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Aprilia's misfortune was not an unforeseen event here in Europe. Beggio's fortune was entirely based on being a giant scooter manaufacturer. The motorcycle ambition was to be able to challenge the Japanese in Europe and become the world's 5th largest motorcycle company. He used the cash flow from scoooter sales to gear up for motorcycles, first the development of the RSV and then outbidding Ducati for Moto Guzzi and acquiring Laverda. When Italy's scooter market tanked (down 43%) the party was over. My personal belief is that Rotax of Austria will take on the motorcycle side of the equation, it won't be terribly expensive and they already make the Pegaso & RSV engines. The scooter franchise is another issue and one where the fighting will be intense. Keep watching.
 

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I almost forgot, BMW is in on this as well. Talks apparently had been underway for Aprilia to at least partly manufacture/assemble the new F650 whe it comes out in 2006. They have a stake in this one too.
 

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Apparently when they introduced mandatory helmet laws and enforced them!!!!! in other words if you're going to wear a helmet ride a propoer bike.
 
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