decades ago, back in 1994, American rider John Kocinski was winning races and
getting podium finishes on one of the most beautiful 500cc GP bikes of all time
- the glorious, gorgeous Cagiva C594. Powered by a two-stroke 498cc V4 that
produced 177bhp at 12,600rpm, the C594 was fitted with a hybrid carbonfibre/aluminium
twin-spar chassis, had a carbonfibre swingarm and weighed just 122 kilos. It was
a very high-tech machine, with programmable EPROM chips for variable ignition
timing, a sophisticated fuel-injection system, electronically contolled
semi-active suspension, and even an experimental traction control system, which
could cut out one or two of the V4's cylinders in certain situations, to reduce
wheelspin. All this, back in the early 1990s!
Back in January 2003, Cycle World magazine ran
a story about Cagiva's announcement that they would build and sell 25
replicas of the C594 grand prix racer, which would be built in Varese, Italy, by
the same team that had built the original, 1990s Cagiva 500 GP race bikes.
Production was supposed to start in mid-2003 and prices for each of the GP
replicas was expected to be in the region of US$100,000. Nothing came of these
So is the idea of a (streetlegal?) Cagiva 500 GP replica finally dead? Hmmm.
Maybe not. Last year,
Fast Bikes magazine spoke to MV Agusta's owner, Giovanni Castiglioni,
and discussed the possibility of a Cagiva revival. 'You know, the Cagiva C594 is
a cool bike. I have two ideas; I think it could be nice to take the MV F3
chassis, and put the two-stroke, 197bhp C594 engine inside it, and not even
homologate it. It would be just for fun. Imagine the fun you can have with that
bike,' said Giovanni. 'I also have something special in mind, perhaps a limited
production, and it is not fully decided yet. I would like to make a tribute to
my father and we thought about a ‘super’ MV. Then I ask, why not make an exact
replica of John Kocinski’s C594? I think the collectors would go crazy for it.
It has not dated, even now it is beautiful. I do not want to make any money from
it, it’s a tribute,' he added.
'Imagine, over 190bhp with only 130kg, 20 years ago! The Cagiva C594 was so
special. I was looking at the spec in planning this and the throttle bodies were
£20,000 in 1994! Even the Öhlins forks were £16,000. I discovered this when
asking them to provide the forks,' said Giovanni.
Faster & Faster