MOTOVILLA – THE HISTORY 1967
The firm was born thanks to the experience of Francesco Villa, a skilful racer and technician for Ducati, FB Mondial and Montesa, who had built a two-stroke 125 racing motorcycle in 1965, called Beccaccino, which was lately given to the Spanish Montesa.
The new-born company manufactured the PR, its first product, in 1968. It was born from the evolution of the Beccaccino and it was released in the middle of that year. On the basis of this project, Villa manufactured the 250 PR, which ended up being a success, since many racers chose it for their professional competitions.
In 1970 the company committed itself to the project for a new 250 cm³ V-type parallel-twin two-cylinder motorcycle and to the manufacturing of a 50 cm³ motorcycle, both dedicated to competitive racings, which obtained great results. On the basis of this motorcycle, the company built also a 125 with the same engine manufacturing, which achieved excellent results at the Italian 125 Senior Championship in 1971.
The first creations in the new sector were a 50 and a 125 cm³ which adopted Franco Morini engines. With the manufacturing of these motorcycles, the company also stopped being an Italian Montesa importer and moved its business from Modena to Crespellano.
In 1973 the company also started the independent creation of CR models, equipped with 250 and 450 cm³ engines. The Cross version ad Enduro version of the CR were put into production at the end of the same year and continued until 1976.
That year, the company presented also the new FV model, equipped with 250 and 350 engines, which was produced until 1978 in the Cross and Enduro versions. These motorcycles won everywhere. Some remarkable victories were: the 250 Cross Cadetti Italian Championship in 1975, 1976, 1977 and the 250 cm³ Cross Juniores Italian Championship in 1976.
At the end of 1978 the company presented the new MX series, which started to be manufactured in 1979 with 250, 350 and 410 cm³ air-cooled engines, always in the Cross and Enduro versions.
This model won the Cross 500 Senior Italian Championship. After the MX series, came the MX1 series with modified frames and compact engines and at the same time the firm started its first attempts to introduce water-cooling engines for the 125 cm³.
Starting from the end of 1981 the firm adopted monocross rear suspensions (that is to say with a single shock absorber instead of two) for all the range, followed by the introduction of water-cooling engines also for the 250.
Always in 1981 the company proposed the new 125 TT4, a motorcycle exclusively dedicated to competitive racings, which was developed with the contribution of young Luca Cadalora, who worked as an apprentice in Francesco Villa’s workshop at that time. The same manufacturing techniques were applied also to the frames of other manufacturers (le stesse tecniche di costruzione vennero applicate anche a telai di altri costruttori) . In the 1980s there were several technical and mechanical innovations which were applied to racing motorcycles, with excellent results in the competitions. Always in the 1980s the range of production was expanded also to street motorcycles such as the Italia, the Seebring and the Daytona, whereas among the new off-road models the new one were the Tempestino and the 495 MCA, which should have been the core model in cross competitions, but remained only prototypes instead, and the Enduro Rommel 350 cm³. The Moto Villa brand achieved great results also in go-karting: Moto Villa won the 125 Junior Italian Championship and the 125 Kart French Championship.
In 1984 Moto Villa suffered a sudden decline, also due to the competition with the big Japanese firms, which are now leaving less and less space to small manufacturers. Villa started to reduce his activity more and more, until it stopped it in 1987. In the 1990s it came back with the importation of scooters from the Far East.
After more than thirty years managing the motorcycles of the greatest off-road manufacturers, Cross 2R has turned over a new leaf and has taken an important decision by changing completely: from team to manufacturer.
On 28th June 2012 the Bivio family announced the acquisition of Moto Villa. The choice of giving new life to a historic brand such as Moto Villa is the result of a deep analysis of a company that has being operating in the motorcycle field for fifty years and that was famous for building not only motorcycles but also engines, something that is very uncommon among “artisanal” motorcycle firms. A determinant factor which affected Bivio family’s choice concerns the recent news in the competitive sector: the return of two-stroke engines, which in the past were scaled down in order to favour the four-stroke ones. With such a situation, only a few manufacturers are filling this “vacuum of production”. Now the trend is aiming to an important coming back of two-strike engines: in particular, the off-road is a niche for the big motorcycle firms, but for this company represents an immense basin. For this reason, the Japanese giants, who were leaders in this type of engine manufacturing till some years ago, have been caught unprepared and their timing of reaction towards these novelties is very long. In addition, for the Japanese multinationals the problem of manufacturing a great number of motorcycles is urgent, whereas it represents a delightful opportunity for Moto Villa to occupy this field in a short time, since it has a greater elasticity in the conversion of its production, thanks to its corporate dimension and structure.