Historic Motorcycle Brands
Magni is an Italian company that began building specialist motorcycles in 1977. In addition to building the bikes that bear its name, is also a supplier of special parts for the restoration of MV Agusta classic motorcycles.
In 1947, Arturo Magni (24 September 1925 – 2 December 2015) began working in the Gilera Racing Department. In 1950 he moved to MV Agusta’s racing department and remained there as Team Manager and Technical coordinator of Reparto Corse until MV retired from competition in 1977.
In 1977, with his sons Carlo and Giovanni, he started his own business, Elaborazioni Preparazioni Magni (EPM), building special parts for MV Agusta motorcycles. Magni focussed primarily in replacing the heavy shaft drive of the four-cylinder 750 with a lighter and better handling chain drive.
MV Agusta Magni – Stoo Mathiesen
EPM’s first chassis, formed from chrome-moly tubes, was powered by a four-cylinder MV Agusta engine and based on the Magni-designed MV F750 S Imola racer.
EPM pioneered the design and production of aftermarket cast-alloy wheels and Carlo Magni handled this business, leaving Arturo and Giovanni to continue building motorcycles under the Magni name.
Magni-Honda MH2 – FranzMB1
With MV Agusta no longer making motorcycles, Magni turned to Honda for an engine. The four-cylinder Honda CB900F Bol d’Or engine went into the 1980 Magni-Honda MH1 naked bike, with Honda CB900F suspension, brakes and wheels. The MH2 was a fully-faired version, with Ceriani forks, Brembo brakes and EPM wheels. Around 300 units were produced in 1980–1981 and many went to Germany.
After the success of the Honda-powered machines, Magni’s German importer, Hansen & Schneider, requested a BMW boxer engined model. Magni agreed and in 1982 the MB1 and MB2 were put into production using 1000 cc BMW R100 engines. However, sales were poor.
BMW-Magni – Klaus Nahr
Magni’s ‘All-Italian’ motorcycle used the 1000cc Moto Guzzi Le Mans engine, transmission and shaft drive. Magna’s experience with shaft drive helped in designing a Parallelogrammo rear suspension to overcome the handling deficiencies of the shaft drive.
In 1987, the Classico 1000 naked bike and Arturo 1000 half-faired model. These models were well received, especially in Japan, which became Magni’s biggest market.
In 1989, Magni introduced the Sfida 1000 model, which was styled on the Italian racing bikes of the 1960s.
The Japanese success of the Magni machines outstripped Moto Guzzi’s ability to supply engines, but a small batch of 400cc engines were used to power the Sfida 400 for the Japanese market.
In 1991, Magni’s Australian importer, Ted Stolarski, commissioned a new racing machine using the four-valve, fuel-injected Daytona engine. Using WP suspension, this was the first Magni to use monoshock suspension. Following Owen Coles’ successful use of the machine in the Battle of The Twins (BoTT) series, a road legal version was introduced in 1993, named the Australia.
Magni-Guzzi Australia 93 – FranzMB1
Engine supply from Moto Guzzi was still problematic, but following the take-over of operations by Finprogelli, CEO Arnullo Sacchl made supply of engines to Magni a priority. This led to the introduction in 1996 of the Sfida 1100. The launch had been delayed over concerns about engine supply. This model featured an all new chassis.
The Sfida 1100 ie biposto was introduced in 1997 using the Guzzi “Electronic Fuel Injection” engine and a rear seat section capable of carrying a passenger, and in 1998 the Sfida 1000 4V with the Guzzi four-valve engine.
1994 Magni Arturo
Also in 1998 two new models were released: the new Australia 98, which was fitted with the 102 hp four-valve engine and the Giappone 52 limited edition, Japanese-market model, to commemorate 20 years of the Magni company and the 50th anniversary of Fukuda Motors, Magni’s Japanese importer.
Magni models were available in the USA market from 1998, following an agreement with the American Commerce Overseas Corporation (COC). COC was previously the importer of the MV Agusta 750 S and MV Agusta 750 Sport America models.
Magni Sport 1200S – FranzMB1
In 2011, an arrangement with Suzuki was made to supply engines used in the 1200 cc Bandit models. The Sport 1200 S naked model was styled after the 1970s MV Agusta 750S, including its red, white and blue livery.
In 2013, Magni renewed its partnership with MV Agusta, using the MV Brutale 1090 chassis and powerplant in the Storia. This model featured a hand-crafted aluminium tank that resembled the tank of the 750S, a new rear subframe and seat, alloy mudguards and spoked Kineo wheels.
First shown at the Milan EICMA show in 2014, the fully-faired Filo Rosso model used the 800cc, three-cylinder engine from the MV Brutale in a Magni double-cradle, twin-shock frame and was styled to look like the classic MV three-cylinder GP machines used by Giacomo Agostini.
A naked F750S Tributo bike used the Brutale engine and was styled to resemble the MV Agusta 750S
Arturo Magni died on 2 December 2015, but his son Giovanni continued to run the company.