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Dreaming of America

Those of us who fell in love with motorcycles in the 70s might have had a Honda 400 Four, but we dreamed of owning an MV Agusta 750. Maybe it was the decal on the tank with 37 stars, one for each manufacturer’s world championships won by MV. Geeky fact – the decal wasn’t lacquered so that if another world championship was won, you could add another star – but MV never did. By 1976 MV had stopped racing and the America, the last of the big bore MVs, was languishing in showrooms. How times change. The America was created to meet new US road bike registration laws. The first were delivered in 1975 with a planned production run of 400 bikes a year. The early bikes came with wire wheels, Scarab front discs and a drum rear, straight chrome pipes and 26 mm Dell’Ortos. Later came options: Brembo disc brakes, full fairing and EPM magnesium or aluminium alloy wheels. Engine #001 was the pre-production bike and the highest known is #395, so it’s reasonable to think that the total production run was 395. Unfortunately, the America’s high price (even by Italian superbike standards) and mediocre performance led to poor sales and, in turn, bikes being re-exported to other countries. Some were converted to Monzas. The motorcycle in these photos was sent to England and the MV owners’ club claimed it was the fastest 750 MV in the country. Apparently the engine was built using a 1975 crank carrier, 600 heads reprofiled to America specifications, and two base gaskets to reduce compression to 10:1. Ignition timing was set to 46º fully advanced and used two Monza inlet cams. It also now has a host on Magni goodies. The Magni chain-drive conversion requires the frame to be strengthened to reduce flex and the fairing restricts air flow to the carburettors, removal improving top end performance. The few sessions the bike did on the track with the full fairing in place suggested this to be true as the engine seemed to run out of puff well below the 210kph (130mph) the bike is supposed to be capable of. Still, it would be nice to discover that in person. The full story and more photos by Russ Murray are in Benzina 7








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