1952 MV Agusta 123.5cc Bialbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 75002 Engine no. 75002

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Lot 634N
1952 MV Agusta 123.5cc Bialbero Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 75002 Engine no. 75002

£ 18,000 - 24,000
US$ 23,000 - 31,000
To be sold without reserve
1952 MV Agusta 123.5cc Bialbero Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 75002
Engine no. 75002
• Delivered new to Spain
• Believed used in the Spanish Championship
• An older restoration

MV Agusta's racing 125cc two-strokes that first appeared in 1948 were a major success 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 in 1950. However, the new Remor-designed 125cc four-stroke was not an immediate success. 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. MV's 125 had been extensively redesigned for '52, gaining telescopic forks, full-width alloy hubs and a sleeker fuel tank, while maximum power increased to 15bhp. Les Graham's influence saw the 125 equipped with Ernie Earles' leading-link front forks for 1953 and these also found their way onto the 500cc four. Graham won the Ultra-lightweight TT at the Isle of Man that year but his tragic death a few days later dealt a severe blow to the team's fortunes; NSU works rider Werner Haas took the riders' title in the 125cc class but MV did at least have the satisfaction of retaining the manufacturers' crown.

NSU continued its dominance of the 125cc class in 1954, works rider Rupert Hollaus being crowned World Champion at the year's end with MV's Carlo Ubbiali runner-up. The German factory's withdrawal at the end of 1954 left no credible opposition in the lightweight classes for MV, which duly scooped its second 125cc World Championship in 1955, winning all six Grands Prix that year. Carlo Ubbiali's five wins ensured the Italian of his second world title. For the next five years the combination of Ubbiali and the 125 MV would prove almost unbeatable. The Italian would secure four more 125cc World Championships before retiring at the end of the 1960 season, an almost unprecedented run of success only interrupted in 1957 by Mondial-mounted Tarquinio Provini. Ubbiali also claimed the 250cc world title for MV in 1956, '59 and '60. Ubbiali's retirement coincided with MV's withdrawal from serious involvement in the lightweight classes at international level, but what an extraordinary achievement it had been.

This MV Bialbero has 'Avello' stamped to the left-side crankcase cover, this being the name of the Spanish MV importer. Believed used in the Spanish Championship, the machine had already been restored when purchased in the late 1980s/early 1990s. There are no documents with this Lot.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.
Contacts
1952 MV Agusta 123.5cc Bialbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 75002 Engine no. 75002
1952 MV Agusta 123.5cc Bialbero Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 75002 Engine no. 75002
Auction information

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Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

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Lot symbols
N NOVA declaration

If purchased by a UK resident, this machine is subject to a NOVA declaration, undertaken by Bonhams upon a successful sale, to facilitate the registration of the machine here in the UK.