Lot Details
1993 Magni MV Agusta 861 1993 Magni MV Agusta 861 1993 Magni MV Agusta 861
1993 MV Agusta 861cc Magni
Frame no. 2210490
Engine no. 2270467
Motorcycle race engineers are rarely household names, but one exception to this general rule is the legendary Arturo Magni. Born in Usmate Velate, Milan in 1925, Magni started his motorcycle career in 1947 in Gilera’s racing department. The Arcore factory had decided to return to Grand Prix racing, and Arturo Magni was employed assembling the new four-cylinder engine designed by Piero Remor, co-creator of the pre-war OPRA and CNA Rondine fours. Gilera would go on to win six 500cc World Championships with this engine, courtesy of Messrs Duke, Masetti and Liberati.

In 1949 Count Domenico Agusta tempted Remor away from Gilera to design MV Agusta’s first four-cylinder race engine. Magni followed him in 1950 as chief mechanic and later managed the racing department during MV’s Grand Prix ‘golden age’. At the height of its powers the Italian team could command the services of the world’s finest riders, among them Sandford, Ubbiali, Surtees, Provini, Hailwood, Read and Agostini, and under Magni’s direction MV won no fewer than 75 World Championships.

When MV retired from Grand Prix racing in 1976, Magni and his two sons set up their own company in Samarate, producing performance parts for the MV Agusta 750 street bikes, including big-bore kits, special frames and chain-drive conversions. Magni commenced production of motorcycles under his own name in 1980, initially using the Honda CB900 engine, with BMW, Moto Guzzi and Suzuki-engined models following. In the mid-1908s Magni commenced what would turn out to be an immensely fruitful association with Moto Guzzi, using the latter’s well established transverse v-twin engines.

Yet despite all his latter day successes with Moto Guzzi, Arturo Magni’s name will forever be linked with that of MV Agusta, whose reputation this great engineer did so much to forge. The first MV model officially to bear his name was the ‘Monza Arturo Magni’. A stretched (to 832cc) version of the 750S America, the Monza had started life known as the ‘Boxer’ until complaints from Ferrari (whose sports car had prior claim to the name) forced a change. The Magni version was enlarged to 861cc courtesy of an increase in bore size to 70mm and came with a specially tuned engine equipped with four 30mm Dell’Orto carburetors. Official production of the Magni, together with that of all MV Agusta’s other models, ended in February 1979, although Arturo and his sons Carlo and Giovanni continue to create bespoke MVs to special order.

The machine offered here is one such, and was built to the personal order of well known UK collector, Peter Jones, who took the donor 750S America engine to Magni in 1991/92 and collected the finished machine in 1993. Mr Jones rode the Magni on the road extensively, covering several thousand miles including track days, before selling it to a friend, Arnie Bennett, who had the engine overhauled and the cycle parts repainted by MV specialist Dave Kay in 2001/2002. The bike was subsequently owned in the USA by Paul Pflugfelder, of Massachusetts, who acquired it in April 2003, passing to the vendor in May 2005.

Built by Magni to ‘track’ specification, the machine features a Magni frame, swingarm and chain drive conversion; Forcella Italia forks; Brembo GP2 brake calipers and fully floating discs; Magni cast wheels and one-piece GP exhausts; Ceriani GP rear shocks; and Primo Felotti bodywork. The engine incorporates sand-cast cylinders and Magni pistons; semi-race camshafts with 9.5mm lift; 27mm Dell’Orto PHF carburetors; Magni electronic ignition; and Magni dry clutch. Maximum power is estimated at 95bhp while the machine weighs 400lbs dry.

Since its overhaul by Kay Engineering the Magni has covered around 800 miles only, including a track test at Summit Point Raceway for Motorcycle Classics magazine’s January/February 2008 edition (copy article available). Presented in beautiful condition, this unique motorcycle is offered with correspondence from builder Giovanni Magni and past owners Peter Jones and Paul Pflugfelder; old Massachusetts title; shipping documentation; and Commonwealth of Virginia Certificate of Title.
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