We are located in sunny LANGLEY, BC, CANADA

Contact Jim Bush by email

Phone 604-535-5800


May 5, 2014



project file: MV AGUSTA - 1970's MAGNI CLASSIC RACE REPLICA with a modern 2004 MV 750cc F4 engine...

The synopsis is simple - build a streetable Classic 1970's MV AGUSTA, MAGNI Style Race REPLICA using a modern MV 750 F4 engine, the rest is old school - wire wheels, Borani rims, 4LS Grimeca front brake, 750 America Gas Tank. a MV full fairing and those magnificent MAGNI swan-neck megaphones. I have always been enthralled with the iconic image of MV Racers, the Magni versions are top.


Photo above is the inspiration that started it all - a MAGNI Racer


Here's my completed version.(Photo by Robert Smith)

I started thinking about the concept of this project Summer 2010 by sketching & working out a basic design, researching frame design techniques, sourcing and collecting the required parts to make a start on this exciting project. There are so many special parts required to be manufactured, including the frame. Work started in July 2011 with the frame building. I blogged the progress on each major area separately - frame, engine, body, wheels, electrics.

What started this endeavor was simply finding a 2007 MV Brutale Engine on ebay for $1000 in July 2010- who could resist. Now what to do with a 750S F4 engine - 125HP of intoxicating power. Builders in our area have fabricated working examples of the AJS Vee4, a 1904 Harley Board Track racer and a Vincent series A - I am not up to fabricating an engine from an oil stain - so using the MV F4 engine is a perfect place to start. The project was born.

Arturo Magni through his son Giovanni are still supplying replica parts for MV's out of Italy After a month of emails, I finally was able to have shipped a full fairing set, seat, tail unit and a set of their magnificent curvy megaphones. A promise of a tank never eventuated and I have now sourced a 750s America tank on ebay for close to what I recently sold a Norton Interstate gas tank for.

magni1 FAIRING

As far as the modern components go - I have been collecting MV F4 parts from various sources including eBay and from Carl Giuffre "CAG" on the MV Lists ( Carl supplied the engine that started all this. I now have in hand all the required parts to make the 750 F4 engine run. ECU, wiring harness, all the relays, fuse box, throttle, radiator, fuel pump, instrument unit, handlebar switchgear etc.. I plan to keep as much of the modern componentry intact, unmolested to keep things simple. The task will be to disguise and hide as much of these items as possible.

Believe it or not, sourcing the gas tank has turned out to be the pivotal piece in being able to start on the project. Since I am building a frame from scratch, shoe horning the 4 cylinder engine in and around a frame and tank has proved to be very challenging. Having the actual tank means the frame can be fitted to suit see BODY WORK blog for transformation of the gas tank.. One major modification required to the engine was to change the throttle bodies from near vertical to horizontal. This involves fabricating new intake manifolds with elbows. Fabrication is well under way - see ENGINE Blog

tank1 manifold

I sourced wheels and brakes from Wolfgang Haearta, Laverda Specialist in Nakusp. He supplied the full set up including a new 230mm Grimeca 4LS front brake, a Grimeca rear hub, alloy flanged rims and heavy duty SS spokes along with a set of Tomeselli levers and Tarozzi rear-sets. Front forks, triple tree are from a 2000 Triumph 955 Daytona 45mm Showa's with full adjustment. I have had these under my bench for seven years, finally found a use. They will require machining of the lower legs to remove the disk caliper mounting bracket and make them look a little more like Marzocchi's or Cerianis used on the Classic's.

REAR grimeca

The frame fixture (jig) was built using a 12" structural channel and HSS post, following concepts from Michael Moore of Euro Spares in California. On his web site he shares his vast wealth of experience and knowledge with motorcycle frame design and making specials (Thanks Mike if you ever read this) Here is the link to his page Tony Foale's book "Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design - the Art & Science" has also been a useful resource.


This is where the construction started - DAY 1: Locating the engine in relation to the steering head. Check out the detailed frame construction process. CHECK FRAME BLOG Here

I have chosen 1" DOM (drawn on mandrel) .063" as the frame material. In researching 4130 (Chrome Moly), I came to the conclusion there is no advantage for use in my project - weight saving is not a major issue, plus the issues with heat affected zones and brittle joints is quite serious. I will be TIG welding the frame, the strongest joint with less affect on the surrounding areas.




FEEDBACK FILE: After Completion

The success of my project has been well documented in three magazine articles - Canadian Biker (Dec 2012), Benzina (Europe) and Bike Craft (Spring 2013).



2013 Fuel Injection System Modifications HERE

You-tube Video's HERE - #1 Startup, #2 Running, #3 Dyno (May 2013)



My son Matt at the Isle of Vashon 2012 rally, won trophy for "PEOPLES CHOICE"


Photo by Robert Smith

August 7, 2012 - Duffy Lake Ride on August 5th - 540km same day ride trying out the new gel pad seat. No complaints.


Photo by Robert Smith

August 2, 2012 - Hard to beleive that a year ago I was fabricating the frame and looking ahead to having it finished. I am riding it regulary now, covered over 6000kms. Nothing but smiles and the response from the public is amazing. It is a head turner fo sure - and sound draws the crowd. What a success - and no, not for sale, nor will I build you a frame......

July 17, 2012 - The big 2100km ride to Nakusp to the Laverda Rally at Wolfgangs was a great success. Bike handled all the twisty roads so well, a real joy to ride. No issues to report other than a minor incident in a parking lot when front wheel grab but me off balance ond over she goes - breaking the gear shifter. Vice grips temp fix, back to Wolfgangs to get another set of Tarozzi rearsets with solid pegs, not fold up this time. Endured about an hour of torrential rain on the way home - appears that my new inner rear fender kept all the electronics dry. It is a dirty wreck right now...needs some TLC.

Before the trip I had a quick Dyno session to see where the map was - the Tuner said the map was all "F'd up" extreme lean and rich peaks - he tweaked top & bottom ranges to help for the ride. Honestly it feels really good to me - not overheating, fuel mileage is identical to my 910R. The overall HP is down about 25, which is not what I was hoping for. I have decided to rework the injector location, by relocating to the top side of the manifold so will have a direct squirt down the intake. I am aiming for at least 100HP at the rear wheel. This motor was dyno'd back in 2006 at 110HP. Once I have completed the mods, then it will go back to the Dyno for a full session where the Tuner can build a proper map.

May 28, 2012 - Ridden over 2000kms now, only a few wrinkles to report - mainly the gear shift lever linkage needs to be re-engineered, it has snapped twice now. Gas mileage is 180kms on 12 litres, around 35mpg. Tank capacity is 15 litres, includes 3 litres reserve, much lower than I was hoping, as the original tank was 19 litres before I guttted it for the fuel pump and frame. Front brakes work now that I have adjusted them. It is a real joy to ride.

May 6, 2012 - QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING, Carmel, California. I made the 3300km round trip trailering the Replica to the Quail. Met with Giovanni Magni and others from the MAGNI Rocket 3 Project which was being unveiled at the event. Giovanni really liked my bike, it was a great hit with the public and judges, no prizes this time, its too modern. The ride on Friday and a few laps of Laguna Seca track was a highlight. I took great pleasure in blasting by Giovanni on the ride - so he could "hear it's voice" - a sound he had a large part in making. I found the MV very stable at speed, easy to corner, but the brakes still need adjusting and bedding in. The cork screw was hairy - 2nd time thru was OK. A GREAT Event, well worth the effort and very positive experience meeting new friends and to be welcomed into the Magni group.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine Field Report HERE Nice words from Editor Richard Bakus "Jim Bush’s Magni Classic Race Replica, a bike so perfect looking you had to look twice before you realized it’s not something MV – or Magni – ever built"


Me and Giovanni Magni


The MAGNI R3 Project - Giovanni Magni, Builder Jerry Ligget of Triple Tecs, Owner Brent Lenahan

April 29, 2012 - BIG REVEAL at the Tsawwassen Vintage & Classic Show, part of the feature display of MV Agusta. The replica was well received and garnered a lot of attention. It was awarded JUDGE's CHOICE for best bike. I am very pleased. Off to California on Weds for the QUAIL GATHERNG of Motorcycles and participating with the Magni Owner's group.


April 22, 2012 - RIDING IT - I have covered about 400 miles over the last week. With the help of Dynojet and a small .exe file emailed to me, I was able to get the Power Commander working properly and the bike running perfectly. The handling is superb with a low riding position and 50mm more wheel base than the Brutale it feels very stable. The reaction from the public is astounding - I get many car/pickups tyring to catch up and take a look - that classic MV image is a real winner. Now it is shed time to get prep'd for the 2 upcoming shows - Tsawwassen and then the Quail May 3rd.

April 15, 2012 - IT IS FINISHED! - The VIN inspection was successful and I now have a shiny new licence plate to prove it. I have been out riding all weekend - laptop in hand, dropping in fuel maps like candy. I have a bit of fueling issue around 4000-5000rpm that I am trying to sort. Above 5000 it pulls strong. The induction roar is quite loud, so are the pipes for that matter. It is a real attention getter. Click on the photo for the GALLERY Page.

I have also posted an updated You Tube video of the bike running HERE on YOUTUBE


April 10, 2012 - SUMMING IT ALL UP - I have been messing around with motorcycles for 40 years now, mainly British, I restored stockers, built customs, Café Racers etc., but this is my “one” defining project. I am somewhere around 600 hours into it, I have machined or manufactured about 300 new parts, and have learned and mastered a number of new skills, TIG welding, lathe work, fibreglassing, paint, upholstery etc. Being a Kiwi, we like to do it all: I only out-sourced one wheel build and the headlight rim re-chromed. Bills total around $10K for the all the bits and it is essentially a bike that I could never sell. A complete labour of love fueled by the passion for the classic MV Magni look. A lot of MV F4 owners on the MV forum wonder Why? And why would I deface a F4?: but when I walk into the shed and see that classic replica in all its glory, my heart skips a beat and I say to myself, “I own one of those?” There is really something about the look of classic MV, and a real one is so out of reach. This is built purely as an excercise in visual and audio enjoyment. I am so happy with the result.

After three days of tracing an electrical gremlin that turned out to be a faulty MV stock fuse/relay unit, wiring is now done and working. The final few bits to go - Front brake cables and twin pull lever and a back brake cable. I received my VIN number and only need the safety inspection before I can put it on the road.

April 1, 2012 - START UP for the first time - got to hear its lovely voice - what a magnificant moment. It nearly didn't happen as when tuned key on for first time, all the diagnostics went OK, but nothing from the fuel pump. After a bit fo checking and faffing around, found the engine kill button was on.....duh!. Nice to find a simple solution...

Check out the video HERE on YOU TUBE

ICBC inspection this week (April 5th), hoping for my UBILT Motorcycle VIN, then the main safety inspection following week. Controls and seat only left to do.

March 25, 2012 - Outside on its own wheels for the first time. This was a very happy day. What started nealry 9 months ago is nearing completion - the home stretch as they say. I am very pleased at how it has turned out.

.Looks like I nailed the concept all right!. Some finishing touches to go still - like controls, electrics & seat upholstery.




March 11, 2012 - Frame and most hard parts are now painted using Endura 2 pot polyurethane harder than bricks paint. The colour is a perfect match to my 04 Brutale - it is so bright and intense. Thankfully no runs. Direct to metal application.


March 5, 2012 - The fabrication phase is now complete. Exhaust completed. Tear down for painting next.


February 19, 2012 - Front wheel and forks are together. After machining and polishing the Showa forks and fabricating axle, spacers and clamps - it all came together. Fender is a perfect fit.

frontwheel1 rearwhl1

February 14, 2012 - Swingarm #3 is completed (except shock mounts) and is fitted in the frame with all the proper bearings and caps.. Check it out on the FRAME BLOG. Front fork sliders machined to replicate the CERIANI style. Check it out on the WHEELS BLOG

sa3 fork12

.Check out the BODY WORK BLOG. and the WHEELS BLOG


January 28th, 2012 - Work on the new swingarm #2 is underway, with the eccentric adjuster end of the swingarm fabricated and machined before the rest of the swingarm is fabricated. Fiberglass work on the upholstery seat pan is happening at the same time.

sw2 seat2

January 18, 2012 - GAS TANK reconstruction completed. Check it out at the BODY WORK BLOG. Rear wheel completed can be seen at the WHEEL BLOG

TANK9 wheel1

December 27, 2011 - FAIRING, HEADLIGHT & FORKS are mounted. It has been a struggle to get things to fit and yet manage to retain some rideability. I plan to spend some time in the saddle of this bike so my priority is making it less of a race bike with a more comfortable riding position. During the mock up, the biggest challenge became the handlebars - Using stock Triumph barset the reach was too far and too angled. A set of custom finish adjustable clip on's from APEX did the trick. Check out details on the BODY WORK BLOG


December 20, 2011 - Took bit of a break in NZ for 2 weeks, not much got done on the MV. Wheels are being laced, found I needed to order up a new set of spokes for a cross 1 pattern on the rear. Picking up with a lot of the small bracketry to be added - side cover mounting plates, water bottle mount, clutch master cylinder (cable operated) and fairing mounts. Sourced a paint match today from ENDURA Coatings, their really hard Polyurethane enamel system (GM Super Red 71U). Going for my frame welding visual inspection tomorrow. Planning to do a big push over the Christmas break, hoping to get paint on the frame in the New Year. Merry Christmas to all of you. JIM

November 20, 2011 - Rear Hub mounted on swingarm and chain installed for test. Eccentric Adjuster not installed yet. More pictures on the WHEEL BLOG


October 31, 2011 - Rear Hub Measurement & Drawing completed - CHECK WHEEL BLOG Here

October 30, 2011 - Tail Light and Licence plate unit completed. Under seat battery tray completed. Wiring test fit. CHECK FRAME BLOG Here

tail frame-wire

Below Left -- Oct 21 Frame in final stages - Below Right August 2011 - Frame triangular braces and spine added. CHECK FRAME BLOG Here

fr frame trig3

July 31, 2011 - First frame mockup with main tubes tacked in position. CHECK FRAME BLOG Here