MV Agusta Motorcycle History


A classic name in motorcycle racing with a rich history of wins, MV Agusta was founded by the Count with the same name, and went on to become a racing icon in the 1970s. However, too much time and effort spent on meticulous quality made the popular production of the MV Agusta unrealistic to build. Ultimatley, the company closed its doors. A new spark has provided recent reinvestment in the famous MV Agusta brand and we are excited to see where it goes.

MV Agusta Motorcycle History

Started in the Village of Verghera by Count Domenico Austa at the end of the Second World War, the Italian Meccanica Verghera (MV) firm released their first model (98cc) in 1945. It did well in sales and equally well on the race track. MV developed roadsters and racers the following years.

MV Agusta became a world wide name due to its racing successes. Between 1958 and 1974 MV Agusta had 17 straight world championship wins in the 500cc class. In the smaller 125cc class MV Agusta earned 5 championships along with two wins in the 250cc series. No superior racing name could match MV during the 1970s.

The 1950s and 1960s saw Agusta produce small capacity roadsters like the Pullman, Turismo Rapido and the Raid. These models were all moderately successful.

Despite the racing success Count Augusta insisted that the super successful four cylinder engine wasn’t developed in the same way for the production series. The mistakes turned out to be costly for fans, who were expecting a quality race bike. Instead they got the 600 model, which never became a huge success.

Agusta learned from the flop and introduced the 750 Sport – strongly orientated on race models. This was what was expected from MV Agusta bikes and the 750 Sport was an instant success. Although it was expensive, it sold well. In following years the 750 sport was updated and in 1975 a 750S America was introduced for the US market.

The big four engines were mainly built by hand. They were expensive and the firm started to have financial problems. Count Agusta had passed away in 1971 due to a heart attack, and under guidance of brother Corradino, the company couldn’t break out of its financial problems.

The MV Agusta motorcycle division was part of the larger MV helicopter company and by 1977 the Agusta family had lost control of the business. The last bikes were sold and in 1980 MV Agusta closed up shop.

In the mid 1990s MV Agusta re-entered the motorcycle market under guidance of Cagiva. Designer for Cagiva Tamburini (once part owner of Bimota) designed a beautiful new MV Agusta on a 749cc engine (which had been designed with the help of Ferrari). The new F4 750 was a stunner – handling, styling, and great speed made it very desirable.

Unfortunately, Cagiva ran into their own financial problems and despite great plans for the new F4 series and new models (like the Brutale, a nice styled street bike) they could not continue.

After additional investment came to the aid of MV Agusta new products have returned.