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UFO - the Disco Volante

"The single-cam 175, introduced in 1952 and put into production in 1954, was of fundamental importance to the technical, commercial and sporting evolution of the marque. From an engineering point of view, the 175 CS was important because it was the first 4-stroke MV to go into volume production..." – Colombo & Patrignani, MV Agusta.


Banned post war from aircraft manufacture Agusta (now Leonardo) begun motorcycle production late in 1945 with a 98cc two-stroke under the name Meccanica Verghera (in English "mechanics of Verghera town" - MV). the new company introduced its first production four-strokes, the single-cylinder 175 CST and CSTL, at the Milan Show in 1952. The overhead cam, unit construction motors set them apart from most of the opposition, as did the chassis. Their cycle parts too were state-of-the-art, the duplex loop frame using the engine as a stressed member, supported on oil damped front fork, swing arm rear suspension, and full-width alloy brake hubs. A year later the 175 CS Sport arrived featuring an engine in a higher state of tune that increased maximum power to 11bhp at 6,700rpm and pushed top speed to 117km/h (73mph). Alternative versions with either a race-developed Earles-type leading-link fork (suggested by MV's Grand Prix rider, Les Graham) or conventional telescopics were offered. It was not just new sports roadster's cutting-edge technical specification that set the public's pulse racing but also its styling, for the model featured a sculpted fuel tank, almost circular when viewed from above, that soon gained it the nickname Disco Volante - Flying Saucer in English. The ultimate development of the line arrived in 1955 in the shape of the 175 CS Super Sport, which came with 18bhp and a top speed of around 135km/h (85mph). Not surprisingly, the 175 CS Sport Disco Volante was soon MV Agusta's best seller, production continuing until 1958. This one is ex-Morbidelli Museum, sold by Bonhams at the summer sale who also supplied the photo. We’ve got the winter sale at Bicester Heritage in early December so if you’ve a motorcycle you’d like to sell at auction please contact me



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