Japanese motorcycle brand Kawasaki will soon be acquiring a stake in storied Italian motorcycle maker, Bimota, according to latest reports coming out of the EICMA 2019 Motorcycle Show in Milan, Italy. Once the deal is completed and passes regulatory approval, Kawasaki Motors Europe will acquire 49.9 per cent stake in Bimota, through its subsidiary, Italian Motorcycle Investment. The majority 50.1 per cent controlling stake will be retained by its current owners. The ownership of Bimota currently rests with B and Motion S.A., formerly known as Bimota S.A.
According to Hiroshi Ito, Kawasaki Heavy Industries' general manager of planning for its Motorcycle and Engine business, who spoke at the ongoing EICMA 2019 motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, a prospective deal has been in the works for over three years. As far back as November 2016, Ito had met Marco Chiancianesci, president of Bimota, and had discussed the prospect of the two brands working together. According to Chiancianesci, Bimota received several offers, but Kawasaki stood out.
"As you know, I am a motorcycle enthusiast, and I love this Italian-born brand. In fact, I love it too much to have bought the company itself," says Chiancianesi. "But riding a motorcycle, and running a motorcycle business is different. As you are aware, Bimota has been facing some difficulty. We received many offers, but I thought that Kawasaki' was the best. Through the communications with Mr. Ito, (Kawasaki Motors Europe Manager Masanori) Kinuhata and other Kawasaki staff, I understand we may share the same passion, emotion and values."
Bimota will continue to be an Italian company, based in Rimini and employing Italian designers and craftsmen. The only difference, going forward will be that all future Bimota motorcycles will be powered by Kawasaki engines. In the past, Bimota licensed engines from different manufacturers.