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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Received From Andrew Wright -- Superbike Inc.,

UPDATE:* Arbitration Between Benelli s.p.a. and Superbike, Inc.

As I promised, here is the up-to-date situation on what happened*at the arbitration proceedings.* * The final witnessing at arbitration*took place*on March 15th, 2004 in Milan, Italy.* Superbike presented: our financier, Bill Auld, and our business consultant, Richard Clinton; an*affidavit from our banker*was also submitted.* Benelli presented: the manager of distribution, Alessandro Diosono and chief engineer, Flavio Zanzini.** We had another witness scheduled to appear on our behalf but he was unable to attend the proceedings.* The ex-Export Manager of Benelli, Sandro Caparelli, was unable to*attend due to health reasons and his appearance was rescheduled for one week later.

The arbitration panel was impressed with our testimony. The witnesses we presented did not try to stretch the truth and replied only to those matters that directly affected their participation in the company.* Benelli on the other hand was attempting to substantiate previous lies by coaching their witnesses.* Alessandro*Diosono presented a lengthy list of dates, times and events that were alleged to have taken place.* When the chief arbitrator began questioning him on the details for several events, Alessandro was unable to answer the questions.* His testimony had been rehearsed and it soon became obvious he was concealing the truth.* As a result, Alessandro’s testimony was discarded.

Benelli tried to file with the arbitration a claim for technical expertise on the damages the arbitration panel rejected this claim.*

The next witness for Benelli did not fare as well.* Flavio Zanzini attempted to conceal what he knew, but the chief arbitrator brought out the truth under cross examination.* Flavio was present when the EPA testing was performed on the Tornado.* Flavio Zanzini told the arbitrator that when Benelli sent the test bike to*Superbike in November, 2002 Benelli*knew the bike would not pass the EPA test as it was a bad bike. This was an intentional move on Benelli's part as Andrea Merloni thought it would*give him another reason to cancel*the distribution contract.* Flavio went on to say that he and Sandro Caparelli were instructed by Merloni*to visit another company in the U.S.A. to take over the homologation on behalf of Benelli.* The chief arbitrator asked Flavio to repeat his testimony once again so that he could confirm that what was said the first time and that he heard*it correctly.* Flavio put his head in his hands, covered his face in humiliation*and spoke with a very humble*and quiet voice. He repeated what he had said before.* Meanwhile, Andrea Merloni looked down at the floor without showing any emotion.

The chief arbitrator said "Mr. Wright; if Benelli offered to reinstate the contract would you accept it?"* I replied that in view of the way in which Andrea Merloni had behaved, I could not trust him to conduct business in a professional manner; I would always be wondering what dirty tricks he would play next.* The arbitrator then told Benelli that they must offer Superbike a cash lump sum settlement.* The arbitrator asked me if I would accept this. I told him that it would depend on the amount offered and the approval of our board of directors.

We then received an offer from Benelli of* 300,000 Euros. This amount does not come anywhere near* to cover our expenses or deposits.* We were told that it was all that Benelli could afford to pay us; if they had to pay us more money the company would have to file bankruptcy. How strange this is because only two weeks earlier Andrea Merloni announced to the press*that a new Benelli race team is to compete in the World*Endurance Series Championship.* The cost of fielding an endurance team along with support can easily run into millions of Euros.* Furthermore, in this month’s*issue of “Cycle World” magazine, Andrea Merloni stated that he intends to produce 2400 bikes this year.

In September, 2003 Andrea Merloni agreed to pay us and take back the bikes and scooters that we purchased from him in September, 2002.*So far, this has not materialized; Merloni never keeps any promises that he makes that will cost him money.* Merloni did tell me on January 23rd of this year at the factory in Pesaro that he will not pay Superbike, Inc. any money as we ”….don't deserve anything”.* This whole episode is just a game*to Merloni*because the outcome will not affect his lifestyle in any way.* All he wants to do is win at*ANY cost no matter who is hurt by his actions.*

I was in Italy*last week on business. I visited*a lot of*people in the motorcycle industry and they are all following this Benelli*saga very closely. Many*people told me that they are ashamed of the behavior of Merloni.* Not only are his actions damaging to Benelli, but the Italian motorcycle industry as a whole is getting “tarred with the same brush”.* I was told that it would be better if Merloni was not involved in the motorcycle industry.

Merloni has tried on several occasions to do business directly with*OUR U.S dealer network. They will not entertain any offer Benelli presents them because of Andrea Merloni’s actions. In fact, the dealers*want to sue Benelli for the substantial losses they have suffered because Merloni cancelled the distribution contract with Superbike.* The U.S. market is not available to Benelli; the door is firmly CLOSED.* Only Andrea Merloni can take full credit for this.* When he decided to*terminate the Superbike distribution contract and cut the quality of his product, I'll bet he never realized that it would end up costing him millions*of Euros in lost sales.*

Now Benelli has developed problems with their European distributors. Many owners are turning in their Tornados because they are so dissatisfied with the product and the service.* Benelli will not accept these motorcycles back nor have they provided effective solutions to the problems the bikes exhibit.* Rumors are running rampant that 3 Cross Motorcycles is terminating their franchise for England. Benelli and 3 Cross have*said nothing on the subject nor have they tried*to dispel the rumors.* You can only draw your own conclusions; Benelli is losing its distribution network.
Andrea Merloni will not accept that he*is to blame for all*the problems that Benelli is experiencing; he blames and then terminates Benelli employees who are powerless to resist him.* Merloni has no intention of paying Superbike what we are entitled to.* So,*I have decided that if he does not pay Superbike Inc. we will file for the ownership of the Benelli trade mark.* We are currently in the process of planning the revitalization of the Benelli product line after the ownership of Benelli s.p.a. has been secured.* Within a very short period of time, a new Tornado Superbike would be launched.* In the model year 2006, we have planned a revolutionary new Benelli *Superbike to launch in the world market.*

Does Benelli have a future?** The answer is “YES”, but only if it is owned and directed by enlightened management.* Our care and concern for the motorcycling industry and its customers has become evident to those observing our struggle with Andrea Merloni.* We are pleased to state that support for Superbike Inc is multi-national and sufficient capital has been forthcoming so we may implement our plan to revitalize Benelli, s.p.a.

Andrew Wright

Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Can't say I'm terribly surprised and it seems to back up what Andrew has said all along. Granted a bit emotionally from time to time but if I had lost US$900K I'd be pretty pi$$ed as well.

Anyone know if Benelli's issued a press release of their own?

Very interesting thought at the end - Superbike owning the trademark and (I assume) the designs, engineering, etc? Now THAT would be an interesting twist. Didn't know Andrew fancied himself a manufacturer.

As long as they keep the same styling - I just want a green/silver standard Tre that works please. I don't care who I buy it from. My US$20K is waiting....

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This sounds like a new Norton's story...:rollin

1) I still believe that if Merloni had giving you the bikes you have had sell them as they were...hence I think you are as bad as Merloni

2) You're speaking about EPA homologation and produce Tornados by yourself...Buells are american and EPA homologated bikes but worse than the Benelli to ride and finish is worse as well.

3) I have owned lots of Italian bikes and for me it seems that good bikes from these country are lost. Last week I just had a look to MV Agusta Brutale recently produced and it seems that quality is gone. I think the last 10 years Italian bikes were expensive to buy, but well crafted. Now and after the economical problems of early 2000 prices are still expensive but they get quality down. I'm also able to say that about the new Aprilia RSV '04....98' models were lot better in quality point of view.

4) In regard of these problems with italian bikes (not bad as I still think, but not as good as they were) I have cancelled the buy of the F4 1000 and I will go for the brand new R1.

5) Concerning my RS, next week I will turn it with fuel map 6105..but after 2400 km I can not say about this bike...WOOOOOOOW....but only...YES THIS BIKE IS NOT BAD... 2 weeks ago I have tested the 4 new jap bikes 1000cc. To my opinion the CBR is not good, GSXR little bit better, ZX10 not bad...and R1....WOOOOOW what a bike jezzzzzzzzz :eek

Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Andrew ,I will state for the record (like i have any influence :-( )
I appreciate your efforts, you have lost a shitload, you are after a functioning bike, maybe not a hp killer but I dont consider a bike has to has bulk hp, i think handling(brakes, suspension) is what you need to explliot hp ,not ponies . and I sincerely hope the future works out in your favour. I never will be in the position to built a motorcyle (although i do have a killer radial 8 design on paper. $$$ will never probably see my idea in running fruition) I appreciation your integrity. Motorcycles will only succeed with a heart that loves bikes, money is important (sadly) but heart is a bike (see any moto- guzzi sport rider) A benelli that still has Andrew Wright styling is important, a triple is crucial, but heart is the most important. I remember when ( I was five ,but history is my ally) the Australia was the worlds biggest Ducati recipient after the Italian home market in the seventies, ironically when their most collectible bikes where built(green frame 750 SS)
and the passion still lives here for a bunch of "wog bikes". Motorcyles are a creation of the heart , of passion, imagine seeing a bike at a motor show today if you have never seen one? " what!, if its not moving I will fall over!, f*%K that!!!", my father in law works for the West Australian authority the grants access to vehicles to travel on West Australan roads ( a state bigger than all of western Europe and 1/3 of the US continental states!)
(yeah ,big and flat) and bikes would never be allowed on roads today if they where a new idea, I own a VTR1000F firestorm (photos displayed somewhere on site). I'm not wealthy, my first born is due soon, John my aussie friend is a "aussie battler " in the true sense of the word.
I support Benelli and John and the tre due to a idealistic sense of its beauty( we mostly do, otherwise we would be riding R1 etc etc not any modern day italian bike), sure I have the romantic dream that my "fettled" VTR is a modern day green frame, but its not, it only makes a 100 RWBHP (its done 50,000kays, and its a 99 model and Ive been hit buy a car 4 times on it) but I sense you are a lover of bikes and you are after justice( we all know what right and wrong is, its a underniable gut fact).
I wish you the best my friend( for that is what any fellow motorcyclist should / would , weather I have met you or not) in seeking a fair settlement. Regardless of the outcome, good on you for trying, I'll buy you a beer any day. Keep us informed
I'm not a religious man in any sense of the word, but I sincerely hope that our brothers and sisters (of all nationalities) survives though the tragedy that Irag is. May peace bring our loved ones home

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Benelli or not Benelli ?!?

Sorry if i'm being arrogant, but there's no surprises there.
I always knew what kind of company Benelli is/was and the way they carry their business forward.

The real treat for me is that finally people, even those on this board, will need to conceed that Benelli couldn't run a pi$$ up in a brewrey.

I'm aware that there's a lot more going on in the UK as well as in Italy.
Are we allowed to talk about the 'people' changes at Benelli ????
Are we permitted to discuss the dealer probs in the UK?... and before anyone posts what/why/where, I'm not putting my nutts on the chopping block for spilling the beans first!!

Hey Crimson, Welcome to the "bland" jap bike club :rollin

Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Benelli or not Benelli ?!?

What do you mean "are we allowed"? You can say what you want...its a free forum? Some people may or may not agree with you but it doesn't stop you saying what you wish!!!


Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Benelli or Superbike Inc Benelli

Hi Andrew,

Yeh I know...I can't think that I've ever said anything about 3X, Benelli or the TRE without being able to substantiate it, leaving my conscious and wallet to sleep soundly incase of a slader or liable case.

I can tell you that I've heard it from two sources now that Oliver Glasser (Benelli's No2) has been $hit canned, the reasons are a bit sketchy but both sources suggested it was concerning performance - of course they are all just rumours :lol , nobody from Benelli has confirmed any of this.

The other issue is a bit of a hot-potato because of on-going legal wranglings, but it's fair to say that the UK distribution network is in disarray for many reasons.
I'm sure this will all come out 'in-the-wash' in a few weeks.

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