Once again, we turn to Italy for some of the finest motorcycles to date. So let us talk about Aprilia.
Founded right after the 2nd world war, Aprilia first opened their door as a bicycle shop and later began making their first motor driven bicycle.
Although the founder of Aprilia was Cavaliere Alberto Beggio, it was to change hands in 1968 to his son Ivano Beggio, who in turn, much like the American Auto Manufacturers, decided to diversify. This choice may have been the possible downfall of Aprilia, as who has ever heard of an auto manufacturer also making eye glasses.
Aprilia's first motorcycle was not a motorcycle at all. From their start with bicycles, Aprilia then moved on to mopeds, then finally to motocross bikes, in which they started production of these in 1970.
Throughout the late 70's and into the early 80's the Aprilia Motorcycles made their grandstanding debut into the racing circuits of Europe.
In order to serve the public better and to keep costs down, Aprilia, in 1985 outsourced their engines to utilise the famous Rotax engines in their high speed racing motorcycles.
In 1995, due to their amazing architectural design, Aprilia made The Motò, which is now available to view at New York's Modern Art Museum.
Aprilia's racing division is of course top notch, with wins in the FIM 250 cc World Championship, the FIM 125cc World Championship and the FIM MotoGP World Championship. Aprilia also has wins in the FIM 500cc World Championship, which is now defunct.
In 2004 Aprilia was acquired by Piaggio & Co., who has since leaped Aprilia world wide as a direct competitor to the Japanese motorcycles, and their motorcycle built a loyal and prominent following amongst American sport riders.
Under the Piaggio & Co. umbrella, Aprilia shares its fame with sister companies Moto Guzzi and Vespa, just to name a few. Piaggio & Co. has as of today, 9 different motorcycle name badges, producing just over 600,000 motorcycles and mopeds a year for export to over 50 countries.
Aprilia has today, won over 101 World Championship races and 15 World GP Championships. This is of course, in their efforts to compete directly against their Japanese competitors.
Aprilia is now considered the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in Europe, just behind their parent company Piaggio. They employ over 1,500 people on their assembly lines and an additional 3,500 people through their suppliers. This is a great number seeing as though when Ivano took over Aprilia for his father, they only had 25 employees.
Aprilia will also be allowing a user to customise their motorcycle on the internet for a direct purchase online without the need of a dealer.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 06/06/2008