At today’s International Motorcycle Exhibition (EICMA) in Milan, Caterham Group launched a range of three prototype bikes, offering the promise of Caterham’s road-car DNA in two-wheel form.
The move follows Caterham’s announcement at the Malaysian Grand Prix to enter a race team in the 2014 Moto2 championship.
The three initial products on display range from what Caterham describe as the first ever two-wheel SUV to a carbon fibre bike inspired by F1 technology.
You might be asking, “what does Caterham know about building motorbikes?” And the answer to that question isn’t immediately obvious. The new bikes division will be headed by Al-Ishsal Ishak, who comes from his previous role with AirAsia as Group Head of Ancillary Income. He is supported by a management team including Chief Designer Alessandro Tartarini, Chief Engineer Zeno Panarari and ex-MotoGP racer, Andreas Leuthe who will head up the distribution and sales function.
“We are realistic and honest enough to know that we’re not in the business of rivalling the establishment; we’re here to offer an alternative that befits the spirit of Caterham,” said Ishak.
“Just as the Caterham Seven is a motoring icon because of its unique design and engineering credibility, Caterham Bikes’ products will be aimed at a niche audience seeking exceptional quality, bespoke design flare and bikes easy enough for anyone to ride.”
Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, Co-Chairman of Caterham Group, said “We are establishing ourselves in markets where we can bring new thinking, innovative concepts and products that will be game-changers – we have partnered with industry experts and we have long-terms plans for the business that are ambitious but achievable, the perfect mix for success.”
The prototype bikes include the Brutus 750 (dubbed the ‘SUV of motorcycles’), Classic E-Bike (an all-electric, bike with retro styling) and the Carbon E-Bike (a premium electric bike inspired by F1 technology). Caterham say all will be priced affordably, with production of the Brutus 750 beginning in Spring 2014 followed by the two electric bikes later in the year.
The two-wheeled division joins Caterham F1 Team, Caterham Racing (GP2), Caterham Technology & Innovation, Caterham Composites and the latest arm, Caterham Moto Racing Team, all reporting in to Graham MacDonald, who was recently named Caterham Group CEO.