Talk history with any motorcycle enthusiast and you’re assured an animated conversation. Ask them what sets an Italian superbike apart from its Japanese counterpart and you’ll hear about how the Italian was originally made for the racetrack and then for commute, unlike the latter. Such conversations are only going to pick up, with news of Moto Plex’s launch in the city—in Ashok Nagar, this Tuesday—getting superbike lovers excited. Motoplex is Piaggio’s premium store, through which the Italian automobile manufacturer will offer its most popular motorcycle brands, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi, along with its Vespa scooters.
The second store in the country—after its maiden launch in Pune in November—Moto Plex will open with Aprilia’s popular motorcycles like the Tuono V4 1100 Factory (`19.14 lakh ex-showroom Pune) in the naked bike segment, the RSV4 RF (`21.93 lakh ex-showroom Delhi) in the sports bikes segment and the adventure tourer, Dorsoduro 1200 (`17.87 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai). Carrying Aprilia’s signature V4 engines, the Tuono and RSV4 RF can deliver powers over 175 bhp, with the RSV4 RF even capable of reaching a top speed of 300 kmph. “Italian motorcycles are what you call top-of-the-line, premium steeds in comparison with Japanese mass-produced vehicles. They carry superior electricals, traction controls and delivers a much higher torque,” says Dastur AR, a petroleum retailer in the city, who owns two Italian superbikes—an Aprilia Tuono and Ducati Multistrada—and believes that Moto Plex’s launch will help fellow Aprilia owners find spare parts and better service.
In the Moto Guzzi line there is the street bike Griso 1200 8V SE (`16.50 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai), the tourer California Touring SE (`20.79 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai), and an all-classic bike complete with spoke wheels and chrome detailing, named the Eldorado (`21.77 lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai). Moto Guzzi, which is also the oldest European motorcycle still in production, carries its signature flat engines. “Guzzis are a rare breed in the city—there are just a handful of Moto Guzzi motorcycles in the state. I personally know just one California Touring among the motorcycling fraternity,” says Sarosh Linathwala, from the Chennai Superbikers Club. Apart from the sale of motorcycles, Moto Plex will also serve as a point for repairs and sale of original spare parts, accessories and riding merchandises from Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Vespa. If Piaggio CEO Stefano Pelle’s words are to be believed, Bengaluru and Hyderabad will soon get their very own Moto Plex too.
Store launches on May 24.
— P Peter