Rumors out of Italy are suggesting that Kawasaki Heavy Industries has bought the Bimota motorcycle brand and its intellectual property.
We first saw the report on this news at the respected GPOne website, though details on the transaction remain virtually non-existent, with a press conference on the news expected in the coming days.
If true, this information is truly interesting, as it will likely set off a firestorm of speculation regarding what Kawasaki could want with the defunct boutique Italian motorcycle brand.
The first bit of speculation surely will center around whether or not Kawasaki plans to restart production at Bimota, which never really got off the ground once it was taken over by Swiss investors in 2013.
It seems hard to understand a reason why Kawasaki would add another competitor to the already crowded motorcycle marketplace, though we can think of perhaps one argument to help fuel the hopeful.
Team Green could be seeing the writing on the wall for the western markets, which are becoming increasingly more expensive in their tastes for two wheels, with the markets fueled by large displacement machines with stacks of electronic features.
While Kawasaki has done well to offer affordable small-displacement machines (and has no shortage of intriguing big bikes), the Japanese brand has difficultly competing with the premium offerings coming out of Europe – especially on perception.
As such, one could imagine a scenario where Kawasaki Heavy Industries could restart Bimota in a bid to have a two-pronged approach to the Western markets – especially in the sporting vertical – with the hopes of the Italian brand taking on rivals like Ducati and Aprilia with limited-production high-priced machines.
This could be interesting too considering the resources available at KHI, as Bimota would likely be able to design and make engines in house (rather, in house at Kawasaki), rather than sourcing powerplants from other brands.
While all of this is possible, it is not terribly likely. Instead, we see Kawasaki’s purchase of Bimota as likely a play for the Italian brand’s intellectual property, and also as a defensive move to keep some other company from restarting Bimota (again).
We would imagine that Kawasaki was able to purchase Bimota for next to a song, as the brand has been defunct for several years now, making this more of just a smart business decision rather than a larger play at upending the motorcycle industry.
But, we shall see what comes of all this, and whether or not a press conference explains what the Japanese intended to do with Bimota…if anything.
It certainly would be nice to see the Italian company’s intriguing view of motorcycles come back into the fold, as the previous examples of Bimota have been sought-after collectibles and continue to be revered for their aesthetic and technical abilities.
Photos of Some Recent Bimota Creations: