Along with propelling Agostini to the top of the pile in the 60s and 70s, both the 350cc and 500cc MV Agustas took the likes of Mike Hailwood and John Surtees to impressive wins and titles in their own right. The Italian team conceived by Count Domenico Agusta quickly cemented themselves as the premier destination for the world’s greatest motorcycle racers.
Giacomo ‘Ago’ Agostini is in no doubt about the MV Agusta’s quality. It’s his favourite bike. Some accolade from a man who has achieved a staggering 122 GP wins and 15 world titles. 68 wins and eight titles in the premier 500cc category, as well as 54 350cc wins and seven world titles in that class. He’s also scored 13 podiums and 10 wins at the Isle of Man TT, along with 10 Italian championships. The chap knows his bikes.
After such a long and successful career, consistently risking life and limb, it takes a particularly special appreciation for a race bike for retired champions to keep slinging a leg over a fuel tank in their spare time. The MV Agusta 500 is one such machine.
At top chat, the MV Agusta can twist out 163mph. A terrifying prospect, and one that only increases the mystic appeal of the vulnerability and excitement bikes provide. Oh, and it stops itself using a front 240mm drum brake. All well and good, but imagine grabbing a handful while approaching a hairpin bend with 30 other bikes bringing up the rear. Mr Agostini has some minerals, that’s for sure.