Italian motorcycle and e-bike manufacturer Fantic has been on a roll lately. In December, 2020, the brand launched the Euro 5-compliant Caballero 125 and 500. Less than a month later, in January, 2021, Fantic officially acquired Motori Minarelli. Most recently, the company released its MX and Enduro range in July, 2021.
Despite its recent success, Fantic is still contending with production issues caused by the ongoing pandemic. Luckily, the firm’s Caballero continues to drive the brand’s on-road offerings, but in his latest interview, Fantic CEO Mariano Roman is keeping his eyes to the future.
"Our expertise and that of Minarelli allowed us to solve the problems related to Euro 5 in an excellent way, even if this first phase was not particularly difficult to overcome,” Roman told Motociclismo. “Phase 2, on the other hand, will be much more complex, when we will have to adapt to the introduction of the Euro 5+ starting from 2025, with much stricter emission limits.”
Of course, Fantic will draw on Motori Minarelli’s engine expertise to help clear that hurdle by 2025. If the brand fails to update the Caballero to meet ever-tightening regulations, it may need to launch a new road-going motorcycle platform or shift even more focus to e-bikes.
“In September, a new 5000 square-meter plant is expected to open for the production of e-bikes, after which the set-up will be stable at least for the next 4-5 years,” noted Roman. “Thanks to the acquisition of Minarelli, we will have the potential and production capacity to reach and exceed €200M in turnover.”
The company’s robust e-bike range currently includes five MTB variants, a city commuter, and a touring trim. Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, many consumers are purchasing e-bikes for commuting, local travel, and recreation. While Fantic is experiencing a boom in e-bike sales as a result, it doesn’t solve the inflation in shipping and raw materials also brought on by the pandemic.
“The e-bike market is extremely positive and growing, unfortunately at the moment the increase in the cost of raw materials and the difficulty of finding the components is clipping our wings,” Roman admitted. “We have calculated that between now and the end of the year we will not be able to fulfill orders for about 18,000 pieces. In any case, we are also very satisfied with the motorcycle market, which is going just as well.”
With emissions standards and the global health crisis continuing to shape purchasing habits and manufacturing, Fantic plans to pool its resources into the most beneficial sectors.
“In e-bikes, everything related to vehicle dynamics, the study of the suspensions, the electronic engine management part have many points in common with motorcycles,” added Roman, “all the concepts of traction management, stability, set-up changes that they are found in motorcycles and we also find them in bikes, especially those for specialist enduro bikes.”
With EICMA 2021 just around the corner, we can’t wait to see how Fantic presents its current developments and future plans to the rest of the motorcycling world.