From the Archive: MV Memories

Arianne Davey
November 30, 2021

As the two young girls watch Mike Hailwood round Signpost Corner, what are they thinking? It’s 1963, the Senior, but does any of this matter to them? Maybe they’re glad it’s the final race of the week and it won’t be so noisy!

Black and white image of Mike Hailwood on a MV-4 500cc at Signpost Corner in the 1963 Isle of Man Senior TT

The MV Agusta story is one of polar ups and downs. At the time this photo was taken in 1963, it was enjoying an up.

Hailwood was current world champion, the Norton singles were no match and Mike would win this race by more than one minute from JohnHartle on the aging, but still competitive Gilera 500s, with Phil Read more than four-and-a-half seconds behind John.

Mike and MV would become World Champions again that year.

The four cylinder MV Agusta 500 was designed by the ex-Gilera designer, Piero Remor, alongside Arturo Magni, and remained competitive from 1950 until 1966, when the 500cc triple (based on the 350cc triple) took over.

At first, the bike had shaft drive and girder forks, but over the years, morphed with the latest technology to be totally dominant. The engine also went to produce in the region of 75-80bhp by the end – from a 500cc designed in the late 40s.

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