Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas
350 twin Grand Prix -1957
Though the .MV Agusta marque - 37 times world champion - is justly famed for its four- and six-cylinder 350 and 500 Grand Prix racers and its 125 and 175 singles, Count Agusta's firm nevertheless tried its hand with other configurations, like this unorthodox
twin built in 1957.
The first MV Agusta 350cc four cylinders of 1953 developed 40 hp at 10,500 rpm, but it
wasn't until 1958 that John Surtees brought the marque its first 350cc world championship. In the meantime, the factory had developed several possible alternatives, like this highly original twin with its trellis frame drawing on techniques used in aeronautics and Formula 1 race car chassis. This extremely light and rigid triangulated
structure was constructed from small section tubes. Easily dismounted, the suspended engine contributed to the rigidity, while the Earles front fork employed a similar construction technique to the frame.
A Magnificent Engine
As for the engine, it was derived from a touring 300cc unit designed by the engineer
Giannini in 1955, which developed 20 hp at 8,000 rpm but which had never passed the prototype stage. Considerably lightened, the 350cc racing version was distinguished by its twin external-inertia flywheels. It was a layout that allowed an excessively compact engine; its inclined cylinders were topped by cylinder heads with ample radial cooling fins.
Engine: 349cc (67x58mm) air-cooled 45- degree incl ined twin-cylinder four-stroke; magneto ignition; dry sump lubrication
Power Rating: 47 hp @ 12,000 rpm
Valves: twin overhead camshafts driven by gear train cascade of pinions; 3 valves/ cylinder
Fuel System: two 29mm carburetors
Suspension: Earles (front); swinging forks with twin suspension units (rear)
Brakes: 9 in (front); drum (rear)
Wheels: 3.00x19 inch (front); 4.00x19 inch (rear)
Weight: 291 lb
MV Agusta eventually preferred the power of a four-cylinder engine to the maneuverability of this masterful twin.