New to motorcycle manufacture, the Castiglioni brothers’ Cagiva was formed in the 1970s to purchase Aermacchi from Harley-Davidson and continue production of the two-stroke machines. Then, in 1985 the company purchased, and saved, failing Ducati. Production of the latter’s sports and touring machines continued on under the Ducati badging in Panigale, but Cagiva made use the company’s powerplants to produce its own series of very stylish motorcycles in their Aermacchi factory in Varese.
Introduced in 1999 in the USA, the Gran Canyon was another masterpiece from the drawing board of Pierre Terblanche, a development of the Elefant dual sport machine in a light and agile package, certainly compared to offerings from BMW or Triumph. Ducati’s torquey 904cc 2-valve, belt drive, air-cooled, fuel injected v-twin was at the heart and pumped out 70bhp for a top speed of 117mph. Up front are Marzocchi 45mm forks with a single Sachs shock at the back with Nissin stopping power.
Said Motorcycle Consumer News: “The Cagiva Gran Canyon’s short gearing, narrow tires and wide bars make for a quick-turning and flickable machine that loves to romp from corner to corner. The seat and screen are day-long comfortable, and the package still works well with a pillion”
Only 550 examples were imported into the States, making this quite a rare sight now.
The 1999 Cagiva 904cc Gran Canyon offered here hails from the collection of a late Nevada enthusiast. With 14,173km on the odometer, which equates to a little over 8,700 miles, the bike is offered in excellent condition throughout. It starts easily, idles well and offers great power – it pulls like a sportbike! Brakes, suspension and all electrical systems work perfectly. The bike comes with original 3-piece hard luggage and a full set of tools. This rare and quite exotic dual-sporter is bound to be unique in any group ride.
Location: Ventura, California