The MV Agusta 125 TRA Project

This restoration process is about the bike MV Agusta 125 TRA, the Turismo Rapido America. This motorbike was built for the american market and porposes 3 differences from the classic Turismo Rapido model:

  • enpowered breaking system;
  • different electric frame;
  • front dampening suspension telescopical-mechanical.

The bike was recovered from a small town called CastelRaimondo, located in a very isolated area from the center of Italy, and was bought in a perfect conservation state, as shown in the following pictures:

separazionemv-agusta-125-tra-recupero-castelraimondo-1 mv-agusta-125-tra-recupero-castelraimondo-4 mv-agusta-125-tra-recupero-castelraimondo-3 mv-agusta-125-tra-recupero-castelraimondo-2separazione

The MV Agusta 125 TRA Model

The Motoleggera 125 c.c. T.R.A. is a special model with a special look. As you can see from the original MV Agusta datasheet, the two models show also painting differences:

separazionedatasheet-mv-agusta-125-trl datasheet-mv-agusta-125-trl-1956 datasheet-mv-agusta-125-tra datasheet-mv-agusta-125-tra-1956separazione

The history of this motorbike

The first owner lost his house and the motorbike documents during the 1996 earthquake in Camerino (Marche, Italy), and died few years after the house loss, that was destroyed by the natural event. The bike survived the earthquake because it was located in the backgarden, many meters away from the fallen building. Mr. Stefano got it for a small price from the dead man’s nefues, and kept it the nearest town Castelraimondo for more than 20 years in a perfect maintenance state.

The Restoration decision

This bike was in a good preservation state, so it was not really necessary to restore it in each part. The rusty color was adding a great old-fashion bike look, so the decision weather or not to re-paint it all was very hard to take. While the Team was thinking about it, there were few things that could be done anyway.

In detail, rust could have been taken away, and all of the oily fat fallen from the engine and the carburetor could have been washed out of the bike, helping to get a full idea about the rest of the look.

The next pictures show the state of each detail of the MV Agusta TRA:

separazionemv-agusta-125-tra-acceleratore mv-agusta-125-tra-acceleratore-2 mv-agusta-125-tra-fronte mv-agusta-125-tra-manubrio-dopo-tolta-ruggine mv-agusta-125-tra-motore mv-agusta-125-tra-motore-carter-sporco mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-manubrio mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-2 mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-grasso-sotto-testata mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-pulito mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-pulito-con-olio mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-pulito-sotto-testata mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-ruggine-manubrio mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-ruggine-manubrio-2 mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-tappo-olio mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-tappo-olio-pulito mv-agusta-125-tra-bandiere-serbatoio-usurate mv-agusta-125-tra-cambio mv-agusta-125-tra-carburatore mv-agusta-125-tra-catena mv-agusta-125-tra-cilindro-grasso mv-agusta-125-tra-clacson mv-agusta-125-tra-faro-con-spegnimento mv-agusta-125-tra-faro-originale-cev-2 mv-agusta-125-tra-faro-originale-cev-3 mv-agusta-125-tra-faro-originale-cev-sopra mv-agusta-125-tra-faro-posteriore-unica-cosa-non-originale mv-agusta-125-tra-forcella mv-agusta-125-tra-freno-anteriore mv-agusta-125-tra-freno-anteriore-mozzo mv-agusta-125-tra-mozzo-posteriore mv-agusta-125-tra-pedalina mv-agusta-125-tra-sella-radaelli mv-agusta-125-tra-serbatoio.tappo mv-agusta-125-tra-serbatoio-rubinetti mv-agusta-125-tra-stemma-plasticaseparazione

Easy restoration: The MV 125 TRA carburetor air filter

An easy part of the job can be done easily in the home walls. The air filter, that can be unscrewed from the carburetor and cleaned with hot water, soap and fine iron sponge. Once removed the filter from the carburetor (unscrew it by hand), first open the filter and heat up to high temperature the filter parts. Then put hot vaseline oil on the fat covering the parts, to better melt the fat. Then move slowly and lightly the iron sponge on the dark fat to remove it. When Dell’Orto brand appears great attention must be payed to restore it without damaging the writing, so a wooden toothpick can be used to remove the fat in the letters (that gets protected from the sponge).

separazionefiltro-aria-mv-agusta-125-sporco-montato filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-pulito filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-smontaggio-1 filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-montaggio-3 filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-smontaggio-2 filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-sporco filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-pulitura-2 filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-pulitura-6 filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-pulitura-5 filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-pulitura-9 filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-pulitura-7 filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-pulitura-4 filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-pulito-smontato filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-pulito-montatoseparazione

Quick and first Engine Clean up

The following picture show the same process for the engine, using the vaseline oil to lightly rub the engine carters and covers, in order to remove the fat oil on it. Be very carefull not to push too much on the iron while using the iron sponge, and don’t forget the vaseline oil to better protect the engine from scratching, and to help the fat to get liquid and to be removed.


mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-con-vaselina mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-grasso-sotto-testata mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-tappo-olio mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-2 mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-pulito mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-pulito-con-olio mv-agusta-125-tra-pulizia-motore-tappo-olio-pulitoseparazione

Unmounting and cleaning the MV Agusta 125 TRA Carburetor MA 16 B

The funniest part of the job while restoring a 1956 MV Agusta bike is to umnount and clean up the carburetor, discovering the incredible mechanics that are at the base of it’s essence. Opening the Carburetor in this case had not been easy because in many cases, the sleeve that locks the accelerator cable in the Dell’Orto Carburetors is locked by the technicians in a too tigth way that the cilinder below get squeezed and locks the accelerator’s line. The best way to solve this issue is to open the sleeve and use a fine glass-paper to enlarge the iron cilinder, and finally pull out the accelerator’s block.

Then you can unmount the whole carburetor, clean it up, using iron/steel polish and rubbing the hardest dirt with steel wool making sure not to leave any iron/steel dust particles in the carburetor.

At the end of the cleaning, blow with an air compressor, then wash with petrol, and finally put back all the pieces toghether on the bike.

In the whole cleaning process, never use water!



The following pics show the look of the carburetor before the inside and the outside cleanup. Now it’s time to regulate the minimum and the maximum to ensure the best engine performance ever!

separazionedell-orto-carburatore-ma-16-b-mv-agusta-restaurato-2 dell-orto-carburatore-ma-16-b-mv-agusta-restaurato filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-sporco-montato filtro-aria-mv-agusta-125-tra-pulitoseparazione

The hornet restoration

The hornet is a CEV original piece. It can be easy unmounted from the lower tank side by unscrewing 2 tiny fasteners. Be carefull, before removing the eletricity cables, to not forget the way to put it back ok. The hornet cannot be opened but it can easily be cleaned up using an iron pulish drill, as shown in the next pictures.


mv-agusta-clacson-cev-restauro-ruggine-2 mv-agusta-clacson-cev-restauro-ruggine-3 mv-agusta-125-tra-hornet-cleaning mv-agusta-125-tra-hornet-cleaning-drillseparazione

To be continued…

2 responses on “The MV Agusta 125 TRA Project

  1. Hallo ,
    Is it possible that you can mail me ,
    I also have a TRA model from 1961,
    Im wonder if you can have picture of the
    Electric wireing , in the lighthouse , on the
    Connection box / key turn ,
    I have a mess with wireing ,, so i hope
    I can find a picture to look at ,
    Kind regards Åke

  2. Hello,
    Can you please help. I have a turismo rapido but the oil dipstick is missing. Do you know the oil capacity please.

    Very nice pictures.

    Many thanks.

    Ron Mellor

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