Avantazhen, dashing and reckless was the old Count Giovanni Agusta. One of the first European aviators, he already in 1908 flew into the sky on a plane built on his own project. And the company that he founded created precisely heavenly mechanisms. At that time, they called them the beautiful word "airplanes."
But the eldest son, Domenico, did not at all resemble his father. Short, laconic, wearing black glasses. Not a count, but a clerk! Moreover, he was not at all distinguished by aristocratic pragmatism. Whether the case has been seen: 1943, the war is in full swing, and he is embarking on the idea that nobody will need airplanes in times of peace - cheap “transport for the masses” must be produced. So began the design of a simple motorcycle - with a 98 cc 2-stroke engine and a primitive chassis.
After the war, it turned out that not one Count Agusta Jr. turned out to be so perspicacious: small motor-car manufacturers in Italy became - that there were mushrooms after a rain. How to stand out? Since ancient times, there is a primary means: sport.
The first MV Agusta racing motorcycles did not differ much from the serial “consumptions”: primitive chassis, lightweight 2-stroke engines. But Domenico Agusta first saw that there were motorcycle races - and "hooked"! What are the "consumption"? What are the "yard racing"? No, only the World Cup - and immediately in the "royal" category, in the "Five Hundreds."
No experience? We will lure the best expert in this matter - the engineer Pierrot Remor, the creator of the famous Rondine-Gilera (see "Moto", No. 2-2004). By the 1950 season, Remor had created the coveted "Five Hundred" for the count. The machine technically repeated the device that Pierrot created for the Gilera a year earlier: four cylinders in a row across the motorcycle, air cooling, two upper camshafts, a duplex frame, and a front parallelogram fork. But in the "loin", Remor felt that he had completely satisfied his passion for experiments: the drive on the wheel with a driveshaft, the suspension on double parallel levers (to compensate for the reactions of the driveshaft), in addition to the 4-speed gearbox, there’s also an additional 2- step, so that a total of eight transmissions.
Tricky scheme! As one critic critic elegantly puts it: "You are too cool to become a winner." Remor had to hastily remodel the car: a light chain drive, a simple pendulum suspension, a 5-speed gearbox “no-hooks”. It was only in 1956 that John Certificates obtained for Agusta the coveted crown in the "five hundred" (but the 125-cc "consumption" became world champions much earlier - in 1952).
And since then - let's go! Only once, in 1957, the count racers lost the victory in the “royal” class, and then - an unprecedented triumph: first places for 17 consecutive seasons! Until 1975, MV Agusta elevated its pilots to the highest step of the podium, and even the furious pressure of the Japanese (who tried hard) could not break this series for a long time
Amazing story! But we are interested in it now because one day in the company of triumphs there was a temptation to turn successful racing shells into road bikes. And it arose a long time ago: already in 1953 Remor built a prototype under the index R19. He was very much like the very first “five hundred” MV Agusta, with a cunning rear suspension and cardan drive, except that the place of the archaic “parallelogram” was taken by the “telescope”. Of course, we weren’t even talking about the mass production of such a complex motorcycle: all the profit of MV Agusta (formally independent of the main one - aircraft production) came from the manufacture of cheap light motorcycles and scooters that were in great demand.
But in the mid-60s, a look at a motorcycle as a cheap means of transport became irrelevant: residents of even not too rich Italy preferred a car. But a chic powerful motorcycle - just right! Having run a little ahead, we note what confirms the trend: at the 1965 Milan Motor Show, which debuted the 4-cylinder MV Agusta, such Italian "super motorcycles" as Moto Guzzi V7 and Italjet Grifon appeared before the public.
The creators of the future sensation (led by engineer Mario Rossi) received very peculiar instructions from Domenico Agusta: the future “super” should not be in competition with the cars of the factory team. God forbid, someone will want to convert it into a racing version and start to take away the Gold Cups from the count!.. The designers chose a working volume of 600 cm (it is too difficult to transform it into "500"), returned to the heavy universal drive, and all the engine parts made deliberately massive. For the rest, the car completely repeated racing prototypes: an in-line 4-cylinder air-cooled engine with two upper camshafts (a set of gears in the center of the motor), a 5-speed gearbox, and a duplex frame. They even applied such an innovation as disc brakes - long before Honda! True, the mechanical drive was not as effective as that used by the Japanese hydraulic.
At the 1965 exhibition in Milan, the new motorcycle, named without agility MV Agusta 600, captivated the public. Is it a joke, the world's first production motorcycle with a transverse "four" (and in general the first production "four" since the British removed Ariel Square Four from production in 1958). And 52 bhp! The declared maximum speed is 185 km / h! (The Japanese have not declared such speeds for their 500 cc cars, but, unlike them, MV Agusta, as shown by later tests, honestly “gave it.” True, for this it was necessary to bend down to the steering wheel now and then.) And the style ?! Not everyone liked him, but he didn’t leave anyone indifferent.