Italian style and performance have never been cheap. And that goes double for motorcycles built by that most exclusive of Italy’s bike-makers, MV Agusta.
But, ah, what you get for your money. Molto power. Molto styling. Molto attention when you roll up to a stoplight on a bike that makes everything else seem positively ordinary.
With the 1975 MV Agusta 750 Sport America, you got all that and more—an intoxicating taste of la dolce vita. It just couldn’t get much sweeter.
After all, MV Agusta’s name was synonymous with grand-prix racing. From 1952 through 1973, the Cascina Costa-based manufacturer won 37 world road-racing championships, including 16 500cc titles in 18 years. This was a company that made helicopters for profit and gorgeous red racing bikes for fun. So when MV turned out streetbikes—and it never made many—you could count on that grand-prix experience going into each one.
Frame:1975 MV Agusta 750 Sport America
Engine: 4-stroke DOHC inline 4 cyclinder
Bore x Stroke: 67mm x 56mm
Transmission: 5 speed/shaft final drive
Owner: Don Marsh
In general terms, there wasn’t much to separate the 750S from the other emerging superbikes of the day. The engine was a 790cc inline four with dual overhead cams. There were twin disc brakes in front and a tachometer that redlined at 8,500 rpm.
On paper, at least, it was a Honda CB750 with 54 extra cc, shaft drive and sexy Italian duds.
But of course, it’s an MV. And that makes all the difference, says Ohio’s Don Marsh, who owns this mint, 400-mile example on display in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum at AMA headquarters in Pickerington, Ohio.
The differences start with the engine’s sand-cast cases that telegraph its limited production run. Inside is a powerplant derived from MV’s racers. And in case you didn’t get the message, there’s a decal with 37 blue stars, one for every campione del mondo.
Fire up the MV, and there’s no mistaking the bike’s lineage.
“It makes such a nice mechanical noise when it’s running,” says Marsh. “It’s like listening to an old Bugatti. It’s so different from the stuff today.”
The styling is pure Italian. From the Tommaselli clip-ons to the graceful curve of the tank to the wrinkle-finish black mufflers, the MV exudes a character few bikes can match.
Just as breathtaking as the motorcycle, though, was the price. At a time when Honda’s CB750 went for $2,190, the MV cost three times as much—$6,500 retail.
But, as with so many things in life, if you wanted it, it was worth it.
La dolce vita, indeed.