Aprilia Futura?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Star-Bellied Sneetch, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer Supporter

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    As a long time Aprilia fan and previous owner, that's a pretty depressing read.

    Surprisingly (though perhaps not), the writer failed to mention what was probably the biggest step in Aprilia's decline-- their purchase of Moto Guzzi for roughly $100M of debt assumption when MGs net worth was actually negative. At the time, it was characterized as an emotional purchase by Ivano Beggio, President of Aprilia, based on a boyhood ambition. Otoh, having something of an understanding of Italian finances (I used to work at Olivetti when it was controlled by the Agnellis) I suspect there may have been more than childhood ambition involved :augie

    My hazy recollection is also that about this time Italy passed a scooter helmet law, which cratered sales for a while.

    Shortly after the purchase- I noticed deterioration in MG and Aprilia parts and warranty support (I owned an MG and an Aprilia at the time, and was involved in MGNOC and was close to some Aprilia US management). It got progressively worse since then and for the most part hasn't improved. Aprilia is basically being kept alive (or something like it) by a few dealers (AF1 comes to mind) and the general brilliance of the V4 bikes.

    I suspect without the crushing debt load of the MG purchase, the Aprilia story would be much different.
    #61
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  2. Volfy

    Volfy Fava beans & a nice Chianti

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    That article is rather poignant. I especially like the part about why Aprilia resonate with genXers. Being an X myself, I find that sentiment to be spot on. I never much cared for Ducati, HD and the whole retro scene. The stench of me-too-ness gets unbearable. I find Aprilia's confidence to zig when everybody else zag rather refreshing. The narrow-angle V4 sportbike was a stroke of genius. They pulled it off brilliantly, while industry giant that is the mighty House of Honda failed miserably.

    I do think Aprilia has yet more fight in its bones. The RS660 is another brilliant maneuver. Frankly, it's one of those "duh... why didn't I think of that?!" moves. You know you did it right when Yamaha was so quick to copycat with the R7, though lacking the panache of the Italians.

    Let's hope the glass really is half full.
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  3. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    I don’t fully agree with the opinions/ comments/ insight in the article I forwarded…

    I feel there is a lot left out in blanks when it comes to Italian Motorcycle companies. Especially the mergers of them and shifting of debt.

    You have to wonder why Aprilia doesn’t promote their brand more? Or market their brand more? But honestly do they really want it… the growth?

    I don’t diss Aprilia as a force or a motorcycle brand. They are innovators.
    #63
  4. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer Supporter

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    There's only one seemingly immutable law in Italian motorcycle company finance-- the Castiglionis always come out ahead :lol3

    It's the modified Hyman Roth effect

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  5. DFH

    DFH 270 deg crank

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    "Cowboy" is an insult in the parts of the world I inhabit, I'm sure you don't mean that. I have no idea who Michael Uhlarik is or anything to substantiate his personal expertise other than the link to Damon Motorcycles - lets call it a startup selling virtual products. Or a cowboy operation in the vernacular. Strangely though the article of Uhlarik's you posted makes no mention of any government subsidy or government intervention in the (mis)management of Piaggio to support your original opinion that "Like many they are most likely government subsidized. They don’t pay a bunch of Corporate shareholders like in the US. And they have no real necessity to sell in volume. Their purpose is to project design ahead of the market to promote Italian motorcycle superiority." Why? Because such an opinion is factually incorrect. Uhlarik's thesis is that the CEO and current management is busy screwing the pooch, he may be right. But as things stand Piaggio is a Società per azioni (S.p.A.) - a joint stock company that reported to the Milan stock exchange in 2019 Revenue of €1,512 million, an Operating Income of €124.8 million and Net Income of €46.7 million. So its not yet on its knees.
    #65
  6. spanky

    spanky Well, maybe....

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    My brief Futura story. I saw one while on a group ride and immediately fell in lust. Fast forward a few months and we're into the winter season and I happen to be walking through the local multi brand dealer that also had the Ducati franchise. On their floor was a 2003 Futura in silver with 300 miles on the odo. I was wondering why they had the bike and what was up with the low mileage so I asked a salesman who told me that they bought the bike from the previous owner's wife. Further questioning yielded some interesting tidbits; Hubby bought the bike and put all 300 miles on it in one day then went downhill skiing the next day and had a close encounter with a tree. The wife was grief-stricken and couldn't bear to look at the bike in their garage so she ahd the dealer pick it up in exchange for a check.

    It just so happened that I was going skiing the very next day and right about that time my moto-erection began to fade. Immediately. I still like 'em and live my Futura lust through threads and photo postings like this.
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  7. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Perhaps you have mistaken Aprilia for Ducati, the "successful" Italian brand that was resurrected by VW/ Audi AG and is also teetering on it's debt. Now enough with the Yank Wank'in.
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  8. DFH

    DFH 270 deg crank

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    No, the two companies are easy to tell apart. As for Ducati drowning in debt, i assume you have some factual evidence to back up that statement.

    Carry right on with that, its not for me to impinge.
    #68
  9. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    It’s actually fairly easy to learn the landscape of brands like Aprilia and Ducati when you have friends that work for the dealers and sell them for many years. You don’t have to rely on glossed over corporate press announcements that mention corporate restructuring strategies of the companies every year for the past 3-4 years…

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.motor1.com/news/460287/lamborghini-ducati-no-sale-bentley/amp/

    But if I seem to be busting your bubble about some of these Italian companies… sorry about that. Stay in that bubble.
    #69
  10. vtduc

    vtduc Been here awhile

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    Here's a few photos to get things back on track..........

    One of my current rides..........
    IMG-0570.jpg

    Spare bike I purchased for $1K

    IMG-0383.jpg

    TWO more futura's worth of spares........

    IMG-0573.jpg IMG-0574.jpg

    Attached Files:

    #70
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  11. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer Supporter

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    How'd you score that for $1k?
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  12. vtduc

    vtduc Been here awhile

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    Just got lucky........The seller purchased it as a project, as the previous owner had a battery drain that he couldn't sort out. I got that figured out, although it's currently on the stand waiting for valve stem seals. Once I got it running, it was pushing out a small amount of blue smoke on startup. The seal thing I hadn't planned for, but it's not unheard of with these bikes.

    Around the same time, I purchased one of the parts donors from a kid that had pretty much made a mess of it and was giving up. The other parts donor was a similar situation.
    All in, I got a runner and two complete parts bikes for $2700. That should keep my regular rider going indefinitely, knock wood.
    #72
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  13. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer Supporter

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    LOL

    Sounds like you have a thing for Futuras as I had with Honda VF1000Fs- had 4 of them at one time a couple years ago: 3 runners, two registered, and a parts bike.

    None left now; so I guess I'm cured.

    For now :lol3
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  14. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    #74
  15. gusable

    gusable Been here awhile

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    I want one. That’s all I know
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  16. DFH

    DFH 270 deg crank

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    Ducati USA is a private company based in California. Aprilia USA the same but quartered in New York. It is a mistake to assume the experiences of employees of local dealers have any insight beyond that what relates to the domestic importers in the same way it would be a mistake to accept that an employee of the local electronics shop has some insight into Sony Japan.


    You still haven't provided one iota of evidence to support your claim that " Like many they are most likely government subsidized. They don’t pay a bunch of Corporate shareholders like in the US. And they have no real necessity to sell in volume. Their purpose is to project design ahead of the market to promote Italian motorcycle superiority." Your statement is BS, a product of your own prejudice. Nothing more valid than that.
    #76
  17. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    C’mon people - talk Futura! :dirtdog
    #77
  18. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer Supporter

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    Ok, imo, the Charcoal ones are by far the best looking. Probably fastest and best handling as well :lol3

    [​IMG]


    :hide
    #78
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  19. vtduc

    vtduc Been here awhile

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    I think the Ash black really showed off the angular stealth fighter look. The example above does not have the stock mirrors, which detracts from that aesthetic. Understandable, as the stock mirrors are very hard to come by these days.

    The Futura is also one of the few bikes that look OK with the luggage removed. They did a good job of integrating the mounts.
    #79