KIT: Testors 1/9 MV Agusta 500 cc 4 Cilindri*
KIT #: 4630
PRICE: $58.00 MSRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Rubber tires and working suspension


First built in 1950, this Cardan-transmission motorcycle reached a peak of reliability and competitiveness in 1956 when it adopted  a chain drive train and telescopic front fork. The 500cc 4 cylinder MV Agusta was ridden by some of the world's greatest racers, including John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, and  the incredible Giacomo Agostini.

Thanks to the skills of these riders, this nearly unbeatable motorcycle dominated the 500cc category from 1956 to 1965, gaining nine world titles. It continued in 1966 when it was retired to make way for a new, lighter and more manageable 3 cylinder version. A number of the riders of this motorcycle, such as John Surtees went on to make a name for themselves in automobile racing. Surtees won the Motorcycle world championship with  MV Agusta four times between 1956 and 1960. He was also both a Formula One world champion (1964 for Ferrari) and the first Can-Am Champion (1966 with a Lola T-70).


I'm not really sure of the background of this kit. It could be either an Italeri re-issue or an ESCI rebox. I don't think it is a brand new mold, though I could be wrong about that. (Late note: several readers have informed me that this is the old Protar kit. It is still very nice). One thing for sure, the mold is in excellent condition with no flash, no sink areas and only a few ejector pin markings, the ones I found being on the inside of the exhaust and on one side of the injectors. The kit has no chrome parts, per se, but two of the sprues are very nicely aluminum plated. It is a shame that models can't be molded without seam lines as any attempt to correct the mold seams will destroy the plating. It means that these parts will have to be repainted. ( I left the plated parts in their bag to prevent scratches. The single clear bit is a windscreen. Rubber tires are provided and there is hardware included for the working suspension and for fuel/brake lines.

If this is an older kit, then the molding is excellent. Even the weld seams have been reproduced on the frame. The molding of the tires is also excellent. Since this is a racing motorcycle, there are not a lot of frills on this one. Most of the work will be in assembling the engine and painting the fairing and fuel tank/seat. These latter parts are molded in red plastic, though the lower fairing will need to be painted white, not a particular easy task when it comes to covering the red. The lone instrument seems to be a tach. A decal and clear lens are provided for this. The kit includes a work stand to keep the bike from falling over.

Instructions are Italeri's usual high standards with well drawn construction steps and ModelMaster paint references. The attachment and length of the rubber hose sections is provided as is the dividing line between red and white on the fairing. Construction of the shocks seems pretty standard so should give no troubles. For a kit of this scale, the decal sheet is not very large. Of course, this is in the years before massive corporate sponsors so there are not the usual outbreaks of decals all over the fairing. The decals are very well printed and glossy. They do look better than the usual run of Italeri markings so it will be interesting to see how they hold up. The markings are for the 1964 championship motorcycle, but no clue as to who the rider was.


I have to say that this is one very nicely done motorcycle model. Its large size makes construction that much easier and the lack of 'fiddly bits' and a lot of chrome accessories should produce a superb model of this very important racing motorcycle.


Kit instructions.

January 2006

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