Showing posts with label MV Agusta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MV Agusta. Show all posts

MV Agusta 850 Magni

MV Agusta 850 Magni 1970s Italian classic sports bike

In standard trim, the MV Agusta 850 was a class act. Add to that the Magni factor - and quality increased exponentially. Arturo Magni had managed MV's racing department. MV took 17 consecutive 500cc World Championships. That told you all you needed to know about what Arturo Magni brought to a two-wheeled party!

In time, Magni turned his attention to roadsters. To that end, he set up his own engineering facility - in Gallarate, Italy. Soon, a steady stream of MV 850s started rolling into his workshop. They did not have far to come. Magni duly introduced them to his own take on engine components and chassis modifications. The Magni effect was marked. A top speed of 140mph was now available. The 850 was weighed down by a bulky shaft final drive. When Magni's chain-drive conversion kit had been fitted, handling, too, improved. Also key to stability was Magni's custom-built frame. The single spine original had been replaced by one with two top tubes. Magni's motor-related mods included uprated cams, high-compression pistons and a four-piece exhaust system. Suffice to say, you could hear it coming from a mile off!

The 850 Magni was visibly race-bred. A full fairing - complete with rider number - said it all. The Magni's stats justified its looks. High-grade parts - from Marzocchi, Koni and Brembo - added further fuel to the performance fire. Arturo Magni - following on from his high-calibre racing exploits - had slipped seamlessly into the world of road-oriented specials. High price tags came with the territory. But - for those with the disposable - MV Agusta's 850 Magni was the pinnacle of hand-built pedigree!

MV Agusta 850SS Monza

MV Agusta 850SS Monza 1970s Italian classic sports bike

Bikes named after racetracks need to be fast! In the case of the MV Agusta 850SS Monza, it was. Top speed was 145mph. That was quick for a road bike, in '77. Mind you, it did weigh in at only 429lb. Naturally, the engine had a lot to do with it, too. The Monza's cylinders were wider than its MV America predecessor. As a result, capacity was increased to 837cc. The compression ratio had also been raised. Plus, a Marelli distributor - and hotter cams - had been added. All in, power had risen to 85bhp - at 8,750rpm. Previously, the 750S America - built predominantly for the US market - had upped the ante from the 750 Sport. Now, the Monza had trumped them both.

In styling terms, the new MV was equally upbeat. It had 'café racer' written all over it. Low-set 'bars - and a humped-back seat - referenced MV's GP bikes. Not only had the great Italian marque won 17 top-flight titles - it won them on the spin. Now, that is domination! Sadly - for MV Agusta, at any rate - the advent of the Jap 2-stroke motor had put the mockers on it. Design-wise, the Monza's red and silver livery further enhanced its race-based brief.

Key to that brief was Arturo Magni. He was MV's chief engineer. Reporting to him were mechanics from MV's former 4-stroke race team. Taking MV's already cutting edge technology, Magni meted out still more modifications to the Monza. Among them were a free-flowing exhaust, a chain-driven conversion from the standard shaft-drive and a bigger-bore kit. In turn, Magni's twin-loop frame firmed everything up. Under Arturo's tutelage, top speed and acceleration had both improved. Handling, too, was a beneficiary - since power delivery was smoothed out. The MV Agusta 850SS Monza was an impressive motorcycle with factory settings. Magni's magic mods made it yet better!

MV Agusta 750 Sport

MV Agusta 750 Sport 1970s Italian classic sports bike

The MV Agusta 750 Sport was race-bred. A straight line could be drawn from the roadster to Meccanica Verghera's competition machines. They were fettled in Gallerate, near Milan, Italy. MV ruled the racing roost, at the time. The 750 Sport's clip-on 'bars - and humped-back seat - gave the game away. Add to them, a 4-leading-shoe Grimeca front brake - and a chrome quartet of megaphone exhausts. All were clear pointers to the Sport's race-track roots.

The 750's top speed of 120mph was good going in the Seventies. Especially, since the bike was a tad portly. It weighed in at 506lb. Its in-line 4-cylinder engine produced 69bhp - at 7,900rpm. Power was supplied via gear-driven twin overhead camshafts.

Compared to its rivals in the showrooms, the 750 Sport was expensive. Suffice to say, it did not sell well. To be fair, MV had little choice but to up the price. The complexities of the Sport's engine - and labour-intensive production processes - all had to be paid for. From a purely commercial standpoint, then, the Sport turned out to be another nail in MV's coffin. Count Domenico Agusta had founded MV, in '45. In '71, he suffered a fatal heart attack. With him went the soul of MV. Indeed, it was not long afterward that the marque shut up shop. The lacklustre sales of the 750 Sport had not helped. From a non-commercial point of view, however, the MV Agusta 750 Sport summed up the spirit of motorcycling like few other bikes!

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!

MV Agusta 750 F4

MV Agusta 750 F4 1990s Italian sports bike

The MV Agusta 750 F4 was the work of a master motorcycle designer. His name was Massimo Tamburini. Ducati and Cagiva were other legendary marques for which he picked up a pen. Arguably, the 750 F4 represented the peak of his design perfectionism. A modern-day da Vinci, Tamburini fused Science and Art. With the Serie Oro F4, Tamburini turned alchemist - morphing metal into gold.

The F4's visual prowess was matched only by its technical spec. Its top speed was a heady 165mph. That was down to an output of 126bhp. A dry weight of just 406lb helped, too. 16 radial valves - 4 per cylinder - were key to the power stat. As for the light weight - the F4's bodywork was skinnier than Twiggy's!

Exiting the rarefied air of the design studio - and encountering the rigours of the real world - never phased the F4. Its state of the art cycle parts saw to that. The bike could 'handle' any road surface thrown at it. Surging through the revs was sewing-machine smooth. The bike's brakes shed speed in an instant. It is true that the F4 had rivals, technically. But - clad in its silver and red mantle - it reigned supreme on the styling front. Italian to its core, the MV Agusta 750 F4 radiated elegance. It was, quite simply, one of the most ravishing-looking motorbikes ever made. Massimo Tamburini knew a thing or two about them!