Showing posts with label Italian Race Bikes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italian Race Bikes. Show all posts

MV Agusta 500 Four

MV Agusta 500 Four 1970s MotoGP bike

Atop a monument to motorcycle racing might well sit MV Agusta - and their 500 Four. MV is a mythical marque in the annals of the sport. Between '58 and '74, for example, MV won no less than seventeen 500cc world championships. On the spin!

Over the years, MV Agusta's rider roster featured some of the most famous names in bike racing. Among them, Agostini, Surtees, Hailwood, Read. It all began at the back end of the Second World War. Count Domenico Agusta founded Meccanica Verghera - Verghera being the Italian village in which his new firm was based. MV would go on to become the ultimate in red-blooded racing style.

Another great marque, though, was key to MV's success. Their chief engineer/manager Arturo Magni had previously been at Gilera. What he learned there was key to him later creating a twin-cam 500cc four-cylinder motor. That engine would be the bedrock upon which MV was built. The bike racing world will always be in awe of MV Agusta. They excelled so much - and for so long - in such a hostile environment. The 500 Four - both bike and engine - was an integral part of the MV legend!

Mondial 250 GP

Mondial 250 GP 1950s MotoGP bike

The Mondial 250 GP was a unique piece of performance kit. Motorcycle manufacturer FB Mondial was run on a shoestring, compared with some of its more mainstream rivals. They included MV Agusta and Ducati. But it had entrepreneurial spirit by the bucketload. Bespoke to the core, its products were masterpieces of creative engineering. Founded in '29 - by five Boselli brothers - Mondial Moto was based in Lombardy, Italy. Bike racing was in its blood!

Though small, the Mondial race team was a serious player. After all, the great Mike Hailwood successfully campaigned Mondial 250s - in '59 and '60. A decade or so before that, Mondial machines won the first three 125cc World Championships. The opener was in '49. In '57, Mondial won both 125 and 250cc GP series. So, no slouches, for a relatively underfunded équipe!

Such motorsport feats, of course, do not come cheap. Ultimately, Mondial were unable to sell enough roadsters to foot the competition bill. Sadly, therefore, they were forced to retire early from racing. Mondial, as was, ceased trading in '79. Since then, they have enjoyed something of a renaissance - and, indeed, are back in business at this point. And their classic bikes - resplendent in silver and blue livery - still circulate around racetracks. After all, the Mondial 250 GP harks back to a time when beauty was built to last!