Renowned Italian motorcycle suspension brand Marzocchi faces imminent closure and will affect a number of bikes.
Bad news from the front, this time revolving around renowned Italian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Marzocchi.
Founded in 1949 by brothers Stefano and Guglielmo Marzocchi, the brand was later acquired by current parent company Tenneco in 2008. Since then, Marzocchi has been facing the threat of closure, and supposedly came close to it back 2011.
Citing reports out of Italy, sources online report that the brand’s American parent company will cease Marzocchi’s operations as early as September this year. The decision was apparently made following a meeting held between parent company Tenneco and its workers’ unions back in April this year. Both the brand’s motorcycle and bicycle suspension manufacturing operations will cease as a result.
Confirming this is the fact that Tenneco’s reportedly hasn’t renewed the lease on the Marzocchi brand’s Bologna-based factory. The firm has also informed manufacturers currently supplied with Marzocchi parts, allegedly advising them to look elsewhere for their 2016 models as well.
The imminent demise of Marzocchi is easily explained. Presently, the OEM suspension market has been saturated with plenty of competitors such as Öhlins, Sachs, and WP. Contributing to this as well is Tenneco’s failure to invest finances necessary to make Marzocchi as competitive as its rivals.
For your information, here is a list of some of the brands and models affected should Marzocchi cease its supply of suspension parts.
The one manufacturer that will be affected hard by this is MV Agusta. There is no other way to put it; almost all of its current models employ Marzocchi suspension components. These include:
– Stradale 800
– Brutale 800 Dragster
– Brutale 800 Dragster RR
– Brutale 1090
– Brutale 800 & 675
– Brutale 800 RR
– F4 & F4R
– F3 800 & F3 675
– Rivale 800
– Turismo Veloce 800
While some of MV Agusta’s models listed above will likely be phased out soon, some of its newer ones are in dire jeopardy. Only the Tourismo Veloce 800’s Lusso variant is spared as it is kitted with Sachs-supplied electronically-adjustable forks instead. Sources believe MV will opt to fit the Lusso variant’s Sachs units as standard in the Turismo Veloce 800, but this remains to be seen.
As for the rest, Marzocchi’s closure will likely force the Varese-based bike artisans to source for a new supplier relatively soon.
Also affected is Marzocchi’s neighbour, Ducati. However, unlike its Varese-based rivals MV Agusta, the Bologna-based brand’s roster of Marzocchi-supplied models is significantly smaller. Affected Ducati models include:
– Hypermotard SP
– Streetfighter 848
The Streetfighter 848 is nearing the end of its cycle, and the imminent unavailability of its Marzocchi suzzies will likely bring its end much sooner.
As for now phased out first generation Hypermotard SP, Ducati’s close relations to Sachs and Öhlins means a replacement should be easily sourced since the standard first-gen Hypermotard wasn’t Marzocchi-kitted anyway. The same applies for the early version of the Diavel cruisers as Öhlins already produce replacement kits.
Another Italian brand affected is Bimota. The small brand has had a long relationship with Marzocchi spanning multiple years. Affected in its range are:
– DB 8
– DB 10
– DB 11
Presently, it remains unclear as how the small brand that is Bimota will overcome the possible absence of Marzocchi.
Outside of Italy, renowned German bike manufacturer BMW Motorrad will be affected as well. A number of the Bavarian brand’s models, namely its maxi-scooter range, come kitted with Marzocchi suzzies as standard. Affected in the BMW Motorrad stable are:
– C600 Sport
– C650 GT
– C Evolution
– R1200 R
Only the brand’s R1200 R is spared with a saving grace. Despite being kitted with Marzocchi suzzies in standard form, BMW Motorrad does offer optional electronically adjustable types supplied by rivals Sachs.
The brand does however need to devise a solution for its C-series maxi scooters soon.
Manufacturers potentially affected by this have yet to respond officially. We will do out best to inform you as soon as they do.