Phil Read rides the MV Agusta 500 in le Cheval de Fer

Dailies -



MV Agusta’s 500 inline-3 4-stroke Grand Prix racer is considered to be one of purest racing machines ever made. In 1974, the great Phil Read piloted the bike to the Italian marque’s Grand Prix swan song, as neither MV Agusta nor Read would ever win the championship again. Translated as The Iron Horse, this opening scene in Pierre-William Glenn’s film captures Read at his height. While the sound is brilliant, be warned that the title sequence is visually maddening, constantly interrupting beautiful footage of the MV being piloted in anger by “The Prince of Speed.”


Via Motorsport Retro

  • michael

    This. Is. Why. We. Ride.

  • CBo

    I almost had a seizure watching that flash back and forth to the full screen credits. Ruins what is otherwise great footage.

    Wes, what’s with all the MV Agusta love now? You feeling bad about some of the more snide remarks you’ve made about the new Brutale and F4?

  • Zunspec

    I think that was a 4 cyl MV.

  • robotribe

    That’s the sweet sound of sex between cylinders.


  • M.P.

    So much better with your eyes closed! Gloruis sound!

  • xavier

    Hi from France (Salut!)

    The whole movie is pretty cool, well know there as the “cornerstone” of bike movies.

    Reminds us the time of a less rigid legislation, as when motorbike and GrandPrix were matter of passion and not of money, as the most humble but talented pilot with just little money, could challenge a factory team.

    Anyhow, I just stay tuned on your fully spirited work.

    Go on and Gazzzzzzzzz!

  • Rich

    Great video – except for the maddening cuts to the credits. Must be cinéma vérité. The sound is just exquisite – especially the throttle blipping as part of his downshift method. Thanks for the video – even with the awful credit cuts.

    Grant, you wrote: “…considered to be one of purist racing machines ever made.” Purist is a noun. Purest is an adjective and, I think, what you meant to say. Perhaps? Then you go on to say that Read rode it as part of MV’s “…swang song.” Wouldn’t that be swan song?

    • Grant Ray

      Ha. Yeah, I was running out the door to a meeting. Fixed now.

  • Isaac

    Where can I get that video!???!!!! That sound is intoxicating!!!!!!!!

    • AadmanZ`

      Nothing on Amazon, any other suggestions?

      • Grant Ray

        You can buy and download it here. It’s in WMV format, though. If you’re fine with that, then know you’ll be giving them lots of your money as they have tons of rare footage.

  • Kidchampion

    Almost as good as The Brown Bunny.

  • jwinter

    Yeah, fuck those credits. Otherwise, amazing.
    Those bikes were brilliant-looking.

  • Denzel

    The facial expressions, or lack thereof, are very entertaining… Read looks like he’s on a sight seeing holiday through the chicanes…

  • Chetas

    Seems like a brilliant movie. I only watched a bit of this footage, as I was recovering from a seizure induced by what video amateurs might consider a “cool, neat trick”

  • OkieRover

    All this video needs is the flashy back ground and some Argentinian music ala The Holy Grail!

  • Ken

    Marvellous, although I think his traction control isn’t working.

  • DucatiVeloce

    I’m figuring a way to download the soundtrack to my ipod so i can listen to it while driving my beater of a car, because listening to an exhaust leaking v6 just doesn’t cut it.