MV Agusta’s ambitious plans to multiply its sales volume over the next few years is off to a strong start after CEO Timur Sardarov revealed pre-orders for the recently unveiled MV Agusta Lucky Explorer have already reached 15,000 units.
Revealed at November’s EICMA show in Milan, the Lucky Explorer - revealed in 5.5 and 9.5 trims - were among the stars of the Italian event, showcasing a fresh direction for the Varese firm towards more mainstream segments.
Evoking memories of the 1980s-era Cagiva Elefant, which gained a cult-like status after triumphing in the Dakar Rally, the Lucky Explorer - so-called in a nod to the model’s iconic Lucky Strike rally raid livery - represents a two-pronged assault on one of Europe’s most competitive and lucrative sectors.
The flagship Ducati DesertX-rivalling MV Agusta Lucky Explorer 9.5 is fresh from the ground-up, while the platform and all-new 930cc triple-cylinder engine is also set to find its way into the sister Brutale, F3 and Turismo Veloce models too.
However, the smaller MV Agusta Lucky Explorer 5.5 strikes at a particularly important market in its biggest domestic Italian market, where the machine it is based on - the Benelli TRK 502 - was far and away the nation’s best-selling motorcycle of 2021 with 6,543 units shifted.
It’s seemingly a figure MV Agusta is poised to rival following a claim by Sardarov that the firm has received pre-orders for 15,000 Lucky Explorers, an unprecedented rise from the 5,000 motorcycles MV Agusta sold during the entirety of 2021.
Indeed, while the pair have received a positive reception, such an increase in volume does put pressure on MV Agusta’s relatively limited production capacity.
Furthermore, Sardarov insists MV Agusta won’t cede to the option of allowing the Lucky Explorer 5.5 to be manufactured outside of Italy and in China, alongside the QJ Motor-financed Benelli variant, meaning waiting lists are already running to two years.
“The new Lucky Explorers that will be built here in Varese,” he told Il Sole 24 Ore. “I have already received pre-orders for 15 thousand units: in practice, two years of work. For all our models the market in general is receptive, we are seeing great interest from customers.
“Once the obstacles of the pandemic and the constraints on the supply chain have been overcome, we will be able to significantly raise our production levels.”
The eye-catching figures are in line with MV Agusta’s desire to reposition the firm towards offering smaller-engined, mass-market value-for-money models without encroaching on its premium image and extravagant range-toppers.
Indeed, Sardarov was quoted in 2019 - albeit prior to COVID-19 - as saying he wants MV Agusta’s sales to hit 25,000 motorcycles by 2024.