Super “Model” Superbike Classic.
The annals of motorcycling are flush with significant machines that ushered in new, dynamic phases of two-wheel evolution. The extensive array of motorcycles comprising this colorful and edifying history provide healthy fodder for debate among diehard aficionados as to which ones deserve credit for aesthetic and technological importance. However, there is one motorcycle that consistently rises above the quarrelsome din, with even the most opinionated collectors agreeing it has earned a place on the mantle of motorcycling: the MV Agusta 750S.
When MV Agusta introduced the 750S in 1969, it universally contradicted the thinking of the day with regard to motorcycles. Post-WWII rebuilding in Europe and Japan led to the adoption of the motorcycle as utilitarian, low-cost transportation to help get their war-weary, financially strapped populaces back on the road to recovery. Over the ensuing years, small capacity, high-mileage motorcycles became the primary focus of various manufacturers to meet the demands of a mobile public, delivering simplicity and practicality over performance. The resulting impact was a stream of small displacement motorcycles that, despite possessing plenty of charm, were generally somewhat docile.
Enter the audacious MV Agusta 750S, a pleasant resignation from practicality and a deliberate detour into indulgence.The menacing big bore MV was a direct descendent from the machines the factory had been racing, effectively providing passionate motorcycle enthusiasts with the opportunity to own machines they’d seen the likes of John Surtees, Phil Read, Mike Hailwood, and Giacomo Agostini circulate roadracing circuits aboard. The 750S was at the vanguard of an era of sporting, performance-oriented motorcycles that took two-wheel sex appeal and rebelliousness to new heights.
A daunting display of muscle and beauty, the MV Agusta 750S had four cylinders that drew air through four individual carburetors, each fitted with a polished, wide-mouthed velocity stack. The most pronounced statement however, was in the four individual chrome header pipes that swept back along the length of the machine-two on either side-ending in megaphones that, although referred to as mufflers, did little to dampen the growl of the mighty MV.The engine (imbued with an innovative belt-driven starter/generator) produced 69 horsepower, fed to the rear wheel through a 5-speed transmission and shaft drive that helped the machine reach a top speed in the neighborhood of 130 mph.
A massive 4-cam front drum brake, as well as the drop, café-racer-style clip-on handlebars and race-inspired rearsets (which bent the rider into a semi-tuck) were a direct carry-over from MV Agusta’s racing endeavors. Schemed in red, blue and white, the 750S carried a premium price tag of nearly two-million lire. MV Agusta’s intent was unmistakable.The company was aiming squarely at appealing to serious-minded, discerning enthusiasts willing to pay a premium for its proven racing pedigree.
The MV 750S was the antithesis to polite two-wheeled transportation, serving to reawaken the magic and daring inherent with motorcycles. A string of 750S models were released over the ensuing years culminating with the MV Agusta 750S America, which targeted America’s exploding two-wheel market and strong economy (those were the days) in an effort to shore up MV’s steadily eroding fiscal situation. The eventual demise, and subsequent resurrection, of MV Agusta has only crystallized the value-monetarily, historically, and emotionally-of surviving 750S machines, securing their status as one of the most sought after motorcycles among collectors.
The example pictured here is Gary Kohs’ personal MV Agusta 750S. And although you may not have been aware of it, the motorcycle you have been looking at on these pages is, in fact, a 1/5th scale, all metal model. Kohs, a devoted collector of MV Agusta motorcycles and President of Fine Art Models, used a pristine, all-original 1972 750S from his prized, private collection to ensure his company reproduced an exact scale replica of the famous motorcycle for appreciative devotees.
Fine Art Models was founded 15 years ago with a mandate to reproduce exact replicas of specific trains, ships, aircraft, automobiles and motorcycles with the intent of pushing the envelope in the world of modeling. The company prides itself on its exact replication of the original item, constructing the models entirely of stainless steel, brass, and nickel silver. This Limited Edition MV Agusta 750S measures 16.5-inches long, 4.3-inches wide, 8.25-inches high, and weighs in at 7 pounds for a hefty presence. 300 man-hours of intricate hand crafting, milling, cutting, shaping, polishing and building are required to produce each model.The end result repays the effort with an exquisite miniaturized replica of Count Agusta’s stunning motorcycle.
The creation of each Fine Art Models’750S touches proudly on the obsessive; with working drum brakes (the front utilizing the same 4-cam design as the original bike), active suspension telescopic forks on the front and twin shock dampened swinging arm on the rear.A working, twistable throttle and cable actuates a fully functional linkage on the carburetors. Wire spokes are laced into lightweight aluminum rims and mounted with rubber tires that replicate the actual tread design of the original, full-sized machine. Every
element, right down to the opening gas cap, has been addressed to guarantee the most realistic presentation.
Aside from accurately replicating the proper scale, the model follows the construction elements of the original motorcycle, going as far as sand casting the
engine cases to achieve the rough finish of the actual 4-cylinder motor. This labor-intensive devotion to detail and craftsmanship is reminiscent of the passion and dedication that permeated the MV workshop when it was producing the 750S.
The Fine Art Models’ 1/5th scale 1972 MV Agusta 750S will be available December 2008 (limited to 300 units) and sells for $3,500.The model is shipped in its own miniature factory wood crate (just like the origi-nal machines, with appropriate markings for authenticity) and comes with a black walnut base to properly display this salute to MV Agusta. For the truly fanatical, Fine Art Models will build your machine with the serial number from your own full-sized 750S.
Photos by Adam Campbel
ULTIMATE MOTORCYCLING DECEMBER 2008 / JANUARY 2009