MV Meccanica Verghera Ltd repairs and restores MV Agusta and Gilera motorbikes

 

As father and son, separately and together, we have traded under various names. Here is a timeline to show our evolution.

 

Timeline

 

Significant milestones in the Kay family business

 

1978

The MV Agusta motorcycle factory, based in Italy, ceased trading.

 

1982

gear parts

David and Mark Kay, along with many other owners, found replacement parts increasingly difficult to source. As a result, they commenced manufacturing high quality replica parts for their 750cc Race Bike and 900cc Sidecar. As accomplished engineers, they began to earn a reputation within the world of racing for the high standard of their work.

 

gifmachined parts

1983

The stolen bike

 

 

On a visit to the MV Agusta Race Shop in Gallarate near Milan the Kays' MV motorcycle, which had been built from parts, was stolen

Mr Magni, Mr. Ubbiali and Mr. Laudi, the spares supremo, were devastated. Mr. Magni promised to replace the bike which he later did.

Mr. Laudi gave the Kays a complete set of 500GP 72 four cylinder engine unmachined castings.

It then took 30 years to obtain sufficient information to machine the 500 4cylinder GP engine.

This is a photo of the first bike they ever built from original factory parts. It's an MV 750Sport. Dave Kay rode it all the way to Italy, with Mark, then only 15 yr old, riding pillion.

1984

machined castings

 

Dave and Mark Kay made a decision to build their own engine.

They manufactured and machined castings to enable them to build 500cc to 862cc Engines

machined castings

1988

Mark Kay

 

The Kays constructed the world’s first road going MV500cc 4 cylinder motorcycle.

 

gif first 500cc MV

 

 

This 500cc Eiger MV wins the Manchester Show

 

 

 

1989

On the death of Mr.Laudi, the Spares Department closed and MV Agusta went into liquidation.

The Kays MV 500cc Wins ‘Best in Show’ award at the International Manchester Bike Show and later, Stafford International Bike Show.

1990

Kays_registration certificate

 

 

 

The Kays register their Company.

 

M.V.-Meccanica Verghera Limited is incorporated under the Companies Act (1985) as a Private Limited Company.

 

A copy of this certificate (6Mb PDF) is here

1995

website

David and Mark Kay’s hand built Ferrari motorcycle was unveiled at the 1995 Classic International Bike Show and was described by Sammy Miller and others as a ‘Unique Engineering Masterpiece’. The concept was conceived during a conversation with a good friend Rodney Timson of Milford. He suggested, to showcase our engineering capabilities, we build a one off motorcycle, which had not been attempted by other manufacturers or engineers.

After much thought and deliberation it was agreed to write to Ferrari Cars and ask permission to build a motorcycle in honour, and dedicated to, the memory of the founder of the company Enzo Ferrari. To our surprise and delight his son Petro replied giving his agreement. We have been told over the years that Enzo Ferrari had no connection with motorcycles so why bother. This is untrue. Enzo Ferrari in his teenage years raced Scott motorcycles built in Shipley, Yorkshire and had a love affair with bikes long before cars.

The project was commenced in 1990 with the basic idea it had to look like a two wheeled Ferrari. A machine which the factory could have built if they had gone into motorcycle manufacture at this time. Hence Twin Head and Rear Lights, Italian Webber dual Choke Carbs, as fitted to their cars installed on a four cylinder engine with 4 exhausts. (See elsewhere for further details). After 5 years work Mark and David displayed the bike at Silverstone Race Track where they were guests of the Lamborgini car manufacturer. Lord Hesketh, on seeing the bike, insisted it be displayed in the Race Drivers Private Rest Garden.
This was the first and only time a mechanical vehicle was allowed on this hallowed turf. Drivers insisted it be fired into life. Jack Brabham, World Champion, push started the bike to great applause of the other drivers. Was it worth the effort? You bet!!
For further details about this unique project, please click here.

1997

Domain registration certificate

 

David and Mark Kay bought the domain name 'mv-agusta.co.uk' and it has been registered in their name ever since October 1997, as this certificate shows (pdf 410Kb)

Later in 2000 Cagiva, the owner of the MV Agusta motorcycle name objected to the registration and insisted on arbitration.

He lost his case

Claudio Castiglioni admitted in hard copy during Cagiva’s submissions to the arbitrator that the Kays had kept the name MV Agusta alive

"..we appreciated that your company has restored and repaired veteran MV AGUSTA motorcycles for about 22 years and we are aware that you have kept the MV AGUSTA name alive in the motorcycles field."

1998-2005

 

Gilera_4_GP_1957

 

During these years, the Kays built and sold Gilera 4 Cylinder Grand Prix 1957 race bikes

This machine was originally built to remind Classic Race goers of the achievements of Scotsman Bob McIntyre, the first man to lap the TT course at 100 mph in 1957

We race this bike, when allowed by the organisers, with his No.78

Our first attempt at racing on the IOM with GP Solo machine was with the Gilera 500cc Bike, with No.24 Plate, it finished 7th straight out of the crate, achieving a lap in practice of 101 mph and a fastest race lap of 99.9 mph. At this time Bob McIntyre’s 100mph-plus Race Record laps still stand.

2005-2008

MV_GP_500

They also built an MV Grand Prix 3 Cylinder 500 race bike which was the exact replica of the orginal MV Agustas from the period 1964 - 1971

This photo shows Malcolm Wheeler, Editor in Chief of the Classic Racer Magazine testing the Race Bike built by MV Meccanica Verghera at Jurby Airfield on the Isle of Man

This machine has been the basis of our race effort with the Black Eagle Racing Team.

It took the fastest lap for an Air Cooled Four Cylinder GP Bike, beating Hailwood (Honda) Agostini (MV Agusta) with a lap of the TT Course of 109.089 mph, the previous best being 108.30 mph

In Agostini's book "15 Times", Giacomo was asked how many lorries and mechanics left Cascina Costa for the Isle of Man in 1967. His reply was "I always had five mechanics at the TT, two complete 350 and 500 motorcycles plus three spare engines for the 350 and three for the 500. .. there's a truck with the tents, one to set up the hospitality facility, one for the electronics, one for the tyres... I had four wheels because I had more money than anyone else. Now they get twenty each."

When the Kays took the fastest lap, they had one bike, one engine and one set of tyres. Click here for more racing pictures

2008

engine drawing

The website was put into hibernation while a dispute with Cagiva over our 16yr old logo and 18yr old Ltd company name was resolved by Trade Mark officials.

Not one but two clients allowed the Kays to make detailed drawings of their 1970 and 1974 500cc Grand Prix race bikes, which enabled them to begin manufacture their own race bike from the original works castings which had been kindly donated by Mr. Laudi in 1983.

The Kays' 30-yr ambition has been achieved! This motorcycle will be completed in 2013.

It will have a 500cc engine machined from original castings installed in a chassis as Phil Read's 1973/74 World Championship winning bike

To enable us to race a Classic 4 cylinder machine, we will construct a 350cc 1971 engine in a chassis fitted with wire wheels and disc brakes.

This should be eligible for Pre 1972 Manx GP races in the Isle of Man

2012

 

The Kay marque

 

 

At the end of 2012, Mark and David heard the result of arbitration by the Trade Mark Tribunal.

They lost their logo application but were officially awarded the right to return and trade under the name ‘MV Meccanica Verghera Ltd’

They also retained their website domain name mv-agusta.co.uk

This is the new Kay marque, displayed as a tank badge from the 2015 races onwards
We will construct new motorcycles based on original bikes. For instance,if you would like a race-ready replica of the 2014 Classic IOM TT winner you can get it directly from us for £135,000. (Prices subject to negotiation and specification)

Onwards and upwards

into the future

Spare parts are available for the following Pre 1980 Air Cooled Four Cylinder Classic MV Agusta and Gilera Motorcycles: -

1. MV Agusta road bikes 600cc to 862cc – 1968 to 1977

2. Gilera 1957 500cc GP and in the near future 350cc GP race bikes

3. MV Agusta type 500cc and 350cc 3 Cylinder 1964 to 1972 GP race bikes

4. MV Agusta type 500cc and 350cc 4 Cylinder 1971 to 1974 GP race bikes

We have 35 years of experience with the Agusta marque and are able to service, repair, renovate and rebuild after crash damage all the motorcycles named above.

We can also make frame and chassis kits that will enable enthusiasts to build the bike of their dreams.

Alternatively, we will construct new motorcycles based on original bikes. For instance, if you would like a race-ready replica of the 2014 Classic IOM TT winner you can get it directly from us for £135,000. (Prices subject to negotiation and specification)

Please contact us for further details

IOM Classic TT winners

engine drawing

Finally after many disasters and years of trying, our Isle of Man dream was realised.

After bitter disappointment in the 500cc race we won the Okells 350cc Classic TT, setting a new lap record of 105.239mph.

For us, this was equivalent to taking the gold in the Olympics!

For further details and more information, please see the race page.

Isle of Man TT winner 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
We can build a race-ready replica of the 2014 Classic IOM TT winner for £135,000. (Prices subject to negotiation and specification) For further information, contact us

Our best race yet

Dean Harrison wins the 2015 Classic TT 500cc

 

 

This year, in 2015, the Black Eagle Racing Team competed in the Bennetts Classic TT 500cc race.

The event proved to be the realisation of Dave's dream to triumph on one of his own hand-built 500cc MV Agustas.

Not only did Dean Harrison romp home in first, but he was closely followed by Lee Johnston in third.

The race was a thrilling specacle and both bikes, newly-built for the event, performed faultlessly.

For more details, read on...

 

Year

 

Early years 1983 1984 1988 - 1989 1990 1995 1997 1998-2005 2005-2008 2008 2012 2013 2014 2015

 

Significant milestones in the Kay family business, MV Meccanica Verghera Ltd, specialising in 3 and 4 cylinder air cooled Italian motorcycles

Other Pages

 

 

MV Meccanica Verghera Ltd repairs and restores MV Agusta and Gilera motorbikes