1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 150179 Engine no. 150167

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Lot 293
1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 150179 Engine no. 150167

£ 40,000 - 50,000
US$ 53,000 - 67,000
Amended
1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 150179
Engine no. 150167
Although best known for their four-cylinder four-strokes, multiple World Championship-winning MV-Agusta built lightweights throughout its manufacturing career, and in its early days listed small two-strokes and even a scooter. The racing 125cc two-strokes were a major success, winning the arduous Milan-Taranto road race in 1950, '51 and '52, but at World Championship level the MVs were outclassed by the four-stroke FB-Mondial with its twin-overhead-cam engine. Count Agusta's response was to hire Gilera's chief designer Piero Remor together with its chief mechanic, Arturo Magni. However, the new Remor-designed 125cc four-stroke was not an immediate success, and it was only following Mondial's withdrawal from racing that MV bagged its first 125cc World Championship, Cecil Sandford taking the riders' title in 1952.

The following year MV offered an over-the-counter racer for privateers, which was developed directly from the works bikes. Italian regulations for the domestic 'Formula Sport' stipulated that machines should have only a single camshaft and four gears, and so the monoalbero (single-camshaft) 125 racer was born. Like its bialbero (twin-cam) progenitor, the SOHC 125 employed a train of gears to drive its upstairs cam. Bore and stroke were 53x56mm and the motor breathed via a 27mm Dell'Orto racing carburettor, eventually producing a maximum of 16bhp at 10,300rpm. The cycle parts were virtually an exact copy of the '52 works bikes', featuring a tubular duplex loop frame, telescopic front fork with central hydraulic damper, and swinging-arm rear suspension. Brakes were full-width aluminium-alloy: 7" diameter at the front, 6" at the rear. Dry weight was 165lbs and the top speed over 90mph. Because Italy's long-distance road races, such as the Moto Giro d'Italia and Milan-Taranto required that machines be street legal and possess lights, a flywheel generator formed part of the specification.

The MV Agusta monoalbero 125 racer proved an enormous success, remaining in production until 1956 and continuing to offer privateers a competitive ride in the 125cc class for many years thereafter.

Mole Benn purchased this MV at a London auction in March 2000. At that time it was stated that the machine had formerly belonged to ex-racer turned collector, Bruno Taglioretti, and that it was offered from a private collection, its home since 1995. Mole exhibited the machine occasionally but it is not known when it was last ridden or what condition it is in mechanically.

Saleroom notices

  • Since going to press Bonhams has been contacted by one of this motorcycle's previous owners, Peter Bowdler of Widnes, who advises us that he bought it in 1964 from Laurie Evans of Battercrough Motorcycles in Manchester. Evans had bought it from rider/dealer Bill Webster of Crewe, who famously had acquired a works twin-cam '125' from MV as well as several over-the-counter single-cam racers, one of which he loaned to a novice rider named Mike Hailwood for his racing debut in April 1957. Peter reco
Contacts
1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 150179 Engine no. 150167
1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 150179 Engine no. 150167
1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 150179 Engine no. 150167
1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 150179 Engine no. 150167
1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 150179 Engine no. 150167
1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 150179 Engine no. 150167
1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 150179 Engine no. 150167
1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 150179 Engine no. 150167
1954 MV Agusta 123.5cc Monoalbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 150179 Engine no. 150167
Auction information

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Collection Notices

Spares & Memorabilia
All Purchased lots must be cleared from the sale venue by 7pm on the day of the sale. All un-collected purchased lots shall then be removed to Bonhams storage facility at:
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Motorcycles
Vehicles must be collected from the sale venue by 7pm on the day of the sale. Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, documents and keys relating to their Lot(s) at time of collection. Otherwise Lots shall be removed to local store in Stoke-on-Trent at the Buyer's expense (see below). Lots are at the
Buyer's risk from the fall of the hammer. It is strongly advisable that overseas purchasers and absentee bidders make arrangements regarding collection with Bonhams in advance of Sale.

Removal and Storage of Vehicles
All Lots not removed in accordance with the above will be transported by Polygon Transport to local store in Stoke-on-Trent. Please contact Polygon Transport to make arrangements for the collection/delivery of your lot:
Polygon Transport
+44 (0) 2380 871 555
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[email protected]
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Purchases can only be once full settlement (inclusive of all charges) of all invoices issued to the buyer is received in cleared funds. Lots will be available for collection from local store in Stoke-on-Trent from 12pm Tuesday 21 October, by appointment with Polygon Transport.

Vehicle Removal charges to local store
£74 + VAT per motorcycle
£120 + VAT per motorcycle combination
Storage charges
£8.50 + VAT per day per motorcycle
£15.00 + VAT per day per motorcycle combination

Limited transport is available to the South of England, Marchwood (Southampton) by request with Polygon Transport at
£99 + VAT per motorcycle
£145 + VAT per motorcycle combination
Storage charges
£8.50 + VAT per day per motorcycle
£15.00 + VAT per day per motorcycle combination

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Seller (as the case may be)

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