglioni GIovanni VArese".In 1999 for strategic purposes, the company got restructured. MV Agusta Motor became the main brand comprising Cagiva and Husqvarna.cite web | url= | title= Cagiva Recent Facts | publisher= Cagiva | accessdate= 2008-02-03] The company currently operates under the name MV Agusta Motor S.p.A. but remains under the ownership of Giovanni's sons, Claudio and Gianfranco Castiglioni.


In 1978 Cagiva entered the motorcycle business with two racing motorcycles riden by Gianfranco Bonera and Marco Lucchinelli. In the same year they bought a factory in Schiranna, Varese from AMF-Harley Davidson and went into motorcycle production. By 1979 the company reached an annual production of 40,000 motorbikes, with eight models with two-stroke engines ranging from 125 cc to 350 cc.

In 1983 Cagiva sourced Ducati four stroke engines from 350 cc to 1000 cc and entered the big displacement market. Cagiva bought Ducati in 1985, but kept the Ducati name that was better recognized outside Italy. Ducati motorcycle production continued in Bologna, while the Varese-built Cagiva Ala Azzurra (sold under the name "Alazzurra") and Elefant were introduced, both featuring Ducati engines.

Cagiva continued with strategic buyouts of Moto Morini in 1985 and Husqvarna in 1987. In 1991 Cagiva also bought the trademarks for the MV Agusta brand

In 1996 Ducati and the Moto Morini name were sold to Texas Pacific Group

In 1999 for strategic purposes, the company got restructured. MV Agusta Motor become the main brand comprising Cagiva and Husqvarna.


In the early 1980s Cagiva began to manufacture dirt bikes and started a massive public relations program with the opening of their North American branch. They hired "Radical" Ron Turner to test and develop their bikes. They also had Duane Summers, a legend in the cross country pro circuit. This was when Johnny O'Mara was the fast one on the 125 cc bikes that year and Ron beat Johnny numerous times at local Southern California tracks. Cagiva motocross bikes were characterized by their fast powerful engines and innovative features, such as the MX line that had only one spring in the front forks with one fork controlling dampening and the other spring.

At the end of the 1970s the company began campaigning the Grand Prix motorcycle racing circuit. Randy Mamola was their lead rider from 1988 to 1990, and he achieved Cagiva’s first podium result. They would also have some technical assistance from Yamaha. In 1991 they signed former world champion Eddie Lawson to their team. Lawson would claim their first victory when he won the 1992 Hungarian Grand Prix. John Kocinski would also win a Grand Prix on a Cagiva GP500 (C594), finishing third in the 1994 world championship.

In 1990 and 1994 the Italian rider Edi Orioli won the famed Dakar Rally on the Ducati-powered Cagiva Elefant.

Mini Moke

Cagiva bought BMCs design for the Mini Moke, manufacturing them in Portugal using British built engines from 1990 until 1993. Intending to transfer production to the Bologna factory early in 1995, the tooling for the Moke was transferred to Italy late in 1993 – but production never restarted.

Current models

* Mito 125
* Mito SP 525
* Raptor 125


External links

* [ Official UK Website]
* [ Official Global Website]
* [ All Cagiva motorcycles since 1970]

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