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Bonhams 1793 Ltd – Motorcycle dept
101 New Bond Street, London
Tel:  02081280201
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1973 MV Agusta 500cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Replica For Sale by Auction

Faithful re-creation of MV Agusta's last Senior-class Grand Prix racer Built from factory drawings in 2012 Paraded by World Champions Giacomo Agostini and Phil Read Last used in August 2019 at the 'Festival of 1000 Bikes' at Mallory Park Arguably the greatest team in Grand Prix racing history, MV Agusta won everything that was worth winning at world level from the early 1950s to the late 1960s and beyond. Machines raced by the legendary Italian works team are among the rarest and most desirable racing motorcycles ever made.

The exquisite motorcycle offered here is a replica of the 1973 four-cylinder '500', MV's final fling in Grand Prix racing's Senior class. It was a development of the Italian firm's contemporary '350' four, which had been introduced in 1971 to counter the threat from Yamaha's two-stroke twins. In the Senior category the combination of Agostini and MV's '500' triple had proved good enough to take every World Championship from 1966 to 1972 inclusive, an unprecedented achievement. In 1973 Ago had to give best to his new team-mate, Phil Read, though he still managed to secure another World Championship in the '350' class. By this time MV also had a four-cylinder '500' available; its design, like its predecessor's, following that of the equivalent '350'. Riding the '500' four, Read took the World Championship again in 1974, Ago having moved to Yamaha. It would be the Italian company's final Grand Prix title, the Japanese two-strokes having by now gained the upper hand.

Not to be confused with the many 'cosmetic' replicas on offer, many of which use modern engines, this beautifully made machine was built from (believed) factory drawings in 2012 by Giuseppe Ioannoni and has had only one owner. Boasting a maximum power output of 80bhp at 14,000rpm, it has been paraded at the Isle of Man, Spa Francorchamps, Paul Ricard, Dijon, Donington Park, and the Red Bull Ring. The MV was last ridden - by Giacomo Agostini, no less - in August 2019 at the VMCC's 'Festival of 1000 Bikes' at Mallory Park (see photographs on file). It has also been ridden by Ago's team-mate Phil Read.

This machine has been maintained with no expense spared over the years and always kept in dry storage when not in use. The engine oil has been changed after each outing and the private vendor advises the MV runs well and sounds wonderful.

All surviving genuine examples of MV's last-of-the-line Grand Prix racers are held either in museums or private collections; only extremely rarely is one offered for public sale and when they are the cost is a king's ransom. All of which makes this accurate replica a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own the next best thing at a relatively affordable price.

This motorcycle is to be auctioned at our Live and Online Winter Sale, Hanger 113, Bicester Heritage, OX26 5HA.


Friday 11 December
Spares & Memorabilia (Lot 1 - 112) 9am
The National Motorcycle Museum Reserve Collection (Lots 201 – 252) 11am

Saturday 12 December
Motorcycles (Day 2) (Lots 501 – 708) 10am

In light of the current government guidelines and relaxed measures we are delighted to welcome viewing, strictly by appointment. All the lots will be on view at Bicester Heritage in our traditional Hangar 113. We will ensure social distancing measures are in place, with gloves and sanitiser available for clients wishing to view motorcycle history files.

Please contact Bonhams Motorcycles by clicking 'Message the seller' with your preferred date, time and vehicle registration number to book an appointment.

Wednesday 9 December 9am to 5pm
Thursday 10 December 9am to 5pm
Friday 11 December 9am to 5pm (Lots 501 – 708 only)


Please note that whilst public viewing is available by appointment, the auction itself will be conducted from a remote saleroom, behind closed doors without public access, in accordance with the current government guidelines. All bidding will be conducted via Online, Telephone and Absentee Bidding. Please contact our Bids Department to register using the 'Message the seller' button.


Motorcycle lots must be cleared from the sale venue by 2pm Sunday 13 December 2020. Limited collection is available until 2pm Monday 14 December, by appointment only. If collecting Monday, please access Bicester Heritage via the 'Main Gate', Buckingham Road, OX26 5HA. Please email us using the 'Message the seller' button with your collection or transport instructions as soon as possible following your successful bid. Failure to instruct Bonhams by the given time will result in your vehicle being uplifted to store at your expense, as detailed in the Conditions of Sale. Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, documents and keys relating to their Lot(s) at time of collection.


Hangar 113
Bicester Heritage
Buckingham Road
OX26 5HA
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