MV Agusta 750 Imola

With Phil Aynsley


The name ‘750 Imola’ normally brings a silver Ducati to mind, however Ducati wasn’t the only Italian manufacturer to field a 750 Imola in the famous 1972 race.

PA MV Agusta Imola
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

MV Agusta was there with factory riders Giacomo Agostini and Alberto Pagani on very special versions of their 750 Sport.

PA MV Agusta Imola
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

These were very much race bikes, with many substantial changes from the road bike.

PA MV Agusta Imola
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

The cylinders were cast in one block, instead of separately, while the heads were different castings with fewer fins and revised valve angles.

PA MV Agusta Imola
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

The 29 mm SS1 Dell’Orto carbs were bored out to 30 mm. All these modifications resulted in an output of 85 hp at 9000 rpm.

PA MV Agusta Imola
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

PA MV Agusta Imola
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

Interestingly the two bikes used different frames and tanks. The bike I photographed here is Pagani’s machine, that Ago used as backup after Pagani injured his arm in practice. The visual frame differences can be seen under the rear of the tank.

PA MV Agusta Imola
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

The Pagani bike is as per 1972, whereas Ago’s bike was modified greatly after the ’72 race (in which he led for the first few laps before being passed by Ducati riders Spaggiari and Smart, then retiring).

PA MV Agusta Imola
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

A chain final drive, box section swing arm and dual Scarab front discs were the main external changes.

PA MV Agusta Imola
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

PA MV Agusta Imola
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

PA MV Agusta Imola
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

This bike now resides in the Barber Museum in the US, where these shots were taken in 2014. The Pagani bike was in the Elly collection when I photographed it in 2013.

PA Barber
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

PA Barber
Alberto Pagani’s MV 750 Imola

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