NO RESERVE - 1960 MV Agusta 125 TRA Centomila


  • Comprehensively restored in Italy c.2008
  • Last MoTed in 2016 with no advisories
  • Part of a substantial and significant motorcycle collection since 2019

The Appeal

In today’s global market, where manufacturers from Britain and Japan might be competing alongside one another to sell bikes in America, it’s easy to forget that countries once had very separate and distinct motorcycling cultures, and this MV Agusta exhibits all that was good about Italy’s.

The Italian market tended to favour small but quick and nimble bikes which, thanks to the keen aesthetic sensibilities of Italian designers, managed to look fast just standing still. It may only have been a 125cc, but with its slim frame and low handlebars, the TRA Centomila was obviously made to be ridden briskly around Italy’s cities and hilly countryside.
It conjures up images of the Motogiro d’Italia, a major road race which attracted thousands of motorcycling enthusiasts until a fatal accident in 1957 caused its cancellation. The TRA Centomila, built from 1959 to 1963, was a continuation of the Turismo Rapido of 1955-1958 (TRA stands for Turismo Rapido America), and it’s not hard to picture fans flocking to watch the racing on bikes similar to this.

Having been beautifully restored by an Italian enthusiast c.2008, and more recently displayed in a private collection, this Centomila presents superbly. After a few years off the road, it will need some very light recommissioning, and then when summer rolls around you can get out in the sun, head for the hills, and pretend you’re riding through the Italian Alps in the 1960s.

The History and Paperwork

  • Manufactured in June 1960
  • No early history is known, but the bike most likely spent all its early life in Italy
  • In 2008, it was restored in Italy to a very high standard
  • It was imported into Britain by the Black & White Garage, a classic Alfa Romeo specialist, and registered in 2015
  • It was purchased by the vendor, a prominent motorcycle collector, in 2019, since when it has been on static display
  • It is sold with its current V5, some past MoT certificates, DVLA registration documents and a certificate of identity issued by the MV Agusta Owners’ Club of Great Britain

The Condition

  • Still in fantastic condition following 2008 restoration
  • Finished in the traditional MV Agusta colours of red and white
  • Superb paint and brightwork
The Italians, it is often said, do things passionately, and whoever restored this Centomila did not do so half-heartedly. They evidently threw themselves into the work to achieve such a splendid finish, which still looks wonderful 14 years later.
The brilliant rosso corsa and white paint still looks fresh in most places. The only signs that it has aged at all is some very slight damage, where the paint has chipped or been retouched, towards the front of the tank and on the right-hand side of the front mudguard.
The seat really could pass for brand-new. It was evidently recovered during the 2008 restoration and still remains very vibrant, with no obvious marks or creases. We know the bike has received little use since the restoration, and it really shows – the seat looks like it has scarcely been sat on.
The glass and metal trim is generally superb. We did observe just the smallest dent in the headlight bezel, but otherwise we could not find a thing to fault. The wheels, similarly, are in excellent condition.

The Mechanics

  • Lively 125cc, four-stroke, 8bhp engine
  • Most likely overhauled mechanically during its restoration
  • Requires straightforward recommissioning after a few years on static display
When it goes, the TRA Centomila is a fun, agile and nippy machine, and this one will go once it’s had just a little bit of fettling to awaken it from its recent slumber. As it stands, it has not been ridden for a number of years, so we have to say that what you see is what you get, but it should be apparent from the excellent external condition of the mechanical parts that it has been looked after, and is very unlikely to require any especially involved work.
All the signs are promising. When it was last MoTed in 2016, it passed with no advisories. Having received such an exacting restoration in 2008, we should think that the restorer did not neglect the mechanical parts, and probably rebuilt and overhauled them as necessary. As it currently stands, we were satisfied with how the brakes performed just as we were wheeling the bike around.

The Summary

The MV Agusta 125 TRA Centomila is truly a very desirable bike. Its perhaps one of the best examples of racy 1950s Italianate beauty, not to mention an extremely rare machine in Britain. This one presents beautifully, having been expertly restored 14 years ago. It is still on outstanding cosmetic condition with minimal signs of age and, mechanically, one ought to find that it’s in excellent health after its been commissioned. It’s about time it was returned to the road once more – why shouldn’t you be the person to do it?

Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.
A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.
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Auction FAQs
Auction Details
  • Year 1960
  • Make MV Agusta
  • Model 125
  • Colour Red
  • Mileage 0
  • Engine size 125
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Stevenage
  • County Hertfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
24 Bids
  • ni•••• £2,400 01/11/22
  • wi•••• £2,300 01/11/22
  • da•••• £2,200 01/11/22
  • wi•••• £2,100 01/11/22
  • ni•••• £2,000 01/11/22
  • da•••• £1,900 01/11/22
  • ni•••• £1,800 01/11/22
  • jb•••• £1,700 01/11/22
  • jb•••• £1,600 01/11/22
  • jb•••• £1,500 01/11/22

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