Marchesini wheels founder Roberto Marchesini passes away

Roberto Marchesini, the man behind one of the most revered names in motorcycle components has passed away in Italy, aged 79

Roberto Marchesini

Roberto Marchesini, the man behind one of the most revered names in motorcycle components, right up there with Ohlins and Brembo, has passed away in Italy.

Marchesini was the man who set up Marchesini wheels and went on to produce some of the most desirable forged and cast aluminium and magnesium racing wheels available.

Born in Bologna in 1941 and began working for nearby Campagnolo soon becoming one of their chief technicians. He became a pioneer in magnesium casting and helped develop the Campagnolo magnesium racing wheel in the 1970s, which became a huge success, used by the likes of Barry Sheene and Giacomo Agostini.

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He then moved to then-small rival Marvic who he also helped to major success before in 1988 leaving to take over a small light alloys foundry and set up his own company, Marchesini Wheels.

Constantly evolving the technology and refining his products he produced forged aluminium wheels for the masses, cast magnesium wheels for racing and his products even graced high-end sports machines as standard. He sold the company to Brembo in 2000 before semi-retiring.

Indeed, while it may be tricky to apply the manufacturing of motorcycle wheels to a household name figure, the influence of Marchesini has spanned the decades and has established his company as a huge name - his own - that will live on longer than the man himself.

As Cycle World's obituary puts it, 'he was not a racer or a team manager, but in the paddocks of any Grand Prix he was one of the most popular name among racers, technicians, and team managers for the very simple reason that Roberto can be regarded as a pioneer of cast magnesium motorcycle wheels and the immensely dedicated promoter of their constant evolution to ever higher levels of efficiency and safety...'

Roberto Marchesini 1941 - 2020