Cagiva (abbreviation of CAstiglioni GIovanni VArese) officially became a motorcycle manufacturer in 1978, but the company’s origins date back to 1950, when the family business developed its activities in the metal industry. Motivated by his passion for competition, Claudio Castiglioni creates the race team Cagiva who participates in the GP 500 World Championship, with official drivers Gianfranco Bonera and Marco Lucchinelli. Following the acquisition of AMF-Harley Davidson (formerly Aermacchi) in decline, the production of Cagiva motorcycles is launched. As a result of this acquisition, the agreement was concluded to produce and market the motorcycles under the Cagiva-HD brand until 1980.
Production is growing rapidly from medium-sized engines to larger engines: thanks to Claudio Castiglioni’s visionary talents, the Cagiva group also takes control of Ducati, which faces financial difficulties in the late 1980s.
In 1987, the Cagiva group also acquired Husqvarna and Moto Morini. Husqvarna, a Swedish company originally specializing in the manufacture of light weapons, is experiencing an exceptional increase in off-road production and sales, ensuring the manufacturer’s considerable success in motocross and enduro racing, with No less than 69 world titles. The Swedish brand is then sold to the BMW group, which wants to develop its activities in the off-road segment.
In 1992, Cagiva acquired MV Agusta, thus reviving the brand in 1997 with the exceptional F4, a monument of motorcycle design. Over the last fifteen years, MV Agusta has grown exponentially, becoming the benchmark in the market for high and medium performance motorcycles.
On August 17, 2011, the historic CEO of Claudio Castiglioni, the heart and soul of MV Agusta, died after a long struggle against the disease. Claudio Castiglioni played a central role in the revival of the Italian motorcycle industry. His leadership is at the origin of the design and production of the most famous motorcycles in the world, as well as an unprecedented series of beautiful Italian victories in competition.
Today, the company is headed by his son Giovanni Castiglioni and a team of internationally renowned managers.