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

Britten V1000

Britten V1000 1990s MotoGP bike

At top velocity, the Britten V1000 was a glorious sight. Race bikes are not normally considered style classics. As the name suggests, they are built to win races - not design awards!

The Britten, though, was an exception to that rule. Pop Art on wheels, its sleek curves were dual-purpose. Visually stunning, they were aerodynamic, too. Proof of that was the V1000's top speed - a cool 185mph.

The Britten's technical virtuosity went beyond aerodynamics. Its fuel-injected engine was highly innovative. Take, for example, its computerised management system. Heady stuff, in '95. All this racing research and development was by New Zealander John Britten - and his small team of mechanical engineers. Tragically, Britten lost his battle with cancer at the age of just 45. Bike racing will never know what further visions - and composite materials - he would have dreamed up. The Britten V1000, at least, stands as testament to his avant-garde skills.