SHOULD Marzocchi stop making suspension – more than 65 years after being founded way back in 1949 – then several manufacturers will be forced to redevelop their bikes to accommodate alternative parts.
While swapping a set of forks isn’t a hugely difficult job, when it comes to mass produced bikes there’s still a lot of development and testing needed before making that sort of change, and for the bike firms involved it will be development that they might not have been planning to do.
Even once a suitable alternative has been found and developed to suit each specific bike, there are also likely to be cost implications and supply chain difficulties to be overcome, so it’s safe to say that the manufacturers that have been notified that they won’t be able to have Marzocchi parts for next year’s bikes may well be less than pleased about it.
Here are some of the bikes that will be hit by Marzocchi’s problems:
1. MV Agusta Stradale 800
MV has long been a Marzocchi customer, and the new Stradale is one of several of the firm’s bikes to use Marzocchi forks. Having only just been launched, it’s unlikely that MV was planning to make any changes to the Stradale for 2016, but now its hand has been forced.
2. MV Agusta Brutale 800 Dragster
Another new MV, another bike that won’t have been scheduled to be updated, but another that’s going to be hit since it too uses Marzocchi forks.
3. MV Agusta Brutale 800 Dragster RR
Normally, higher-spec bikes like the Dragster RR will have different suspension from alternative suppliers, but in this case MV opted for top-end Marzocchi parts, which it will not be forced to replace. Surely MV will be moving the RR to Ohlins?
4. MV Agusta Brutale 1090
The Brutale 1090, 1090R and 1090RR all use Marzocchi parts, while the Corsa gets Ohlins bits. Since MV is planning to launch a new four-cylinder platform for 2016, it will already be developing replacement models – let’s hope it’s been doing its development around alternative suspension parts.
5. MV Agusta Brutale 800 and Brutale 675
Another MV, another set of Marzocchi forks. It’s unlikely that the firm really wanted to be making changes to the smaller Brutale for 2016, given the other development work it’s already got on its plate.
6. MV Agusta Brutale 800RR
MV is probably wishing it had gone down the default Ohlins route with the Brutale RR. It didn’t, so it’s another bike that’s going to need changing.
7. MV Agusta F4 and F4R
Funny, you’d have thought that Ohlins would be the obvious choice for the F4. Bet it will be next year. The F4R also uses Marzocchi, although the RR and RC are Ohlins-suspended already.
8. MV Agusta F3 800 and F3 675
Guess what brand of forks the F3 models use? More changes will be afoot here unless MV has access to a warehouse full of Marzocchi bits to draw upon for 2016.
9. MV Agusta Rivale 800
Bet you didn’t realise there were this many bikes in the MV Agusta range, did you? Bet MV wishes it hadn’t chosen to equip nearly all of them with Marzocchi forks, too…
10. MV Agusta Tourismo Veloce 800
Yes, it’s got Marzocchis too. Unless you opt for the Lusso version, which has Sachs electronically-adjustable forks. At least one MV won’t need to be modified for 2016, then.
11. Ducati Hypermotard SP
There aren’t many Ducatis that still use Marzocchi forks, but the Hypermotard SP is one of them. Fortunately, the base Hypermotard doesn’t, and given Ducatis close ties to Sachs and Ohlins, getting replacement bits shouldn’t be a big problem
12. Ducati Diavel
Oh, there’s another Ducati that uses Mazocchi forks – the Diavel. Fortunately, Ohlins already makes replacement forks for the odd muscle cruiser, which further improve its surprising handling ability. Don’t be surprised if they come as standard in 2016.
13. Ducati Streetfighter 848
The Streetfighter 848 is probably nearing the end of its natural life now anyway, but the fact it’s got Marzocchi forks might accelerate the process. Is it going to be worth reworking it for alternative front suspension?
14. BMW C600 Sport
BMW’s first foray into big scooters, the C600 Sport is another Marzocchi customer that will need updating.
15. BMW C650GT
Given that it’s near identical to the C600 Sport, it’s no surprise that the C650 GT is also Marzocchi-sprung.
16. BMW C Evolution
It looks like BMW’s pricy electric scooter shares its forks with the other two models in the range, which means they’ll be Marzocchi too.
17. BMW R1200 R
Another brand new bike that’s fitted with Marzocchi forks as standard, the R1200 R gets the Italian parts in its base form, although it can also be had with Sachs electronically-adjustable forks.
18. Bimota DB8
Bimota has long had ties with Marzocchi, and many of its current bikes use the kit. Let’s start with the DB8, which has 43mm Marzocchis.
19. Bimota DB10
The ‘Bimotard’ is another Marzocchi-kitted machine. Let’s hope they can find a suitable alternative.
20. Bimota DB11
Guess who makes the forks. Go on. Guess. Fortunately, all the DB models are similar so hopefully one set of replacement forks will work for all the bikes. Ohlins already supply parts for the DB9 and DB8 Oronero, so have got to be favourites for the rest of the range next year.
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