Following on from the bad news about EBR’s sudden closure, news from Italy seems to all but confirm that Marzocchi has ceased production of its suspension components and will be running down stock and ceasing all operations within a few months. This will have a large impact on a number of motorcycle companies.
Marzocchi currently supplies suspension to virtually the entire MV Agusta range, a number of Ducati motorcycles including the Hypermotard SP and Diavel, plus a number of bikes from Bimoto and BMW – including the just released BMW 1200 R. They’ve previously supplied the likes of KTM, Husqvarna and others too which will cause potential problems down the road with servicing and repairs.
While there’s no firm support for Marzocchi at the moment, the fact that a number of brands rely on them means there is potential for a savior still. Mercedes AMG with its connections to MV Agusta, or the Volkswagen Group with its ownership of Ducati are two likely contenders.
The supposed reason for Marzocchi’s demise is the high costs involved in developing the next-generation of suspension. In the last few years, electronic semi-active suspension has become the new benchmark in higher end motorcycles which will no doubt trickle down to cheaper bikes as the years roll on. That seems a long bow to draw as Marzocchi already produces both semi-active forks and suspension and therefore the majority of the initial capital expense has been spent.
Secondly, Tenneco (Marzocchi’s parent company) owns Monroe, a well established suspension brand in the car industry who already offer a sophisticated electronic suspension system and one would assume any current or future R&D costs would be spread across said companies. So perhaps Tenneco’s decision is less to do with wanting to get out of the suspension business and more related to the cost of doing business in Italy and the heavily unionized workers at the Bologna factory.