MV Agusta Factory Visit

Upon arrival to our hotel room in the town of Varese we happen to glance out the window to see this spectacular view of the Lake Varese below and the town was situated on. We were staying at the Palace Hotel. It was built upon the top of a hill over looking the town and lake below. Built over 100 years ago the structure was magnificent, and also happens to be owned by Claudio Castiglioni the president of Cagiva and MV Agusta. There was MV Agusta Oro in the lobby along with a Cagiva 500 GP motorcycle. There was definitely no doubt as to who the owner of the hotel was.

Later in the day after we rested and ate, a driver picked us up and took us to the factory to meet with Barbara Merli the personal assistant to Claudio Castiglioni. She completely arranged our two day visit with the president and the rest of personnel at the factory and her thoroughness and professionalism was consummate. MV Agusta is a national symbol of motorcycling prestige and technology, and it represents the ultimate in terms of engineering and design choices transferred to production models. These concepts and the knowledge of having to offer a modern product that is consistent with an aristocratic past, have led to the production of vehicles of extraordinary beauty, capable of establishing new limits in the sports motorcycles market.

Upon arriving at he factory the first thing you notice is that it is sitting on the edge of Lake Varese and has a stunning view of the entire lake. Upon entering Mr. Castiglioni's office you see the same spectacular view but from a elevated second floor position. As we walked through the headquarters the walls are adorned with Cagiva racing posters from a bygone era, and also a number of F4 Oro posters. Upstairs in the presidents office and conference room were a large number of trophies and awards.

Several meetings were arranged for me to meet with various personnel of the MV Agusta project team to discuss performance enhancements for racing, and future plans for the enhancement of the motorcycle. I met with Andrea Googi first, the engine project leader. We probably spent the most time together discussing every conceivable part of the motor and the enhancements of the 2002 motor over the 2001 model. He was very knowledgeable and we discussed all of the racing enhancements for the "SPR" motor in great detail and when this would be available. After meeting with several other individuals we called it a day.

The next started bright and early. The driver pick us up at 9:00 am and whisked us back to the headquarters. We met with Daniele Torresan of the Press Office who was our factory guide for the majority of the day. As we walked into the site, Daniele explained a little about the history of the company and the site.

We entered the engine-assembly room first. It was a big open-plan hangar with a number modern CNC machining tools. The factory works an 8-hour day. One end of the room worked aluminum (crankcases and cylinder heads) and the other iron (cranks, camshafts and valve guides). The two sections were further divided between the 2-stork motors of Husqvarna and the 4-stroke motors of MV Agusta. We saw all the stages of work, from rough castings to the finished objects, but only took selected photos.Next we went through to a small engine test area where the engines are run to ensure reliability before final assembly into the chassis. Then through to two further assembly lines where the major chassis and engine components met up. By the end of this hall, the bikes were complete but for the fairings, which waited in another hall and are added after the rolling-road tests.

This must be one of the most satisfying lines to work on, as components came in one end and motorcycles go out the other. Frame, engine, wheels, swingarm, shock, chain, exhaust system, fuel system, electric's - everything is assembled on this fifty-foot line.The of the tour ended with me taking a ride on the prototype 1000cc F5 motorcycle. The new model was fantastic and is slated to be the fastest
production based open class motorcycle when it's finally released.

Please click link to see photos from our CRC Visit.

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