Motorcycle racing resumed in the early ‘fifties. MV Agusta became a racing legend thanks to decisive progress in performance and technology. The publicity generated by its success in racing brought Cascina Costa increased sales of its variety of versatile, economical models that perfectly responded to the demands of the market. But there were also applications deriving from racing bikes such as the sporty 125 Motore Lungo, named for the lengthened crankcases covering its ignition magnet, the most popular sports bike of its day. 1953 was a very important year for industrial production, for MV Agusta reached the threshold of producing 20,000 bikes for the first time, thanks to its complete range and to the introduction of the unique 125 Pullman model. In addition, the first plant licensed to produce motorbikes for export was opened in Spain.
In the meanwhile, on the racing front, the Motorcycling Federation decided to reintroduce competitive racing for mass-produced motorcycles. For this new championship MV Agusta industrialised production of the MV Agusta 124 single-shaft, a bike derived from Cascina Costa’s legendary racing bikes. The following year, 1954, saw the debut of the 175 CSS, which was to rise to fame under the nickname “the flying saucer” because of the disk-like shape of its fuel tank. This model offered more than just attractive appearance, allowing MV’s drivers to win in the Sport classes too. In the second half of the ’fifties the motorcycle market was still booming, though the first signals were beginning to appear of the crisis that would later force many manufacturers to cut investment in racing and applied research.
But MV went against the trend here, purchasing Bell helicopter manufacturing licences which put new technologies at its disposal for application to motorcycles. Among the many innovations dating from this time are the construction of a number of prototypes of progressive hydraulic gears, two stroke fuel injection engines and research bikes such as the six-cylinder 500 four stroke.
MV stood out from the other motorcycle manufacturers even in its most economical range. For instead of adapting its capacities to the standards set by the competition, it preferred to adopt a philosophy of research aimed at its general clientele. In accordance with this policy, in 1956 the company presented the “83”, capable of carrying two people in perfect comfort at a sufficient speed with limited fuel consumption. In 1959 it industrialised production of a new lubrication system that permitted MV Agusta engines to achieve hitherto unknown standards of reliability, and in fact the warranty on MV engines was extended to 100,000 Km. The generation of bikes built with this new engine were in fact nicknamed the “Hundred thousand”.