Iconic: 1978 MV Agusta 750S America
Bikes like the MV Agusta 750S America make absolutely no sense on a performance-per-dollar basis. It’s the kind of motorcycle that today would have riders scoffing that they “could buy four GSX-R1000’s for that price…” But that’s obviously missing the point. MV Agusta’s raison d’être was always racing, and their road bikes of the era seemed designed deliberately not to sell: the original 600 was heavy, slow and, worst of all, it was ugly as sin. The 750 that followed was at least a handsome bike, but was burdened with a strange feature not generally found on sportbikes: shaft drive. Rumor has it that MV Agusta didn’t want their factory race teams to be challenged by privateers and fitted the heavy system to hobble them. Magni made a chain-drive conversion for the 750S, but most owners have kept them relatively stock.
And honestly, there really wasn’t much to improve anyway, aside from that 560lb wet weight. They were compact and handling belied the bloat: on the move, the bike carried its weight well and the bike could be hustled through a set of bends. Ultimate limits weren’t racetrack-worthy, but that wasn’t really what this bike was about and with a price tag of $6000, it’s not like you’d want to push things too fast on the road anyway…
The centerpiece, aside from the looks, fit-and-finish, and the name, was obviously that engine. Sand-cast and heavily-finned, with dual overhead cams, four cylinders, and a set of cam-timing gears in the center of the engine, it was ruggedly built, with a broad spread of power. Four-cylinder bikes are sometimes criticized for being bland and characterless, but this engine puts paid to that idea: induction, gear-whine, and the four individual exhausts combine into a complex, very expensive noise.
From the original eBay listing: 1978 MV Agusta 750S America
ONLY 1,112 Miles, original paint, excellent condition and VERY RARE. Believed to only be a 2 owner bike.
– 2 fairings
– 3 sets of exhaust pipes
– Original tool kit
– New battery
– Spare New Marzocchi Shocks
– Riders manual, shop manual, MV Agusta Super profile book & various related literature
– Street & Race Air Cleaners
– Brembo & OE front calipers
Clear title in hand. Bike is located in Atlanta. NO trades, No B.S. please.
Interestingly, the 750S America is the very first MV I ever saw in the flesh. For several years, one sat in the showroom of The Garage Company in Southern California, in the days before the company’s modern incarnation and before the internet: until then, I’d been completely unaware that MV even made a roadbike at all. This is one of the rarest of the rare, an iconic bike with just 600 or so made in three years. The seller mentions three different exhausts come with the bike, and I’d like to know if one is a set of those gorgeous, curved items generally seen in period photos… There’s just one day left on the auction, with the reserve not met, so move quickly if you happen to have a spare $76,000 burning a hole in your pocket.