Longtime MD readers will be well aware that both Dirck and I are big fans of the concept of a lightweight, single-cylinder streetbike, whatever the configuration. Although there are currently a few street-legal supermoto style machines available in the U.S., I can’t think of anyone offering a lightweight single configured as either a roadrace-replica or a standard (or ‘naked’).
Recently, Cagiva has been displaying a new concept single at motorcycle shows around the world, with the bike making its first appearance at last month’s EICMA Show in Milan before appearing in the U.S. at the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show. Called the Mito 500, the concept combines the chassis from Cagiva’s Mito 125 (a two-stroke race-replica which has long been popular in Europe, partly due to its 916-esque Massimo Tamburini styling) with a 500cc single-cylinder four-stroke borrowed from sister brand Husqvarna’s off-road and supermoto line. Cagiva claims the Mito 500 puts out 60hp, and weighs 293lbs (133kg).
Although Cagiva’s promotional material describes the motor as a 500cc, it seems likely to be a version of the 510cc powerplant used in Husqvarna’s TE/TC/SMR510 models. Since those bikes are already DOT-certified for street registration in the U.S., it doesn’t seem that it would be too difficult to make the Mito 500 road-legal.
The Mito 125 has a reputation for excellent handling and quality suspension, using a twin-spar aluminum perimeter frame suspended by 40mm USD Marzocchi forks and a Sachs monoshock at the rear. Braking is again high-quality, using a single 320mm disc clamped by a Brembo four-piston floating caliper.
In a bike weighing under 300lbs, all this sounds like it would add up to exciting performance for beginners and experts alike. I’ve said before that there should be a category of modern sportbikes slotting in below the 600cc inline-fours, and a bike this light could run rings around a 600 on a tight, twisty road. If Cagiva really wants to assure the bike’s success, they could update the beautiful but dated styling to create a ‘Mini-MV’ carrying the gorgeous lines of the Tamburini-styled MV Agusta F4.
Will Cagiva bring the Mito 500 to the U.S.? The bike is not confirmed for production, although it seems fairly certain it will be sold in Europe at the very least. We’ve heard that Cagiva was asking for feedback on the Mito 500 at the Long Beach motorcycle show, so apparently their decision will depend on you, the consumer. Drop me an email with your opinion on the Mito 500, and we’ll try to get your comments to Cagiva.