Timely Tribute: Magni MV Agusta 750S Tributo Test

The Magni MV Agusta 750S Tributo, praised for its period looks, offers “scintillating performance from another era — today.”

| May/June 2019

mv-agusta-750s

Magni MV Agusta 750S Tributo
Engine: 798cc liquid-cooled DOHC transverse inline 3-cylinder, 79mm x 54.3mm bore and stroke, 13.3:1 compression ratio, 125hp @ 11,600rpm (at crankshaft)
Fueling: Eldor electronic fuel injection and engine management system with three 50mm Mikuni throttle bodies and single injector per cylinder
Transmission: 6-speed, chain final drive
Electrics: 12v, electronic ignition
Frame/wheelbase: Chrome-moly tubular steel open-cradle space frame/55.9in (1,420mm)
Suspension: Fully adjustable 43mm ORAM telescopic fork front, dual ORAM fully adjustable shocks rear
Brakes: Dual 12.6in (320mm) Brembo discs with 4-piston Brembo calipers front, single 9in (230mm) Brembo disc with 2-piston Brembo caliper rear
Tires: 110/80 x 18in front, 160/60 x 18in rear
Weight: 374lb (170kg)
Seat height: 32.3in (820mm)
Price: TBA
Manufacturer: Moto Magni, Samarate, Italy

As it continues its ride along the comeback trail, MV Agusta has been acquired by Russian investor Timur Sardarov, after his successive cash injections allowed the famed Italian brand to survive yet another brush with bankruptcy. His rescue mission will allow MV to continue offering the ever more tantalizing array of new models combining leading-edge engineering with arresting-looking design that it’s become famous for around the world since its revival by the Castiglioni family exactly 20 years ago, with the debut of the F4.

But 20 miles farther south of MV’s Varese base, the traditions of this marque have continued uninterruptedly to be showcased in a modern context. For in the Moto Magni factory at Samarate, Giovanni Magni, 59, is now producing the latest in a series of traditional-looking bikes powered by modern MV Agusta engines.



It’s only in the past six years that this small but well-equipped factory has started using the products of the modern MV Agusta firm as the basis for creating a potent blend of yesterday’s looks and today’s performance. It’s hard to think of any company more entitled than Moto Magni to use current MV Agusta hardware to produce such an authentic retro bike. For it was the firm’s founder, Giovanni’s late father Arturo who, before he passed away in December 2015 at the age of 90, led the world’s most successful ever non-Japanese GP race team to its remarkable haul of 75 road racing World Championships in 26 years, bankrolled by the profits of Count Agusta’s helicopter factory and achieved with bikes developed in MV’s former race HQ at Gallarate, just a stone’s throw from Moto Magni’s Samarate factory.

However, Giovanni’s first Magni MV tribute bike was actually a ringer, because the only thing MV about the Magni Sport 1200 S introduced 20 years ago in 1999 was its styling. For this was a palpable pastiche of the original 4-cylinder MV Agusta 750S, of which just 402 examples were built from 1971-1975. That’s because the Magni look-alike was powered by the ubiquitous Suzuki 1200 Bandit engine. Despite borrowing various design cues from the original MV 750S, like its red leather hump-backed seat and the shapely disco volante styling of the fuel tank with tricolor paintwork (but a Gallic red, white and blue rather than the colors of the Italian flag — no, I’ve never been able to find out why), the result looked pretty ungainly, plus it was rather uncomfortable and tiring to ride. Nevertheless, 92 examples were sold around the world during the next decade, and these have themselves become collectors’ items, even if Giovanni Magni admits it wasn’t his family company’s finest piece of work. “The problem was that we couldn’t get access to the 750cc MV Agusta F4 engine that had finally reached production the year before,” he says. “They were backed up for at least two years with orders, and there was no other 4-cylinder Italian engine to consider using instead of that. But we could obtain the Suzuki motor, and while it’s not the most beautiful engine to look at, it had excellent performance, and suited our needs. And our sales proved that it was the right decision!” Can’t argue with the order book. MC



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