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For our visitors who found their way into this discussion area directly, here is the latest press release from Superbike Racing Inc. that was posted on our main page. For a little historical perspective please visit our main page at: www.benelliforum.com


PRESS RELEASE September 18th 2003

On September 10, 2003, management representatives from Benelli, Spa and Superbike Inc. met in Federal Court. The purpose of the hearing was to determine if the injunction excluding Benelli motorcycles from U.S. shores should be removed. The hearing lasted from 9:30 AM to about 3:30 PM with 2 15-minutes breaks.

Mr. Andrea Merloni’s testimony on the stand proved most interesting. A number of points were brought out during his replies:

1) Merloni said that all of the Benelli importers are losing money.

2) According to Merloni, the “Tornado Tre” motorcycle does NOT have any problems. And that it is Superbike, Inc. who is spreading false rumors about the bike.

3) Merloni’s sole motivation in owning and running Benelli was to make money.

4) Merloni feels that it is importer’s responsibility to warehouse and sell the motorcycles. Benelli’s responsibility for their product ends after it is paid for and delivered.

5) The press release Superbike Inc. issued recently has hurt his business.

6)Merloni is unaware of what was going on in his company.

7)Merloni fired Sandro Caparelli; one reason was because Mr. Caparelli did not know how to pick good importers to represent Benelli.

8) Merloni refused to do business with Superbike Inc. under any circumstances. He stated he would not honor the distribution agreement he has signed.

9) Merloni stated that there were no differences between U.S. specification motorcycles and European specification motorcycles.

10) If other people lose money while doing business with Benelli, it is not his problem.

11) Merloni was concerned that Superbike Inc. was going to sabotage the test bike so it wouldn’t pass the U.S. EPA test.

12) Merloni said the “Tornado Tre” passed the U.S. EPA test on Dec. 3rd, 2002; the test in fact the “Tornado Tre” passed U.S. EPA testing in the first week of April, 2003 after extensive work by Superbike Racing, Inc. and other companies.

13) Merloni stated that Superbike Inc. had done a great deal of damage to Benelli’s image; he estimated the resulting financial loss at about $10 million, but was unable to produce documents to substantiate this.

14) Merloni said that his father (Mr. Vittorio Merloni) is 70 years of age and doesn’t have any interest in Benelli’s operations. Vittorio Merloni’s personal secretary was contacted and stated that Benelli was now a part of the Merloni Group and as such Vittorio was in charge of directing Benelli’s operations.

15) Merloni was asked if he would pay expenses, loss of profits and damages that Superbike Racing, Inc. had sustained as the result of the cancelled distribution agreement. He said he would pay whatever arbitration (currently under way in Italy) awards Superbike Inc.

16) When asked in court why he had not paid Superbike back the money he had taken from them, He said he was keeping it SAFE. The Merloni family is one of the richest in Italy.

Mr. Sandro Caparelli has engaged an attorney to represent him in Italy as Benelli has yet to pay him the severance package required by Italian Labor Law. Benelli said they would pay Sandro if he signed a document stating that he was to blame for all the mistakes that were made by Benelli. He refused. Mr. Caparelli was terminated from Benelli on June 03.

Benelli has invoiced the Swiss importer Technopolymer for re payment of 17.000.00 Euro’s to be paid back to them because he failed to achieve his sales target this year. Or purchase 17 more bikes that he cannot sell during the winter period of October to March. The importer states that the bikes were five months late and when they did arrive the bikes suffered with many problems. Causing the importer great difficulty in selling product and achieving his target.

Superbike, Inc. was recently contacted by D.O.T compliance authorities regarding the compliance labels. Since Benelli, Spa did not produce the required labels and affix them to their vehicles, the 19 test and demonstration motorcycles and scooter Superbike, Inc. has in their possession are in violation. The violation fine is $15,000.00 for the first vehicle and $5,000.00 fine per day/per vehicle for each day the non compliant vehicle remains in the U.S. ($95,000). Therefore, the first two days of violation will amount to $200,000.00 in fines. Superbike, Inc. is attempting to return the test and demo vehicles back to Benelli, Spa to avoid these severe financial penalties. So far Benelli has ignored the correspondence sent to them by Superbike, Inc.

Arbitration between Benelli, Spa and Superbike Inc. began in Italy on September 9th, 2003 and is expected to continue until April, 2004. Superbike Inc. has not received a refund of the deposit it gave Benelli, Spa for the first shipment of motorcycles and scooters it contracted for; payment of $250,000 was tendered to Benelli some 10,11 and 17 months ago.

Superbike Inc. sustained massive cash outlays of nearly $900.000.00 during Benelli’s introduction in the U.S. and has also had to bear the ongoing cost of litigation in Italy and the U.S.. It is doubtful that Superbike Inc. will remain viable until some sort of financial settlement is finally received from Benelli, SPA. On Benelli’s past history and track record of paying we wonder if this will ever happen However, the founders of Superbike Inc. have vowed to continue litigation in the U.S. and in Italy until justice is served.

Andrew Wright

President of Superbike Inc.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Superbike Racing vs Benelli

It is interesting to me that Superbike Racing (which has never replied to any of my inquiries in the past ten months!), keeps pointing fingers at Benelli and also telling others that "no one would have one" has such a completely different story than Benelli. My wife and I were in Italy for the Milan show, and SBK at Imola the following weekend, and had the wonderful opportunity to meet the people of Benelli and tour their factory. Not only do they have plenty of bikes available for shipping but they seem to run out just fine! Hmmmm.... gossip says "they are unavailable" "they don't run right" etc., with my own eyes I have seen differently. I think the people at Superbike racing should learn how to conduct business properly and quit being babies! And if someone e-mails and phones to leave messages about purchasing a motorcycle or a set of custom wheels for his Hayabusa, please have the courtesy to at least acknowledge them! My money seems to spend well with other shops...... get your act together guys!
 
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Probs

Hi Stan,

Sorry to here you've had a few probs.

I don't think the issue is with production of the bike, it's with the reliability of it.
I've had mine a number of months now and I can put my hand on my heart and say it's the most unreliable bike I've ever owned.

I hope everything works out for you.
 
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Re: Probs

OK this bike is unreliable, perhaps yes...but why an importer will order and retail motorbikes they never try before give it for sale.

Superbike Inc is complaining about the lack of testing of Benelli factory buy why have they been so idiot to buy dozen of bikes if these ones are so bad. If I want to do business with a factory I'll say "Yep I'll come to your factory and test one of these bikes".

I have tested myself the bike and you don't have to be engineer to feel the lack of power, the vibrating clutch and other...why depsite these facts Superbike wants anyway import it...are you blind ???

Now don't try to say that Benelli is selling products not fully tested, even if this is right you can't say that!! Have you tried yourself the bike or you are really ignorant about the mecanical things...

If you want the perfect bike to import, just put your money to Honda or Yamaha but with your lack of mecanical knowledge I doubt they give this position to your company...
 
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RE PROBS

Crimsondevil 11
There is a tremendous amount that you do not know regarding the business dealings between Benelli and Superbike.

Our contract with Benelli was that we had to purchase 400 Tornado's a year.
Benelli never told us that the bike suffered many design flaws, they never told us that they did not pay Sagem for 6 months.

Benelli did not tell us that they purchased obsolete discontinued ECU'S .They did not tell us that they were unable to re map the ECU.
Yes we are stupid. We trusted Benelli. It never occured to us that we were doing business with a pathelogical liar crook and cheat.
Benelli let us spend $900,000 before the @#%$ head Merloni cancelled our contract. Without just cause and now has no intention of paying us for our expenses. We honoured our contractual agreement.

The first batch of Tornado's were supposed to be delivered in January 03
Everyone should be thankful that the bike never made it to the U.S.A. You would not be happy if you had spent $19k for a piece of junk.
The bike did not pass EPA testing in December 02
I went to Benelli at least seven times in 02 none of the importers got to ride the Tornado.
We did not get to ride a Tornado.There were only two bikes available. Benelli would not supply us with a test bike until November 02

This bike was to be used for EPA testing. When it arrived it was totally ragged out the clutch was worn out the mapping was all screwed up the bike ran like @#%$.
We have only 2 Tornado's in stock one for display and one we have totally revamped.
I will put our test bike up against any bike that Benelli prepare. our bike runs better than anything Benelli can produce.
We have fixed many of the problems at great cost to us without any help from Benelli.
 
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Re: RE PROBS

Ok so If you don't test the product before buying it and you sell it to your customers that mean that's you are as bad as Benelli. And if you want modify your Tornado to have the best one that's your problem...

But I understand that's disapointing, I have feel the same with MV Agusta, but I don't complain about them I've just decided to change of brand. I've choose the Tornado because I like italian bikes...if we need the easy way we have to choose Honda...built a bike isn't that easy.

You complaint about Benelli's don't paid Sagem, try to compare with MV they don't pay any of the company they are working with...even Benelli Techno Mecanicca doesn't want no more work with them...

Try to be realistic, if you trade more than 300'000 $ without test the mass production bike and have the guarantee that the bike is homologated for your country, that mean it isn't the last time you will be screwed...
 
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RE PROBS

IF there is no product available to test what do you do ?
Tell Benelli you won't sign a contract or launch the product until it has been ridden ?

We had allocated to sell 1200 scooters also. We had $1.9 million worth of orders for the first quarter of 03
But we never got any scooters.
Benelli have $250.000 of our money in their bank which they have not returned
In December 02 we had a LOC ready to send for another $250.000

Come on get real.

The consumer in the U.S was saved the anguish and pain thanks to us at our expense.
The boys across the pond were screwed and the importers were aware of it.

You contradict yourself you are blaming us for Benelli's deceit lies etc and yet you are willing to spend $19 k on a piece of junk !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

When MV launched the F4 the bike was very good it did not have anywhere near the problems Benelli have.
They just got into financial difficulties three years later.
Castalioni did not screw Eraldo or any other of their importers.
 
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Re: RE PROBS

Yes that's right with my F4 :

-11 month to have one since my order
-broken conrod at 18'000 km
-2 times broken exhaust
-2 times burned fairing
-3 times oil filter unscrewed with lack of oil (1 time at 180 kmh on the hightway)
-1 shortcut in the light switch giving me the black out by night
-1 screw stressed too tight that not allow us to do valve clearence

But I'm not complaining because even on Jap bikes you will find burning exhausts and broken gear change (R1), bearing exploding everytime (CBR900 rear wheel) and camshafts braking (Kawasaki ZX7R and VFR)

And before thinking to buy the Benelli I was willing to buy the Brutale but my garage get none even if MV importer has swear to give them 4 bikes...

And concerning MV/Cagiva you are wrong they always had problems so far I was customer (13 years). But I'm not complaining because these bikes are good and I had always pleasure to drive them...

And finally yes I have spent 18'000 for the RS (not 19) but I have tried 2 long time with the standard bike (with new inj map) even this summer that was very hot and I have nothing to say avout except the clutch. But I'm confident about the solutions to solve this problem...yet if I don't like this bike I will not be angry because that was my decision...
 
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