Words by Ian Lee.
There are unique bikes. And there are ‘unique’ bikes. A unique bike will catch your eye in the street. The latter you won’t come across at any show, they are generally relegated to the confines of the computer screen or magazine cover. Today’s feature bike falls into the latter category. Definitely unique, this is a one off aerodynamic-as-hell racer with an Italian heart. Looking as good as it did when it rolled out of the workshop 34 years, this MV Agusta special is the first time a sidecar racer has graced the pages of Pipeburn.
Just like their bikes, these quality MV Agusta t-shirts are made in Italy. The words ‘Meccanica Verghera’ are embroided on the front and the vintage MV Agusta Meccanica Verghera logo is printed on the back. If you are wondering what the Italian words mean, here is the translation: Meccanica = Mechanics and Verghera is the city in Italy where MV’s were first made – although now they are manufactured in the city of Varese. There’s no doubting that these Italian tees are beautifully made but they do have a price tag to match. They retail for €50/$65 and can be found on the MV Agusta Europe site or the Australian site.
READ MORE ►
No it’s not the latest bike from Shinya Kimura, this blast from the past was originally featured in Australian Motorcycle News back in 1998 – which doesn’t feel like 12 years ago. Built by the talented Albert Bold of Bold Precision in Pennsylvania. Albert is well known for possessing bike building skills unmatched by many in the industry. Not many machinists can say they have turned cast-iron manhole covers into brake rotors like Albert has done in the past. Bold estimated that more than 2000 hours went into building this unique MV Agusta Racer. The reason being that he had a philosophy of no bolt-on parts if he could do it himself. “About the only corner I cut was the brake discs,” he said. “Those manhole covers worked great on the first bike, and the material was free – but I just couldn’t face the 40 hours of machining work to make each one, so this time I compromised and used Mercedes-Benz’ discs on the front, which I machined down to size, and a Subaru one from the local parts shop on the back.
READ MORE ►
What a classic Italian racer. While a 3-cylinder engine was not exactly a novelty (others had experimented with this configuration) it was undoubtedly the first to achieve such brilliant performance. A full 92 HP at 13,500 RPM, lightness and excellent handling made this 500 the most successful of the MV stable. Following its 1966 debut, it won 7 consecutive world championships from 1967 to 1973 with G. Agostini. That was no easy feat. Wouldn’t you love to ride this machine on a race track?
READ MORE ►
MV Agusta are an old italian company that started life as an aviation company. After the Second world war they started making scooters for the demand for cheap transport. Their first prototype was ironically called ‘Vespa 98’ which they later learned was already registered by Piaggio.
They started making cafe racers in the 1950’s and 60’s. Then stopped making bikes altogether in the 80’s. The name has been sold and traded over the years and is now owned by Harley Davidson. Will be interesting to see where Harley take the company. Lets hope they keep the classic Italian soul.
READ MORE ►