It may be that you have never heard of him, but Arturo Magni was one of the most brilliant engineers from the pioneering days of world championship motorcycle racing.
A former Italian gliding champion, young Arturo was one of the engineers who worked on Gilera’s four-cylinder Grand Prix engine in 1947, before being lured away by Count Agusta to work on his MV Agusta Grand Prix project.
Arturo would run MV’s race department from the early 1950s, until it closed in 1976. During that time, the red Italian bikes were dominant and Magni oversaw 270 race wins, 38 rider’s world championships and 37 manufacturer titles, across the 125, 250, 350 and 500cc classes. Magni worked with all the superstars of the era, including John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Giacomo Agostini.
In 1977, following the demise of MV’s motorcycle division, Magni set up his own business making parts for MV road bikes, before joining the likes of Bimota and EGLI in developing exotic motorcycles powered by contemporary engines from the likes of BMW, Honda and, latterly, Moto Guzzi.
Magni died at the age of 90, in 2015, not long after the first Filo Rosso (translated as ‘Red Line’) was launched but his company lives on.
Now under the stewardship of his son Giovanni, the hand crafted Filo Rosso has been given an update and a new version, the Filo Rosso Black Edition. The stunning bike is still powered by the modern 120bhp three-cylinder MV Agusta engine from the F3 and features timeless styling inspired by the Grand Prix racers on which Ago ruled the world during the 1960s.
While the main visual change is the adoption of matt black paint in place of the (previously compulsory) red and silver livery, there is also a new, longer, swingarm and updated 43mm Ohlins forks (in black, of course).
Magni are a bit shy when it comes to announcing prices down, in part, to the fact that each one is built to order and the customer’s own specification. Buyers can choose from faired or unfaired variants, as well as road or track specification (including, if you wish, open pipes) and you can bank on needing at least 36,000 Euros (£41,000) if you fancy having one of these in your garage.
We’re sure Arturo would be proud.