High performance car brand Abarth will be drawing on its rich two-wheel heritage when it appears at Motorcycle Live 2012, the UK’s largest motorbike show, next week.
Although it is best known today for its stunning range of performance hatchbacks, including the 500, 595, Punto Evo and Punto Evo Supersport models, Abarth has a long history in motorcycling.
The relationship between Abarth and motorbikes goes back to the 1920s and 1930s, when Karl Abarth was a highly regarded bike racer. In 1924 he designed and built his own motorcycle, which became the first vehicle to carry the Abarth name.
In 1934 Karl Abarth challenged the Orient Express to a race. Abarth, on a motorcycle and sidecar outfit, travelled the agreed race route in a shorter time than the legendary train.
Abarth’s show stand (3F61, Hall 3A) will feature the latest example of the Abarth 595 Competizione, along with the ‘Scorpione’ motorcycle, built as a tribute to Karl Abarth by specialist constructor Attitude Customs. The Abarth Racing Bug Experience will also be there, giving visitors a chance to drive these special radio controlled models.
“It’s a case of two wheels to four for us at this show,” says Ivan Gibson, head of Abarth UK. “It’s not often that a car manufacturer exhibits at a bike show, but there is so much motorcycle history and background in Abarth that it actually feels like a perfect fit.
“As a keen rider myself, I’m sure show-goers, many of them fellow bikers, will appreciate the 595 Competizione that we’re exhibiting. In terms of performance, looks and fun on the road, it’s right up there with the bikes.”
Motorcycle Live 2012 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham from 24 November to 2 December.