MV Agusta 600: the ‘Black Pig’

Agusta motorcycle
Throughout the MV Agusta community, the 600 is affectionately known as ‘The Black Pig’. It’s one of the ugliest bikes ever made, but perhaps so ugly that it transcends style and fashion. Only 127 were built, between 1967 and the early 1970s, and this one is #11. It was the second 600 to go to the USA, and was the bike photographed by the factory for the owner’s manual—its frame number appears clearly in the images. All of the 600s were black, hence the ‘Black Pig’ title, with the exception of one blue bike and one yellow bike. (There’s also rumor that the factory built a red machine, but the works records don’t mention it—not unusual with Italian manufacturers.)

Agusta motorcycle
This particular original and unrestored Agusta originally belonged to Alan Elderton, the long-time Chairman of the MV Agusta Owners Club GB. “Motorcycles can be emotional things at times,” says current owner Dorian Skinner, “and when Alan’s widow asked if I would like to take over the 600 I was truly overwhelmed. It’s a lovely bike to ride, in a laidback kind of way. The factory quoted 60 hp at 8,000 rpm, but with a dry weight of over 220 kg (485 lbs) you can imagine that it doesn’t set the road alight. But then again, it was never designed to. And with those mechanical front discs it’s never a dull ride!”

[Check out Issue 4 of the excellent Italian Motor Magazine for more images of this bike taken by Adam Bolton. Or better still, subscribe.]

Agusta motorcycle
Agusta motorcycle
Agusta motorcycle
Agusta motorcycle
Agusta motorcycle