Cagiva, the “Myth” of racing born from the Italian genius

If we talk about Cagiva we cannot avoid talking about the Castiglioni brothers and of the movement that this surname has generated in Italian motorcycling. Assuming that a simple article would not be enough for Claudio and Gianfranco, it is essential to say that their company in the past had bought Ducati, Moto Morini, Husqvarna (to then resell them) and subsequently MV Agusta, of which the family is still within the frameworks. .

But what was special about the Castiglioni and their motorcycles? First of all that they were Italian and then, that many models were the result of a brilliant, almost humoral and instinctive passion, of the owners of this factory and its designers. Cagiva has not only produced many models for the public, but has also competed in the major world championships on the track and off-road. From motocross to enduro, from rally raids to the world championship, Cagiva is still a name evocative of great feats and beauty.

The intuition of the Myth

One of the strongest commercial intuitions of the group was the production of a model intended for sixteen year olds, with an engine capacity of 125, but with undoubted performance, called Cagiva Mito. Presented in 1990 as an evolution of the Cagiva Freccia, it was a “naked” that was fitted with the same seven-speed engine as the first, revised and improved. Later, a fairing kit was produced to convert it into a sports bike.

Its single cylinder 124.63cc. it was liquid-cooled powered by a Dell’Orto PHBH 28 RD carburetor and developed 31.13 Hp. The front fork and rear mono shock absorber are Marzocchi both equipped with preload. Completing the picture of quality components is the entire Brembo braking system with single front and rear discs.

Intended for younger motorcyclists, since 1991 it came out of the factory already equipped with a fairing which made it, in fact, the small version of the powerful and grumpy C589 two-strokes, which competed in the premier class of the World Championship. Still the same year, it came out in the “Lucky Explorer” colorway, copying the Elefant with which Edi Orioli had triumphed at the 1990 Dakar.

The livery of the champion

The most famous livery of the Mito was the all red one, with the number “7” of Eddie Lawson on the tail, to celebrate the first world victory obtained in 1992 in Hungary, precisely at the hands of the American 500 champion. it made a grand prix motorbike appear, with license plate and lights. Over time, the graphics of the fairings became a celebratory and advertising vehicle, to tell the Cagiva companies in the world.

Among the various ones, the Mito Denim (1991), the “John Kocinski” replica (1994), the Lucky Explorer as the winner of the Sport Production championship by a certain Valentino Rossi (1995) and the Lucky Explorer rebuilt on Jordi Arcarons’ Elefant (1996). In 1994, however, the design of the Mito was overturned by another intuition. Sergio Robbiano who, after having signed one of the most important Ducatis in history, the 916, re-proposed the line of the Bolognese twin on the new 125.

In those years, Ducati was managed by Cagiva who had in his Research Center (CRC), the brilliant Massimo Tamburini and Ducati saw the dawn of maximum splendor with the motorcycles protagonists of the Superbike World Championship, while the adventure in the World Championship ended. of GP bikes. Another move that, although commercial, highlighted the company’s passion and attention to this sentiment, common to motorcyclists.

A name, a destiny

Myth in name and in fact, it is a very powerful 125 and in the category it is respected and admired. A weakened series arrives on the market to make it more commercial, but after 1999 the production of the full power model is stopped and only the second remains. In 2007 it definitively went out of production, replaced by the SP525.

From one myth to another

The last of the gritty 125 a 2-stroke, the 525 takes up the C594 driven by Kocinski in the World Championship, but to be registered in the Euro III category and comply with anti-emissions laws, it was equipped with a new Dell’Orto fuel system and an electronic control unit. who controlled him. In 2012, the production of the Mito was definitively abandoned to concentrate efforts and research on the MV Agusta F3 project. The glorious brand of Count Agusta so loved by the founders of Cagiva.


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