Moto Corsa falls… and rises! Dorset dealership reincarnated with former staffer at the helm

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Award-winning dealership Moto Corsa are back in business with many of the old staff members, after going into surprise liquidation at the end of July, 2022.

The multi-franchise dealership suddenly closed its Gillingham showroom on July 20 of this year, and it quickly transpired it had gone into receivership.

Founded in 2004 by Mike Russell de Clifford, it specialised in MV Agusta, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Royal Enfield and, more recently, KTM.

Moto Corsa interior

Along with used bikes, clothing, and accessories, its main premises was a lavish showroom in Gillingham on the Wiltshire border, while its service centre was 10 miles away in Ashmore.

It won MCN’s Multi-franchise Dealer of the Year (SW) award in 2018 and Café Corsa was voted ‘Best Independent Café’ in the Dorset Food Awards. Normally, that might have been the end of the story – but not here. First it was announced that Corsa Café would re-open.

Soon after it was further announced that a new concern, operated by former workshop manager, Dave Arnold, had acquired the rights to trade as Moto Corsa in Ashmore with a handful of the old staff.

Brough Superior SS100

“It went into voluntary liquidation,” Dave told MCN this week. “It was mainly to do with Brough Superior and we were all made redundant, myself included.

“None of us got paid so we were creditors which gave us the option of making bids for parts of the company. I entered a bid for the company minus the liabilities and café. My bid was accepted so I purchased the assets.

“My company is Dorset Motorcycles Ltd trading as Moto Corsa. We’re going to be continuing from Ashmore. We’ve two units and I also have a unit across the road we’re in the process of turning into a showroom with small café outside. The old café is back but it’s owned by somebody different.

MV Agusta F3 RR

“MV is looking like a go-ahead,” he continued when asked about brands. “I’m hoping to stay with Aprilia and Moto Guzzi and a new one is going to be Moto Morini – but we won’t be KTM any more.

“There’s a lot on social media with people saying ‘Oh, these firms close down one day and open up the next and it’s the same people’. I can assure you that’s not the case. I was staff, was made redundant but I was given the opportunity and I took it. I’m not responsible for the old Moto Corsa.

The reason behind keeping the name is pretty much solely MV Agusta,” he continued. “Moto Corsa had such a good reputation in the MV world. We’re up and running, but once the new unit and café are done there will be grand re-opening.”