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Malaguti Drakon 125 Is Nearing Production

Malaguti’s Drakon 125 concept bike was first shown at the 2019 EICMA show.

Malaguti’s Drakon 125 concept bike was first shown at the 2019 EICMA show. (Malaguti/)

Malaguti as a company dates back to 1930 (with motorcycle manufacturing beginning in 1958) but it went out of business in 2011, spending the best part of a decade dormant before the name was revived by the KSR Group in Austria.

KSR already owns brands like Brixton and Motron and acts as a distributor for others including Lambretta, Italjet, and Sur-Ron, selling more than 60,000 products per year. It brought back the Malaguti name in 2018, initially selling rebranded versions of bikes from other manufacturers—including the Aprilia RS 125-based RST 125, the Derbi Mulhacen-derived Monte Pro 125, and the Aprilia SX 125-based XSM 125. In 2019 it revealed its first in-house-designed concept, the Drakon 125, at the EICMA show in Milan, and now new patents show that the production version of that design is nearly ready.

The new patents show a production version using much of the same styling, including the unique wraparound headlight and tank design.

The new patents show a production version using much of the same styling, including the unique wraparound headlight and tank design. (Malaguti/)

The 2019 Drakon concept, reviving a name used by Malaguti in the past, utilized the same Aprilia-based DOHC single found in the firm’s other offerings and featured the frame from the Derbi Mulhacen-based Monte Pro, but wrapped it all in much more stylish, modern bodywork. For the production version that styling is virtually unchanged, retaining the same intriguing wraparound headlight design, blending into the turn signals on each side and curving upward into the panel below the instruments on the top. It also keeps the same tank design, with boldly flat surfaces and a contrasting insert that carries on the line started by the turn signals in front of it, and the simple, clean-looking seat unit. However, the mechanical components underneath all that are completely different to the concept.

Underneath the externals, however, there looks to be a new single-cylinder engine from the Chinese-made Motron X-Nord 125.

Underneath the externals, however, there looks to be a new single-cylinder engine from the Chinese-made Motron X-Nord 125. (Malaguti/)

The Aprilia engine has gone, it seems, replaced by another DOHC single-cylinder design, this time from the Chinese-made Motron X-Nord 125—itself a rebranded version of the Zongshen RX1. Assuming there haven’t been too many internal changes, that means power and torque should be close to the Motron’s figures of 12.5 bhp and 7 pound-feet of torque. The chassis is new, too, redesigned to suit the different engine’s shape and mounting brackets; the Motron engine’s cylinder is tilted forward a few degrees more than the Aprilia engine used in the Drakon concept, too, so the steel cradle frame has been completely revised.

The upside-down fork and alloy swingarm of the concept are retained, along with the belly-mounted exhaust system, although the latter has been tweaked to suit the different engine and frame.

Fork and swingarm remain the same, and a TFT dash is retained as well.

Fork and swingarm remain the same, and a TFT dash is retained as well. (Malaguti/)

In terms of styling, the Drakon escapes big changes but there are alterations to suit legislation and road-going requirements. A license plate bracket has been added, for instance—a swingarm-mounted design that incorporates a mudguard and the rear turn signals. The taillight is mounted higher up, in the seat unit. As on the concept, there’s a TFT dash mounted on a stalk sprouting from the top of the headlight, but the production version also gains mirrors, pillion pegs bolted to the seat subframe (so they’re removable if you want to mimic the single-seat concept version), and a grab strap across the seat for passengers.

The EICMA show is back on for 2021, so chances are the Drakon will be unveiled as a 2022 model.

The EICMA show is back on for 2021, so chances are the Drakon will be unveiled as a 2022 model. (Malaguti/)

With EICMA making a return later this year after the 2020 show was scrapped due to the COVID 19 pandemic, it’s got to be the most likely platform for the production Malaguti Drakon’s unveiling, with production starting in earnest in 2022.

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