The MV Agusta motorcycle company began in February 12, 1945, founded by Domenico Agusta, and his brother Count Vincenzo Agusta. The brothers were the heirs to the Italian aviation company Costruzioni Aeronautiche Giovanni Agusta SpA (now AgustaWestland, Finmeccanica) started by Count Giovanni Agusta in 1923.
When Giovanni Agusta died in 1927, sons Corrado, Domenico, Mario and Vincenzo took over the aircraft business, which operated until WWII. During the post-WWII reconstruction of Italy, the Agusta brothers decided to get into the motorcycle business, starting Meccanica Verghera (MV) Agusta. The factory was located in the city of Cascina della Costa Province of Varese, in the Lombardy region of north-western Italy.
1949 MV Agusta 125 TEL
MV Agusta's first production motorcycle was a motorscooter called the "MV 98." The company built its brand around small-displacement (under 200cc) scooters and mini Café racers, entering the medium-displacement (200cc to 500cc) arena in the 1960s
1954 MV Agusta Disco Volante C SS
1954 MV Agusta Pullman 125
MV Agusta's Grand Prix Racing Heritage
MV Agusta's racing heritage in the small-displacement 125cc class began with Cecil Sandford winning their first world road-racing championship in 1952.
175cc 1955 MV Agusta Disco Volante CSS
1956 MV Agusta Turismo Lusso 175
1959 MV Agusta 125 TRL Single
1960 MV Agusta TREL 125
1963 MV Agusta 150 RS
In 1956, MV Agusta took three world championships 125cc and 250cc, and 500cc class with the help of legendary riders such as Giacomo Agostini, Mike Hailwood, Phil Read, John Surtees, and Carlo Ubbiali.
1966 MV Agusta ST 500cc 3-Cylinder Racer
Throughout the next two decades MV Agusta went on to accumulate sixty-three World Championships between 1952 to 1973, with seventeen consecutive wins in the 500 cc class alone. Mv's traditional red over silver fairing became an icon of the Grand Prix racing scene.
MV Agusta Mopeds
MV Agusta's DOHC Four
In the late 1960s, MV Agusta introduced an inline four-cylinder engine that was revolutionary for the time. The 600cc Four with its dual-overhead cam design, was a precursor to the Honda CB750 and CB550 fours that followed nearly a decade later. One of the distinct features of the engine was the beautifully sand-casted dull cases.
1967 MV Agusta 600cc Four
The 600 also had dual front disc brakes, and a shaft drive with a drum rear brake. With the success of the 600cc Four, MV introduced the "750 Sport America" or "750S" which was a full cafe-racer with a 790cc DOHC inline-four engine with clip-ons, rear-set pegs, and a semi-solo seat cowling setup.
1973 MV Agusta 750 GT
The limited-production 750S cost nearly three times as much as its nearest competitor; the Honda CB750, severely limiting its "mass appeal." With stiff competition from the Japanese, a recession in America, and the death of cofounder Domenico Agusta in 1971, MV Agusta began a steady decline.
1974 MV Agusta 750 S SuperSport
MV Agusta Late Model Twins
1973 MV Agusta 350 Scrambler
1975 MV Agusta 350 Sport
Cagiva's Purchase of MV Agusta
The MV name was purchased by fellow Varese motorcycle maker Cagiva, in 1997. Cagiva (for: 'Ca'stiglioni 'Gi'ovanni 'Va'rese) was founded in 1950 by Giovanni Castiglioni, and began producing motorcycles in 1978.
Cagiva also acquired the Swedish motorcycle maker Husqvarna, in 1987. The Cagiva, Husqvarna and MV Agusta products were all produced under the MV Agusta SpA ('Societą per Azioni') company umbrella until 2004.
Harley-Davidson's Purchase of MV Agusta
Milwaukee, Wis., July 11, 2008 -- Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to purchase the Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group (MVAG). Under the agreement, Harley-Davidson will acquire 100 percent of MV Agusta Group shares for total consideration of approximately 70 million euros ($109 million), which includes the satisfaction of existing bank debt for approximately 45 million euros ($70 million). In addition, the agreement provides for a contingent payment to Claudio Castiglioni in 2016, if certain financial targets are met. MV Agusta Group is privately held, with the Castiglioni family owning 95 percent of MVAG shares.
Go To: Modern MV Agusta Superbikes
Vintage MV Agusta Links
Museo Agusta - Cascina Costa (VA)
Classic MV Agusta Registry
MV Agusta Group Italy
MV Agusta USA
'V' for Vintage - MV Agusta anchors VMD '06
MV Agusta AU
MVAgusta.net - The Definitive MV Agusta Motorcycle Source
British & European Classic Motorcycle Day
Back To: Vintage Motorcycle Photos