MV Agusta, the legendary Italian brand was born out of World War I when Sicilian aristocrat Count Giovanni Agusta enrolled Battalion, operating out of Malpensa. After the war, he started manufacturing airplanes out of the same base but, when he died in 1927, his son Domenico took the company in a new direction.
As it became more likely that Germany was going to lose the war, Domenico recognized the need for a cheap post-war form of transport and hit on the idea of manufacturing small, economical motorcycles. By 1943, designs for the firm's first motorcycle were well underway but when the Germans occupied Agusta's factory, they had to be hidden away. Only by mid- 1944 was it deemed safe to continue and on February 12th 1945. Domenico set up a limited company called Meccanica Verghera and soon afterward unveiled his first motorcycle – the Vespa 98.
Learning that Piaggio had already registered the name for a scooter that would become an icon in its own right, Domenico was forced to change the name of his first motorcycle to the rather duller-sounding MV 98. Only when the family surname was added to the acronym for Meccanica Verghera, was the legendary MV Agusta brand born.