It looks like a quiet retirement doesn't suit the legendary Valentino Rossi. After hanging up his helmet last month, the nine-time Grand Prix World Champion wasted little time moving on to his next endeavor.
Rossi famously used Yamaha and Honda motorcycles throughout his 26-year career. Now, The Doctor aims to expand his brand to a slightly different field. Widely considered as one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, Rossi's name carries a lot of weight in the industry. Any product attached to the Italian rider's name could sell like hotcakes, and a line of electric mountain bikes (eMTBs) could be right on the money.
Electric mountain bikes are off-road machines equipped with integrated electric motors to amplify a rider's pedaling power on the trail. Rossi's new eMTB line will reportedly be developed and sold under VR46, a brand he has spent most of his career cultivating.
For design and manufacturing duties, VR46 has enlisted MT E-Mobility. The brand has previously partnered with Ducati to produce electric scooters and other urban mobility products. The Bologna-based company's resume is comforting, and it should be well-equipped to help Rossi realize his eMTB goals.
Two VR46 eMTBs could be released, with Rossi eyeing Premium and Limited Edition models for the market. The Premium model, as the name implies, will feature high-end parts. Meanwhile, the Limited Edition model will have a wireless gearbox and carbon fiber styling. VR46 will only release 46 units of the limited variant, so fans will have to act fast whenever they're made available.
Other than the new eMTB effort, Rossi is also involved with VR46 Racing Apparel, a range of clothing and accessories for amateur and professional riders. The MotoGP veteran's brand-building experience could prove valuable for the next juncture of his post-racing career. We won't have to wait much longer to find out, as VR46 will unveil the new bikes at EICMA in November.