A Famous Italian Motorcycle Maker is About to be Reborn

Morbidelli might not have built a bike for nearly 40 years, but a new buyer has been found and it’ll be making bikes once again


The historic Italian brand Morbidelli has been acquired by the Chinese-owned Keeway Group.

Keeway has made the acquisition of Morbidelli through MBP Moto, MBP standing for 'Moto Bologna Passioni'. MBP Moto will now be renamed Morbidelli MBP as a result of this new acquisition.

MBP M502N.

The acquisition is something which has been in the works since the end of 2022 when logos and names for Morbidelli MBP and Morbidelli MBP Pesaro were registered in Hong Kong by Powerlink, a company linked to the Qianjiang Motorcycle group that owns Keeway, as well as Benelli, another historic Italian brand.

Although the original Morbidelli brand was born by Giancarlo Morbidelli in Pesaro, the new Morbidelli MBP will, as suggested by MBP’s name, continue to be based in Bologna. There, the Centro Stile Morbidelli and a new Research and Development Center will be built “to explore new technologies and materials, improving the design, performance and bringing Italian motorcycling excellence to the world, in the name of heritage and passion by Giancarlo Morbidelli,” Morbidelli MBP says.

MBP C1002V.

The new brand’s range will consist of scooters between 125cc and 500cc, and motorcycles between 125cc and 1,000cc. An electric range is set to be revealed in 2025, and Morbidelli MBP is targeting the US, European, and Chinese markets to begin with. MBP’s current range consists of bikes such as the C1002V cruiser and M502N naked.

Dante Bustos, CMO of Keeway Group, said: “This acquisition is a testament to MBP Moto's aspiration for excellence in the motorcycle industry. 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 lead to the creation of motorcycles with an unrivalled blend of performance, design and history."

The original Morbidelli’s fame came primarily from racing. It began in the Motorcycle World Championship in 1969 in the 50cc class, and would race in the 125cc, 250cc, 350cc, and 500cc World Championships throughout the 1970s. Four titles were captured by Morbidelli between 1975 and 1977, with three in the 125cc class and one, in 1977, in the 250cc class. Racing activities ceased in 1982. 

There is currently no concrete indication from Morbidelli MBP that it intends to establish a racing effort.

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