Case Studies


Motorcycle racing engines

The restoration of original MV Agusta racing motorcycles is a passionate interest of Mark Kay, the director of MV Meccanica Verghera. His company has elected to use Colsibro®, a trademark alloy of Columbia Metals, to replace the motorcycles’ original cast iron valve guides.

“Having produced replicas of the 1972 3- and 4-cylinder engines we are always looking for improvements on all aspects of the engine,” explains Mark. “We have spoken to some top car and bike engine designers and have now moved on to use Colsibro® as our valve guide material.”

Colsibro® has replaced MV Meccanica Verghera’s use of Colphos 90, a phosphor bronze material also available from Columbia Metals. “On our first engines we decided to use Colphos 90 for guides,” continues Mark. “This has worked well for the last few years but as the engines are becoming more powerful we are still looking to improve on all aspects, no matter how little.

“We have now produced race engines with the Colsibro® guides installed and dyno and road tests are looking good.”

The tests have, in fact, been so good that Black Eagle Racing, set up by Mark in 2008, has already achieved some notable successes at the Classic TT races. In 2014, one of Black Eagle’s MV Agustas set a new lap and race record in the 350cc Classic TT races. This achievement was followed in 2015 when Black Eagle finished first in the 500cc race, achieving a top speed of 110.98mph.

“Black Eagle Racing will be competing again at 2016’s Classic TT,” concludes Mark, “and all four of our bikes will be using Colsibro® valve guides.”

About MV Meccanica Verghera
MV Meccanica Verghera is an engineering company which manufactures replacement parts for road and racing motorcycles. The Staffordshire-based company specialises in pre-1980 3- and 4-cylinder air-cooled Italian motorcycles and has over 35 years’ experience.

About Colsibro®
Colsibro® is a copper nickel silicon alloy that offers a remarkable blend of physical and mechanical attributes unrivalled by many other grades of copper alloy. Its combination of high strength, corrosion resistance, high thermal and electrical conductivity, excellent wear resistance, spark resistance and good cryogenic properties makes Colsibro® the perfect selection for high performance engine components such as valve guides, valve seats, gears and bushes. Columbia Metals holds stocks of Colsibro® from 3/16” to 4” diameter, as well as in hexagon and flat bar.

About Colphos 90
Colphos 90 is a high grade leaded tin (phosphor) bronze with outstanding quality, strength and machinability. It has good thermal and electrical conductivity and a high free machinability rating, making it an ideal choice for intricate machining. Columbia Metals stocks Colphos 90 in round bar from 1/8” to 2.1/2” diameter, as well as in hexagon and sheet.

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