Cagiva is a motorcycle manufacturing company started in 1950 by Giovanni Castiglioni in Varese, Italy. Cagiva started out as a small metal component producer, then began the motorcycle business in 1978. The famous Cagiva WMX 125 would be produced the following year in 1979.
It only took a couple of years for Cagiva to show just how serious they were about entering the increasingly competitive motocross realm. They showed their enthusiasm when they experimented with innovative Ribi forks on the 1980 WMX125, which would eventually become well known for being on some of Honda’s experimental bikes as well.
1985 was an exciting year for Cagiva as Pekka Vehkonen brought them a coveted world championship. Ducati was also purchased by Cagiva in 1985 but was later sold in 1996.
1987 led to the buyout of Husqvarna (currently owned by BMW), and in 1991 they also bought the brand MV Agusta. MV Agusta would become the parent company for Cagiva and was later sold to Harley Davidson in 2008. Harley then sold MV Agusta in 2009 back to the original owner, Claudio Castiglioni.
Cagiva motocross bikes were innovative powerhouses to say the least, especially for the time period. The factory 1985 WMX125 produced a whopping 37 ponies, and the ’86 factory 125 was dialed down to 35 hp to smooth out the powerband and improve torque. Cagiva’s motocross bikes also pushed the boundaries of suspension technology with their forks working very similarly to modern bikes, one fork for spring and one for dampening.