Brothers Claudio and Gianfranco Castiglioni , owner of several thriving metalworking enterprises, in 1978 bought the Italian subsidiary of the American company "Harley-Davidson» - a former motorcycle factory firm "Aermacchi". His purchase they gave the name Cagiva, in honor of his father, Giovanni Castiglioni and Varese, in which the enterprise (CAGIVA = CAstiglioni GIovanni + VArese). Please motorcycles sold under the brand name "HLB-Dee Cagiva» , and since 1980.
Initially, the company produced the model range, inherited from the Americans: road motorcycles series «SST» motorcycles and dual-purpose series «SXT». Both series - unified design, with single-cylinder two-stroke air-cooled engines, a working volume of 123, 242 and 342 cm3, duplex tubular frames, telescopic front fork and rear suspension pendulum. In small quantities, the company also produces sport motorcycles motocross and enduro competitions, single-cylinder two-stroke engines with a cylinder capacity of 124 and 239 cm3. The first years of the engineers' Cagiva "limits gradual modernization of these rather ordinary cars.
But in 1983 the company introduced a whole range of great bikes. Light machine dual-use Cagiva Aletta Rossa W5XT 125 received 124 cc two-stroke liquid-cooled engine 15 hp six-speed transmission, rear suspension with progressive characteristic and monoshock, disc front brake and Italian elegant appearance. In a similar chassis motorcycle "Ala Rossa» was established single-cylinder four-stroke 348 cc 25-hp air-cooled engine, locked with a five-speed gearbox. Sensation was the road racing bike Ala Azzurra with a two-cylinder V-shaped motor Ducati (648 cm3, 56 hp), a maximum speed of 195 km / h. For the Italian market also produces a 350-cc version of the capacity of 27 hp Also in 1983 the company introduced a prototype dual-purpose motorcycle 'Elephant with 748-cc engine Ducati. After a year in this car went into the series with Ducati engines working volume of 349 and 648 cm3 capacity of 33 and 50.5 hp respectively.
The company also has an extensive sports program. Since 1982, its factory teams participating in the World Championships in motocross that brought two world titles in 125 cm3 (1985 and 1986), and in the Grand Prix motorcycle racing in a class of 500 cm3. And since 1985, specially prepared motorcycles "Elephant" go to the start of the famous rally raid "Paris-Dakar".
Gradually, the company has evolved into an impressive group. In 1985, she joined the firm to his Ducati, a year later acquired the license to manufacture the Swedish Husqvarna motorcycles with the right to use this brand. In 1987, was composed of another well-known Italian company - Moto Morini.
The most successful series of motorcycles, which brought the company Cagiva dedication of Italian teenagers - 125 cc sportbike. Even the fall of 1984 a prototype «GP125S» 25-horsepower two-stroke liquid-cooled engine, six-speed gearbox, the fairing of the "Grand Prix" and with monoshock rear suspension. A year later, this machine has entered the market under the name "125 Aletta Oro S2». In 1987 it was replaced by the model "french 12B C9» integral with the original paneling, more than half of the closed front wheel and uprated to 27 hp motor. The following year he made his debut version of "French's 125 C12R» with engine capacity of 31.5 hp and seven-speed gearbox. This bike was able to accelerate to 160 km / h!
In 1990, a series of "french" family replaced "Mito» with diagonal elements of the frame of the closed section. Engine power increased to 33.5 hp and a top speed of motorcycle - up to 165 km / h. Version 1994 "Mito EV» acquired not only have higher dynamic parameters (36 hp, 170 km / h), but also expressive fairing with two slanted
lights in the style of "Ducati 916".
In the same rapid pace progressed to 80 years and two-stroke motorcycles dual produces not only a 125-cc, and 190 cc versions. In 1988 the company launched its first production in the 50-cc motorcycle - a machine dual-use Cocis with 49 cc two-stroke engine with liquid cooling. And in 1991 he made his debut sportbike "Prima» - 50-cc motorcycle option "Mito". At the same time the company began to sell under its own brand scooters Taiwanese company "Sanyang»,
In place of the dual-purpose motorcycle "Ala Rossa" in 1986 came the family of "T4", equipped with a single-cylinder four-stroke air-cooled engine in two versions - 343 cm3 (33 hp) and 451 cc (40 hp). In the performance of these machines army is still in service with the armies of many countries of Western Europe. A further development of the series has become a novelty in 1993 - «W16» c engine increased to 601 cm3 working volume, whose power was 48 hp Derated to 34 hp version of this engine in 1994, has been applied to two road bikes - classic Cagiva River and urban enduro Cagiva Canyon.
Motorcycle road racing series "Ala Azzurra" was removed from production in 1988, as the company became part of the Ducati group Cagiva. A lot of tourist Enduro "Elephant" was further developed. In 1987, on this bike put 748 cc engine with 61 hp, in 1989 - a 68-hp engine displacement of 904 cm3, equipped with a fuel injection system.
In the early 90's Cagiva purchased motorcycle production ChZet Czech concern. The Italians had two aims - to strengthen in promising markets in Eastern Europe and move to the region with cheap labor manufacturing of light motorcycles. In the Czech Republic organized a production road bike "Roadster» with two different engines: two-stroke Cagiva 124- cc and 199 cc four-stroke ChZet; and the 124-cubic dual purpose motorcycle «W8» and 50-cubic scooter on 16-inch wheels Cagiva Cucciolo. In Western Europe, all these machines were sold under the brand Cagiva. But the Italian specialists obviously overestimated the purchasing power of the population of the former socialist countries, and by the end of the 90s Cagiva with large losses for themselves came from Eastern European project.
The second source of losses began an ambitious program of revival renowned brand MV Agusta. Castiglioni brothers bought the rights to use the name back in the 80s, but the work on the creation supermototsikla unfolded only in the next decade. She demanded of such costs in the second half of the 90's group was on the verge of collapse. Due to lack of funds for the purchase of materials and components had to even stop assembly lines. Improve the situation only concern sales of Ducati. In the end, the project started, and in 1999 the concern changed its name to "MV Agusta Motor».
Under the brand Cagiva continues manufacture of a wide range of motorcycles. In 1999 the company began production of scooters "Nuvola» - ", but this time not only with the 49 cc two-stroke engine, but with a 124 cc four stroke. In the same year she made her debut with the 996 series of motorcycles cc two-cylinder V-engine «Suzuki TL» (liquid cooling, four-valve heads cylinders, fuel injection) - road racing "Raptor» (Raptor, 105,5 hp, 240 km / h) and Enduro Travel «Navigator» (Navigator, 96,7 hp, 215 km / h). A year later, "Raptor" and began to produce a two-cylinder V-shaped 645-cc engine «Suzuki SV» (70 hp, 210 km / h).
In July 2001, concern Piaggio signed a cooperation agreement with the conglomerate of MV Agusta, received 20% of its shares. On the face - the trend of mergers and consolidation motoproizvoditeley.
In 2007, a group of companies MV Agusta Group sells Husqvarna brand of BMW, and in 2008, a major US manufacturer of motorcycles - Harley-Davidson company buys 100% stake in MV Agusta, for $ 110 million, which includes bank debt of MV nearly 70 million dollars.