Back in September 2022, MV Agusta first announced that it had reached a North American distribution deal with KTM. If you’ve been following the story at any point from then until May 2023, you already know that the ties between the two companies have only grown stronger since then.
Just two months later, in November 2022, KTM purchased a 25.1-percent stake in MV Agusta, following a €30M ($31.1M USD) investment in the Varese, Italy-based moto manufacturer. If thoughts and/or rumors hadn’t already started to swirl about KTM’s intentions toward the historic Italian brand before, there was probably no way to avoid it now.
By April 2023, KTM CEO (and head of Pierer Mobility, which is the parent company of KTM, Husqvarna, and GasGas) Stefan Pierer was openly discussing his opinion that “no one needs a Lucky Explorer from MV.” Of course, people up and down the ranks within every facet of the motorcycle industry can (and do) have a variety of opinions on most subjects, but things like this don’t usually show up in interviews.
That brings us to May 2023, where yet another key KTM player has fanned the flames of discussion a little higher. KTM executive board member Hubert Trunkenpolz confirmed to German motorcycle magazine Motorrad that the firm intends to obtain a majority stake in MV Agusta. "It's correct that I said it like that! The shares will be increased over time - the shareholders have agreed not to disclose the timetable,” he reportedly said.
He went on to discuss plans for KTM to invest in further development of the MV Agusta plant over the next two years, and discussed optimizing it to produce more bikes. Crucially, for those concerned about the MV-ness of MV, the plans discussed stressed the importance of expanding the workforce, not laying people off. Additionally, he said, MV will remain in Italy, and will not move to Mattighofen—where the KTM/Husqvarna/GasGas mothership is based.
We can’t know the future, of course. Moto history fans may recall that Husqvarna and MV Agusta have their own tangled history already, dating back to the Cagiva years—so in a way, the thought of MV Agusta joining Husqvarna under the Pierer umbrella makes a certain kind of sense. If you’re interested in reading more of what Trunkenpolz told Motorrad, check out the link in our Sources.