The MV Agusta 750 Sport, is considered to be one of the most desirable sportbikes of the seventies. Some, regard it as the pinnacle of design and engineering, of MV Agusta’s Cascina Costa plant.
MV AGUSTA 750 Sport, 1970 to ’72
The 750 line is the last that Count Domenico Agusta had involvement in developing, before his untimely passing in 1971. By the marque’s own admission; following the death of the Count (an enigmatic guiding force), internal fractures widened and led to a disjointed management strategy.
MV’s financial crisis divided management thinking firmly into two camps. On one side, those who desired a concentration of R&D and investment resource on racing. On the other side; those who felt that those funds would better serve the company if utilised for road bike development.
Neither won. A compromise of sorts was reached; a ’50/50 focus’ or in colloquial vernacular; ‘fence-sitting’. Unsurprisingly, this served only to further compromise the company’s position in both spheres.
Sadly, the power struggle continued well into the mid-seventies. This, coupled with the ongoing, dire financial factors led to neither camp having enough resource to fully develop a viable racing bike or road machine.
RACING SUPREMACY & ROAD BIKE DECLINE
Ultimately, MV was left with a limited range of road bikes in production, numbering just two – respectively the 350 and 750, albeit both were produced in multiple setups. Racing fared no better, with MV’s racing dominance coming to an end. Sixties glory was now a distant and fading memory. MV’s final race victory was achieved in Nurburgring, on 29 August 1976 and by the season’s end, it had pulled out of racing altogether.
All of this combined eventually led to the inevitable financial demise of the Cascina Costa based marque – until its resurrection in 1991 by Cagiva.
In many respects, the 750 Sport represents MV Agusta (in its first incarnation), at the height of its road and racing prowess. Or more accurately, it’s an ode to that prowess – as sadly shortly after, those things were in decline.
MV AGUSTA 750 SPORT – AN ICON OF THE SEVENTIES
With its distinctive blue, red, and white tank – combined with the crimson red frame, the MV Agusta 750 Sport is one of a number of highly recognisable and desirable icons of the seventies.
The 750 Sport traces its lineage back to MV’s four-cylinder 600 engine which itself was derived from Mike Hailwood’s 500 GP bike. Price-wise, much like MV Agusta motorcycles today, the much-coveted 750S was out of the budgetary reach of most riders. Hand-built, in controlled quantities, (335 in total to be precise), the typical buyer likely had a Ferrari or Lamborghini sitting in the garage, if not both.
HOW DID 750S FARE AGAINST CONTEMPORARIES?
Surprisingly, for a sports bike the MV Agusta 750 Sport was shaft-driven, however, with a power output of 69 HP at 7900 rpm and pulling power of 5.8 kgm at 7500rpm it held it’s own against its contemporaries such as the Z1.
“The experience was unique; the rider was transported to a different level and made to feel really special. There was certainly a pronounced “feel-good factor.”
In 1975 ‘Bike’ [magazine] wrote; “It’s probably the most powerful 750cc motor made; in a straight drag with a Z1 it lost only a few yards up to 100mph.” and that it was, “….one of the most dramatic-looking bikes made, the real stuff of legend”.
Writer, racer and Italian motorcycle aficionado, the late Mick Walker, had the pleasure of test riding a pristine low mileage 750 Sport in 1983. Noting the test-ride in his book ‘MV Agusta Fours’ he wrote; The experience was unique; the rider was transported to a different level and made to feel really special. There was certainly a pronounced “feel-good factor.”
However, it wasn’t the figures that did the talking for the MV Agusta 750 Sport; primarily its slender and aggressive looks took care of that – quickly becoming the fantasy bike of most riders of the era.
Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale
The MV Agusta 750 Sport is included, as one of a number of excellent lots to be featured in Bonhams, ‘Spring Stafford Sale’; which starts on 21 April 2018.
The date of the engine, frame and registration documents of the model featured in this article is 1973. The bike is expected to achieve between £70,000 – £90,000 (€80,000 – €100,000) at auction.
The Spring Stafford Sale is set to be a nirvana for collectors/restorers, judging by Bonhams‘ catalogue. If the 750 Sport doesn’t tickle your fancy or you’ve misplaced that spare ninety grand, then there are plenty of other lots that are likely to appeal. Many lots are to be sold without reserve and include an assortment of racing memorabilia, spare parts for rare bikes and even rarer bikes, like this 1970 Clymer Munch 1, 177cc TTS ‘Mammoth’.
OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST
RACING MEMORABILIA – RON HASLAM’S KANGOL RACING HELMET
1913 Indian 7hp Model E Combination
BONHAMS, SPRING STAFFORD SALE DATES:
The ‘Spring Stafford Sale’ will take place over two days, in Stafford at the Staffordshire County Showground starting on 21 April at 13:30 BST. [Details below]