Motorcycle Classics Blogs > Barber's Best

Barber's Best

A virtual tour of the classic motorcycle collection on display at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Ala.


John Surtees' 1956 MV Agusta

John Surtees' 1956 MV Agusta

1956 MV Agusta

Country: Italy
Engine: Air-cooled, transverse 4-cylinder, 4-stroke
Ignition: Lucas racing magneto
Power Rating: 56bhp @ 10,500rpm
Bore x Stroke: 53x56.4mm
Displacement: 496.5cc
Valves: Gear-driven twin overhead cams
Fuel System: Four Dell'Orto 28mm carbs
Transmission: 5-speed
Suspension: Front telescopic forks, rear twin shocks
Brakes: Four shoe front drum, rear drum
Weight: 308lb
Top Speed: 145mph

John Surtees' 1956 MV Agusta

This very special classic motorcycle was hand-built by the MV Agusta racing department for the sole purpose of being the best racing motorcycle of its time. Ridden by young rising race star John Surtees of England, the combination of rider and machine captured the 1956 500cc World Championship crown and went on to win three more between 1958 and 1960. This was the start of MV Agusta's more than 15-year domination of the Premier motorcycle racing class.

John Surtees' 1956 MV Agusta

John Surtees' 1956 MV Agusta