Registering “Elephant” with the United States Patent & Trademark Office, MV Agusta looks poised to make an adventure bike, based off the Cagiva Elefant mark of yore. In its application, MV Agusta cites the use of the trademark for “land vehicles, namely, motorcycles,” which certainly bodes well for those loyal to the old Elefant brand.
The trademarking process began in July of 2009, meaning the Elephant-branded motorcycle was a glimmer in the company’s eye while it was still a part of Harley-Davidson, as was the MV Agusta F3. Granted the trademark in October of 2010, it’s possible that the project has since been disbanded after MV’s divesture from Harley-Davidson. However there are plenty of arguments to suggest MV Agusta would have kept the project alive through its transition of ownership.
Presumably not only wanting to capitalize on the super hot adventure-touring segment, MV Agusta also is likely feeling the pressure to be more than a “superbike brand”, as Ducati has recently discovered such a market niche is not only unstable, but not terribly profitable. Additionally in order to break even, MV Agusta needs to sell motorcycles at a much greater volume than it previously has in the past. With these two factors looming, it seems at least plausible we could see a return of the Elephas maximus.
The MV Agusta Elephant would join the new F3, and an anticipated smaller Brutale based off the F3’s three-cylinder motor, as a trio of models that the newly acquired MV Agusta would make since arriving back into the hands of its previous owner Claudio Castiglioni. Like the MV Agusta F3, the Elephant appears to still be a part of the game plan that the company had under Harley-Davidson, which means we’re still waiting to see what Castiglioni and his son have up their sleeves for the famous Italian brand.
Despite teasing the F3 in early 2010, the new supersport is expected to be a 2012 model, as the company sorts out exactly what performance specifcations it can reliably get from the three-cylinder lump. Our expectation would be the Elephant, if it comes to market, wouldn’t arrive until 2013 given MV Agusta’s current timetable, and by then it’ll be interesting to see how hot the adventure-touring model segment still is, and whether it’ll help keep the storied company afloat.