Electric Power Bike’s Future by Up-and-coming Brand Key Person
It is the design company that the successor of Castiglioni family, well known for the foundation of Cagiva and resurrection of MV Agusta, newly work on.
And this year the corporation goes into the electric power bike as a new development!
It seems that exciting guys initiate exciting things. One of the key persons is Giovanni Castiglioni. He is a sun of Claudio Castiglioni, who had led Ducati’s huge success in 1990’s and the revival of MV Agusta in 1999, and had headed MV Agusta after his father’s death. After leaving MV Agusta, he founded a new corporation in the end of 2020. It is C-Creative and does a product design business.
In our exclusive interview, he told “I had been dealing with motorcycle designs as my family business, and it is one of the reasons why I came up with the idea of founding a design business. In designing, not automotive manufacturing, I can broaden the area to all industrial products without limiting to motorcycles. On the other hand, our main business is mobility product designs where I can utilize my past experience and specialist knowledge.”
And to C-Creative, his two close aids in MV Agusta times joined as the co-founders. One is design director, Adrian Morton, and the other is managing director, Paolo Bianchi. The three gentlemen had firmed their next business plan from early in 2019, and they simultaneously left MV Agusta and started C-Creative.
Adrian handled the designs of F4 and Brutale-750 with legendary Massimo Tamburini and led the design team as the successor to Mr. Tamburini, generating a number of beautiful motorcycles.
Adrian told “The most impressive work for me in MV Agusta is the first generation of F3. It was a challenging one which is required to inherit Tamburini spirit while making new history. But, I did it for 100% on my own. After taking over from Tamburini, I had been working freely and felt very comfortable. Also, I thought MV was a great brand, and then it was a difficult decision for me to leave the firm. But, I am in my 50’s. I thought that this would be the last chance to make a big challenge in my life and then decided to participate in C-Creative foundation.”
“I want to make my design go beyond motorcycles. I felt that the mentality in motorcycle designs has not evolved from 25 years ago. I am excited to get a sense of new generations by making my mindset open.” He emphasized his passion, while he seems also eager to make proposals for making the motorcycle develop.
A Challenge in a Different World from MV Agusta
Paolo, the other co-founder, copes with administration and operation management, which is the same roles as he did in MV Agusta. He first met Giovanni 27 years ago. He said. “He is my best friend nowadays. He is extremely unique, but his motto ‘Shoshi Kantetsu – carrying out one’s own original intention’ is consistent with my one. We have overcome a lot of difficulties together. Of course, I trust him and communication between us is perfect.”
C-Creative founded by these three congenial gentlemen, who made an era, has been energetically expanding its businesses since its foundation although it is merely a year or so.
The first big move was the acquisition of Q-ID, a same Italian design corporation. Q-ID has its strength in motorcycle and industrial products. Paolo explained. “Before the acquisition, we had well known each other including employees through joint projects and so on.”
“Q-ID’s main business was the engineering design. We thought that our business growth can be accelerated by combining our free design business with their one.” Giovanni added.
Consistent to Giovanni’s statement, the business after the acquisition has enjoyed success. In the motorcycle area, the corporation currently has projects with two Europeans, three Chinese and one Indian corporations. Additionally, it has several projects in the areas of automobile, medical equipment and luxurious furniture now.
Separately, Giovanni is a biker by nature. “Our business is the design, but I want to plan and manufacture hyper bikes – special models of extremely limited productions – in the future. This would take so long.” He talked about part of his dream.
In contrast, a business realistically expected to develop in the near future is the e-bike – electric bike – business. C-Creative incorporated Stealth into its group which is an e-bike brand and developed by John Karambalis since 2008.
John was working under Ian Drysdale, who is famous for the development of supersports with V8 engine, while he set about the development of e-bikes in that factory. After that, he started up Stealth. The corporation produced merely 50 bikes a year in the beginning period, but saw a gradual increase of orders including military-related ones, and the production climbed to 500 bikes per annum in some period of time. Then, in the times of COVID pandemic, the client orders doubled overnight, and the corporation went into partnership with C-Creative.
“Giovanni thankfully bought a B-52 e-bike from us. Then, I became a friend with him, and we often discussed the industry’s future trends. He invited me to Italy, introduced Adrian and Paolo, and my interest in them grew.” John told.
B-52 Giovanni bought is a vehicle like an electric moped. B-52 runs with three types of drive, electric only like a scooter by turning the throttle, electrically assisted bike-like (i.e. by stepping on the pedals with motor assist,) motor (i.e. electric) with pedal acceleration assist.
Giovanni described the appeals of B-52. “Before riding on, I thought the drive performance wouldn’t compare with the motorcycle and underestimated it. However, it actually showed very high performance, which surprised me. Now, I have two B-52 and enjoy riding off-road bikes, like in forest, with my son.”
B-52 has a motor with 6.2kW and 80 kilometer an hour at maximum. Additionally, its light body enables excellent acceleration. E-bike’s vehicle category and standards differ by country and region, but basically this level of performance requires the riders to have driver’s licenses for running on roads, and the body needs to be equipped with safety parts.
However, “Adapting the vehicles to respective state laws is technically not a problem at all.” John commented. However, the standards and legislation for e-bikes and electric bikes are in the transition period. “This matter needs riders’ backing and lobbying. One firm can’t help.”
John added. In the case of Japan, vehicles with 0.6 or below kW, more than 0.6 to 1.0kW and more than 1.0kW are classified into ‘motorized bicycle type 1’, ‘motorized bicycle type 2’ and ‘standard two-wheel motor vehicle’ respectively, while riding on a bike with 20 or more kW needs to have ‘large two-wheel motor vehicle’ license separately. That legislation is relatively new and it is a complex situation.
Although e-bike has these problems, the members from Stealth and C-Creative believe “E-bike market is going to see a further significant growth.” It is a world’s topic to shift to clean electric power energy, the bike is gradually onto the trend. Additionally, it is highly likely that the electric power assisted bicycle will attract the spotlight for the promotion of public health. Hence, “Stealth will develop a broad range of products, e-bikes with pedals, electric power scooter etc. which target off-road bikers” the members unanimously said. Certainly, C-Creative is going to be involved in the designs of those vehicles. “Actually, MV Agusta in my father’s age once set about the development of e-bike. At that time, it seemed 10 year too early to do so, but nowadays e-bike is becoming common in Italy and European countries.” Giovanni described the European states.
Paolo told his personal preference like typical bikers. “I personally like engine sounds, burnt mufflers, and gasoline smell more. But, the youth accept e-bike and that trend will continue going forward.”
Adrian, a riding sport lover, told. “I have MV Agusta’s F3 and BMW’s GS. But, the hottest now for me is some manufacturer’s skateboard with the maximum speed of 45 kilometer an hour. My son also loudly praised it “It’s cool!” We shouldn’t instinctively avoid, like e-bike, only because it is an electric power vehicle, and if we try to have open mindset and are exposed to new generation vehicles with challenging spirits, that leads to new fun.”
Stealth plans to expand its distribution channels first from Italy to all Europe, next the US and Australia. The Japanese launch of Stealth products seems to take some time. But, we can’t take our eyes off the moves of and electric power bikes from ‘the four enthusiastic bikers”, who knows well about the essence of the bike’s fun as their personal experiences.