MV Agusta 500/3: Ago’s weapon of choice
MV Agusta’s 500cc three-cylinder is an iconic Grand Prix bike. It would prove to be the most successful MV Agusta in history, winning the world title seven years in a row from 1966 to 1972 in the skilled hands of the Italian Giacomo Agostini.
MV started out with a 350cc version of the three-cylinder in 1965, expanding it to 500cc for 1966. It was unusual for a bike to have three cylinders, and MV Agusta were the first ones to use a four-valves per cylinder layout on their engine, which was more powerful than any other bike during its time. The double overheads cams are driven by gears that run up the right side of the engine, each lobe directly operates a valve, with four per cylinder. The 500 / 3 produced 84 hp at 13.500 rpm. At just 118 kilograms it reached impressive speeds of over 160 miles an hour (+ 250 km/h). And just as impressive was the sound it produced.
The ‘Tre Cilindri’ 500 was first raced in the 1966 Dutch TT and ran its last race in 1974. It seems appropriate for ‘Ago’ to choose the mighty MV 500 / 3 as his ‘weapon of choice’ for his return to the ‘Cathedral’ during the Classic GP Assen.