The Flying Saucer: 1954 MV Agusta 175 CSS Disco Volante — Classic Italian…

22 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи The Flying Saucer: 1954 MV Agusta 175 CSS Disco Volante — Classic Italian… отключены
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1954 MV Agusta 175 CSS

Claimed 14hp @ 8,500rpm (factory

Top speed: 84mph

Engine: air-cooled SOHC single, x 62mm bore and …, compression ratio

Weight 246.4lb (112kg)

Fuel 3.7gal (14ltr)/80mpg (observed)

then/now: $448/$10,000-$16,000

Somewhere in the maybe even on back near you there are happy riding in a moto giro.

A giro Italian for “motorcycle often has the feeling of an Old Home Many of the riders already each other, and many timers are friends of previous But newcomers are most welcome, and as unload their small, European postwar bikes, introduced around as they for the sign-up tent.

Yet despite all the there is a whiff of competition in the A giro is supposed to be a regularity not a race, but when you gather a group of competition motorcycles, very small and quite old motorcycles, the participants start to a need for speed.

The first d’Italia ran in 1914. It was a real race over Italian roads. This counterpart of the Mille Miglia became premier two-wheel road

After World War II the event and by 1954, 50 different manufacturers competing in an eight-stage event more than 2,100 Three years later, it was all A fatal crash in the 1957 Miglia led the Italian government to ban road competition.

In 2001, a company named Engine, run by a Ducati executive, the giro as a reliability trial. The giro had classes for 75cc, 125cc and 175cc machinery. The new had classes for the same size with the bikes limited to or earlier.

The idea caught on, and are now being held around the and across the U.S. including New Alabama and California, in addition to the event in Italy, which is now by Club Terni. The rules from event to event, but the is always the same: riding older bikes against the on scenic roads.

Many build bikes specifically for events. “I first about giro events a friend in Scotland, who invited me to the there,” says Barry owner of the 1954 MV Agusta 175 CSS Volante featured here. went over and rode and had a I came back home and looking for an MV Agusta to ride in the

MV Agusta’s early days

MV are some of the fastest, most and rarest giro-legal motorcycles. most present-day Italian manufacturers, MV got its start after War II. Italy was struggling to rebuild, and much of its infrastructure in shambles were in desperate need of transportation.

At the same time, the of the military equipment that had heavily encouraged under wartime regime was banned, and that had been involved in war but had escaped being bombed oblivion found themselves in of a complete retool. MV Agusta was one with an intact factory in of a new product.

Count Giovanni started building airplanes in After he died in 1927, the and their sons, Domenico, Mario and Corrado, kept the going. Domenico Agusta interested in building motorcycles in the Twenties, but the buildup to World War II with any plans he might had.

Italy, of course, ended up on the side. And while the Allied occupied the south of Italy, Italy, including the area MV was based, was occupied by the Germans for than a year.

At the close of the war the family still had their but was forbidden to build airplanes. In the of keeping their workforce and filling Italy’s need for Vincenzo and Domenico resurrected motorcycle design. They started on the development work the German occupation.

Meccanica Agusta was founded on February 12, The name can be translated as the Agusta in the city of Verghera although the was established in nearby Cascina a small hamlet near north of Milan. Production with a 98cc 2-…

The Agusta family quickly to go racing, either to promote the or because Domenico and Vincenzo had the bug, or both.

A breathed on and version of the 2-…, with a transmission and telescopic forks, won its race on Oct. 13, 1946, and on to win a total of 41 road races and 10 races. A 125cc version up on tracks in 1948 and, F. Bertoni aboard, won MV’s Grand Prix victory on

12, 1949. The Regolarita, also a 2-…, won a gold medal in the Welsh Six Days Trial, the championship in the 1950 Italian Off competition, and in all won 11 team and 226 individual

A 500cc 4-… developed for Grand Prix competition in the Belgian Grand Prix on 2, 1950. Designed by Pietro this unusual looking sported Earles forks in dual shock suspension in the and double overhead cams. The (Italian for “twin cam”) was the in a line of bright red “Fire of Gallarate” to clean up on tracks up the 1960s.

The fiercely competitive nature of the motorcycle market mandated MV’s road bikes be improved. The first 4-…, a production 250cc tourer, in 1947, with plunger suspension and telescopic forks. The 4-…, the 1954 CST tourer, was by a 172.3cc single overhead cam that was quite advanced for its

Bore and … was 59.5 x with a compression ratio of and an 18mm Dell’Orto MA18 As a result of the compression ratio and the carburetor, it produced a mild 8 at 5,200rpm. Lubrication was wet sump, and was by magneto.

The engine was a stressed of the frame, which, outside of the was a combination of steel tubes and steel components, with forks, swingarm rear and a choice of 17-inch or 19-inch wheels.

Of course, that engine cried for tuning, and it was available in a speedier version. The 175 CS monoalbero (single cam) was the same as the CST, but with a 7:1 ratio and a 22mm Dell’Orto This bumped output up to 11 (some sources quote with a top speed of 115kph, or

Those who wanted still performance and could afford the lire asking price $448 in 1954 dollars, a new Harley Panhead was $761.25) buy a 175 CSS, or Super Sport. was 8.2:1 and with a 25mm Dell’Orto carburetor the 175 CSS produced 14 at 8,500rpm, enabling the roughly single-cylinder machine to fly as fast as or 84mph. The CSS was also beautiful, and its oddly shaped tank in caught the eye, leading to dub the CSS the “Disco Volante,” or Flying

MV Agusta only made the CSS in The engine was then further to 9.2:1 compression and 16 horsepower at and blessed with a 5-speed This engine saw limited in an offroad Regolarita model but was used in the CSS/5v, MV’s production road racer and Squalo (shark) for the shark-like of the race fairing.

Built 1955 and 1957, a Squalo Mike Hailwood to his first wins, and a Squalo with a lighting kit took Italian Venturi to overall victory in the classic Motogiro d’Italia of Another Squalo followed in Signore Venturi, now 85 years is still with us, and Barry had the honor of riding with him in the Motogiro d’Italia all five

Barry Porter’s Disco

Barry Porter’s search for a or earlier MV first led him to a CSTL, the model of the 1954 175cc enhanced with a dual It barely got out of its own way, but a participant in the he entered it in turned out to have a CSS Volante for sale, complete but some engine work to get it

Now, a 1954 MV Agusta in of engine work is a completely animal than, say, a Harley-Davidson Panhead or a 1954 twin in need of engine Both the Harley and the Triumph are to the hilt, parts are available at meets or from aftermarket and there are even workshop for sale. Not so for an early MV.

The CSS MV Agusta was in small batches of up to 50 motorcycles at a with production starting as early as 1953, and ending as late as 1955. Detail were common between and parts availability is zero. Barry bought the Disco and to work on it.

It helps to have when you journey into the and Barry lucked into a but stalwart group of MV Agusta A friend joined him in having made by Ross in Southern and Scottish friends connected him to a in England that specializes in MV Agusta single-cylinder bottom He shipped the crankshaft over, and it was with a modern big-end and a new crankpin to fit.

The head was rebuilt by Engine in Petaluma, Calif. Barry an electronic ignition with a circuit from Power in Germany, which eliminated the for a battery. The original Dell’Orto SS 25 carburetor was replaced with a tractable UB 24.

“All these were suggested by the MV Club,” explains. “As I bought it, the was not tractable for street use. it’s a good hot rod.”

with his rebuilt hot rod, Porter turned up for his first with the Disco and blew the gasket. “These things time to sort out,” he The next year, he holed the “The timing was off.” Barry had been rebuilding his so the next year he rode it, now and more reliable, while the CSS was in the of being rebuilt.

Barry up for his fourth Giro on the freshly Disco Volante. “I was so to be back on the road with my It was running well but with a few miles to go on day one a tappet adjuster off, shearing the pin on the vernier for the cam.” Ouch.

“The time was the charm. I had finally everything just right and my was a very successful finish. after that Giro, asked if I would like to put the on display at the San Francisco Airport as of an exhibit of Italian engineering.

It was nine months and I just got it Barry says.

The Disco Volante is obviously a bit of Italian industrial art, but it is art a purpose: Barry Porter it as a platform for giro eventing.

best place to ride it is other Giro-isi on other bikes. That’s the real fun with others on the same bike. A Giro is time/speed/distance. as much fun to go 45mph on these bikes as 80mph on a big modern

It’s the same thrill, it’s great fun with the There you are, all tucked in for a giving it all you’ve got, and you down and you’re only 35mph, yet you feel like flying!

“You don’t go a turn, grab the brake and out like on a large capacity All you have is 175cc with a few and virtually no torque. You become a manager. The goal is to maintain and speed through a corner to exit speed.

It’s to work on that skill. You one with the bike,” Barry

And in Barry’s case, you get to become one what has become perhaps the iconic giro-associated motorcycle built. If you’ve ever running in a giro, maybe the time.

You never know, you might get to see Barry’s MV doing what it was designed to do, running the road with an assuredly rider aboard. MC


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