Tagged: America

Raw Elegance: 1977 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale

1977 MV Agusta 750S America L Side Front

It really doesn’t matter if Honda’s new RC213V will be beaten by a bone-stock ZX-10 in every quantifiable measure of performance. It also really doesn’t matter how much it will cost: you probably couldn’t afford one and they’re all spoken for, anyway. And that’s the point: much like today’s MV Agusta 750S America, the RCV has a direct link to Honda’s MotoGP hardware and represents a blue-chip investment, and a one-of-a-kind experience for the most well-heeled enthusiasts, regardless of performance.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America R Side

Certainly, the 750S wasn’t the lightest or the most powerful bike available at the time. Saddled with a heavy, power-sapping shaft-drive system that helped the America weigh in at a Rubenesque 560lbs wet and dragged around by a mere 75hp, performance was certainly brisk, but nothing particularly impressive. But people plumping for this bike likely weren’t concerned about the ultimate performance: they wanted looks, sound, and feel, and they got that in spades. Comparing it to other bikes of the period, you can see that it has presence, and if you’ve been weaned on modern four-cylinder motorcycles, nothing can prepare you for the rough metallic shriek these machines make.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America Gauges

Originally displacing a shade under 750 at 743cc’s, the America featured, as you would expect, a bigger, bored-out 788cc engine for moar powar… It also moved the gearshift to the left to suit a less European clientele. But the engine was otherwise unchanged: the sand-cast four was sophisticated and smooth, with a cam-driven geartrain and an overall width less than a Honda CB400.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America R Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1977 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale

Frame# 221017
Engine# 221017
2,770 miles
NYS Title

Original, un-restored and in beautiful condition. Not only one of the lowest mileage Americas in existence, but probably the best one in original condition. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better one on this planet. The bike is absolutely stunning. and drives as beautifully as it looks. When the bike is idling it purrs like a cat, and when you hit the throttle it roars like a lion. It’s one of my favorite bikes of all time to ride. The 4-cylinders are so smooth and capable with or without passenger.

This bike will not disappoint.

Stored in climate-controlled space. The bike is located in downtown Manhattan. I don’t have any videos of the bike running but it sounds amazing.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America L Side Rear

While I appreciate Instagram as much as the next guy and this bike does look cool in the pics, I’d appreciate a less… saturated set of images. But the bike does look to be in very nice shape, excepting what appears to be some oil or fuel on the outside of the engine. Or is that just some Instagram-y filter effect?

1977 MV Agusta 750S America Engine

Obviously, this is a serious amount of money for a motorcycle: bidding is currently north of $55,000 and there’s still plenty of time left on the auction. That money could buy you a whole collection of cool motorcycles, and that’s exactly what I’d do with that lump of cash. But for those who want the most sophisticated machine the 1970’s had to offer from one of the most exotic brands of all time, there’s really not much to compare.

-tad

1977 MV Agusta 750S America L Side

Orange Bang: 1978 Laverda 1200 America for Sale

1978 Laverda 1200 L Side

While I certainly appreciate an original or perfectly-restored motorcycle, I’m also okay with what have come to be known as “resto-mods” where the original spirit of the machine is kept intact, but electrical, suspension, braking, and sometimes wheels and tires are upgraded to more modern specification. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the results look stunning, sometimes jarring. In the case of this Laverda 1200 America, I think it works really well.

At the time, a 1200cc motorcycle was considered pretty huge, and the fact that it was in a sports motorcycle that loved to rev and corner made it the Panigale of its day. Capable of 12 second quarter-miles and nearly 140mph, this was a very fast bike back when it was new and is deserving of respect even now. The 518lb wet weight sounds heavy in today’s world of 450lb literbikes, but it was comparable to the big Japanese four cylinders of the time.

1978 Laverda 1200 L Side Rear

What wasn’t comparable was the bike’s brutal, uncompromising nature: Laverdas were high-effort machines, with extremely heavy controls and very stiff suspension. But the payoff was a distinctive three-cylinder howl, excellent handling, and famously rugged construction: the 24,000 miles on this example should be no big deal, provided it’s been maintained as described. Big Laverdas aren’t all-day comfortable, they’re bikes for tearing up back roads, then collapsing in an exhausted heap when you arrive home, tingling with the aftershocks of adrenaline.

As with seemingly all Laverdas, the redline on the tach is deceiving: peak power actually occurs at the very top of the red band [7,500rpm], and the bike should obviously be safe for another 1,000rpm beyond that.

1978 Laverda 1200 Gauges

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Laverda 1200 America for Sale

Rare clean triple in very good condition. Build date 1977. Nothing major hidden, starts right away and runs strong. Clear Tennessee title, note the bike is located in NY, Long Island.

I bought the bike from a collector for my Italian collection, due to change of plans I do downsize a bit. It comes with very special upgrades, better brakes, adjustable handlebar and pedals, see pictures. The front end and brakes suggest it may be a Lance Weil prepared bike, it has also the very lightweight exhaust no baffles, likely the original exhaust from England, light as a feather. The previous owner stated cold compression is within 2 lbs of 157psi. Rare 4C stamped cams and likely but not confirmed special pistons. He said this was the fastest of all Laverdas he owned.

Very presentable rider, not a showbike but has the potential to be one. Not many more around and rarely seen for sale, great collectors bike.

1978 Laverda 1200 Front Brakes

The seller refers to this as an “Americana” but as far as I know, it was just the “America.” If this were a genuine Jota, perhaps the mechanical and cosmetic changes would be sacrilege, but the 1200 America was a bit of a compromise anyway, a bike designed to meet new American emissions laws with lower compression offset by bigger pistons to restore lost power compared to the 1000. I’d appreciate a few more photos with some better lighting, but all-in-all, this bike pushes the right buttons for me.

-tad

1978 Laverda 1200 Tank

If You Have to Ask: 1975 MV Agusta 750S America

1975 MV Agusta 750S America R Front

While many sporting motorcycles from Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Norton, and Triumph sometime featured crude detailing and haphazard fit-and-finish, the MV Agusta 750S America was a premium product with a gorgeous, sand-cast four-cylinder engine at its heart. While four-cylinder engines would eventually be associated with mass-produced “Universal Japanese Motorcycles” in the late 1970’s, MV Agusta’s was a marvel of sophisticated, race engineering. The cams were driven by a straight-cut geartrain that ran between cylinders two and three and the engine is actually narrower than a Honda CB400’s.

1975 MV Agusta 750S America L Front

The America bumped the displacement of the transverse inline four to 787cc and 75hp and, true to its name, the gearshift was on the left and the brake on the right. Unfortunately, it retained the 750S’ heavy shaft drive, although Magni did produce a chain-drive conversion for the bike.

With a 560lb wet weight, the shaft drive, and a very exclusive price tag, this wasn’t a bike for race-track antics. It was a sophisticated, elegant bike for well-heeled fans of MV’s racing heritage and it excelled in that role, as reflected by their value today.

1975 MV Agusta 750S America Tank Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1975 MV Agusta 750S America

Magnificent machine. Sounds, runs and rides awesomely. Truly one of the greatest experiences in classic motorcycles.

This same bike actually featured on CSBFS back in 2012. The racing decals and “elf” logos may not be to everyone’s taste, but I’d expect they’re relatively easy to remove. I’ve seen 750’s with both wire wheels and cast wheels in magnesium or silver, but never with yellow-painted wheels. Red and yellow are a good color combination, although they’re a bit garish on an MV. They may not be to everyone’s taste, and I wonder how they will affect this sale. With a starting bid listed at a shocking $75,000 there are no takers as yet, but with plenty of time left on the auction, I’ll be curious to see if any buyers step up to the plate.

-tad

1975 MV Agusta 750S America R Side

Iconic: 1978 MV Agusta 750S America

1978 MV Agusta 750S America L Front

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.

1978 MV Agusta 750S America R Front Final

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…

1978 MV Agusta 750S America Cockpit Final

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.

1978 MV Agusta 750S America Suspension Final

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.

Comes with:
– 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.

1978 MV Agusta 750S America Tail

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.

-tad

1978 MV Agusta 750S America Rear Final