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Keeway acquires long dormant Italian motorcycle brand Morbidelli

Historic Italian motorcycle brand Morbidelli has been acquired by Keeway, a division of Qianjiang Group, which also owns Benelli and QJMotor.

Giancarlo Morbidelli with V8 powered touring bike.
Giancarlo Morbidelli, with his V8-powered touring bike, was made in the 1990s. (Photo credit: Car & Bike)

India’s recently reported that Keeway acquired Morbidelli through MBP Moto (which stands for Moto Bologna Passioni). MBP debuted several models at the 2022 EICMA show. As a result of the acquisition, MBP Moto will now be renamed Morbidelli MBP.

According to reports, the acquisition has been in the pipeline since the end of 2022. A company linked to the Qianjiang Group registered the logos and names for Morbidelli MBP and Morbidelli MBP Pesaro. With Benelli already in Keeway’s portfolio of brands, the question is how the company will implement the use of the Morbidelli name in future models and what regions it will target. While MBP models shown at EICMA ranged from 125cc to 1,000cc, they were not built by QJMotor.

“This acquisition is a testament to MBP Moto’s aspiration for excellence in the motorcycle industry,” says Dante Bustos, CMO of Keeway Group. “We are thrilled to welcome a historic premium brand like Morbidelli into our family. It will allow us to blend the legacy of racing and Made in Italy craftsmanship with our vision of the future of motorcycling. Our passion for innovation, combined with Morbidelli’s rich heritage, will create motorcycles with an unrivaled blend of performance, design, and history.”

It is our understanding that new Morbidelli models could be introduced in U.S., European and Chinese markets. India is also on the radar for the new Chinese/Italian models.

The original Morbidelli brand was created by Giancarlo Morbidelli in Pesaro, Italy, in 1968. However, Morbidelli MBP bases its headquarters in Bologna, where a new research and development center will be built.

Morbidelli began building wood working tools and then raced motorcycles as a hobby before starting to manufacture bikes for the public in the 1970s. (Photo credit: MBP Moto)

As was common with many Italian motorcycle brands, Morbidelli made its name in racing and achieved moderate success in the 1970s. In the 1990s, Morbidelli attempted to make a rather unique V8-engine touring bike, but only four prototypes were made.

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