MV Agusta ramps up production

Publish Date: 
Nov 7, 2008
By Guido Ebert

The Harley-Davidson purchase of MV Agusta is made obvious at the MV facility in Varese by multiple wall-sized signs.

Is H-D looking to capitalize on MV’s dealer network in Europe to help place Harley-Davidson and Buell product? “It’s our obligation to pick the dealers who’ll do the best job for our product and our customers, and we’re going to select dealers who we feel can do the best job. However, it’s not outlandish to think that we may find a dealer in a city who’ll be able to do that for two of the brands, or even three of the brands.”

How about MV racing? “Racing is a necessary component in putting the exclamation mark behind the reputation,” he says. “The heritage of this brand is in the technology proven through racing, but you can’t live off of a 50-year-old reputation for glory. With that said, it’s not an immediate priority. It’s out there as a must-do, but not an immediate do.”

So what does the MV production line look like now? Check out the following pics, which show the assembly process from start to finish.

Production begins with the engines, which are assembled by a team of six workers.

The production line is modeled after the “just-in-time” production process at Porsche. Each bike going down the line is mated to an associated cart that is loaded with parts inherent to an individual model due to be shipped to a certain country. That way, The process allows the company to fulfill orders as needed – a bike for Japan can be built alongside a bike destined for the U.S., next to a bike headed for Australia, etc. The unit begins life as only an engine, which is then mated to a frame, swingarm and subframe; then fork; then exhaust, electrical harness, lights and controls; then wheels, trim, signals, brake lines and fuel tank.

Once off of the production line, the bikes are emissions tested and run through the gears on a dynamometer. If all goes well, they are wheeled into a finishing room, where the mirrors, front and side fairings are attached.

Once completed, the bikes are wheeled into a room where they await shipment.

This F4 RR 312 was the first bike to be completed in Varese following Harley-Davidson’s purchase of MV Agusta. The unit was signed by H-D and MV executives, as well as by all of the employees who worked on it.