MV Agusta F4 RC First Test Ride Review
We’ve nailed a real beauty here – The first ride of an MV Agusta F4 RC by anyone outside of MV itself. At least, we are as far as we can gather media-wise, which can’t be a bad effort, can it? Yep, we got our hands on one before anyone else, anywhere. Us FB cats have truly had our cream…
So, let’s see – 212bhp, 111Nm of torque, 175kg, the finest carbon fibre and suspension known to man, and looks to die for? Bring it on! What do we think of it? Well, the full test you can read in a future magazine (issue 303 out on June 23rd), but we’re happy to tease with a few thoughts on the most incredible F4 MV have ever produced. Thus, here are five observations on this little beauty.
1 – It is unbelievably, jaw-droppingly gorgeous to behold – Okay, this is probably the easiest thing you could work out for yourselves, but even we were stopped dead in our tracks when we met it for the first time. The attention to detail is fantastic, build-quality has surpassed other current versions of the F4 (which was already top notch), and it really does merit its staggering asking price of a pound shy of £31,000 on looks and detail alone. This one had just begun the tentative transformational first steps into becoming a race bike, so had the achingly delicious full Termignoni titanium full-system fitted, as well as a few of the bits and pieces that come in the carbon-fibre race-pack box. Even the simple yet stunning rearsets are there to be admired, and the carbon fibre fairings are boss. It really is wondrous.
2 – It’s rather fast – With a claimed 212bhp (crank figure), you wouldn’t expect it to be slow and it certainly isn’t, oh no… The RC is surprisingly usable for what’s essentially a WSB machine on the road, but it’s when the tacho rises that you get your real kicks. And it’s further up the rev scale that it really impresses. When you’d expect it to start tailing off, it kicks in again hard like a steel-capped boot up the jacksie, screaming through those beautiful open pipes a rapturous cacophony that demanded anybody within a mile turned around and took notice. As eye-ball widening rides go, this is one that makes you go “Ooooh, shiii….”
3 – You can really feel the weight loss – The RC is a solid handling bike, pukka geometry and Öhlins’ finest ensure that, but it’s the diet notching it down to 175kg that really shines through. The latest F4s all handle really well, but this one adds a previously missing flickability to the solid cornering skills. Chuck in a wonderfully intuitive riding position allied to super responsive input ratios, and you have a bike you’d happy ride on road or track every day for the rest of your life.
4 – It’s got real character – Traditionally firing inline four cylinder machines suffer from a slight lack of character during these days of cross-pane cranks, V4s, blaring triples and huge thumping twins. Not the RC, it lives and breathes, kicks and screams in a way a Suzuki GSX-R or Honda Fireblade can only dream of. Even the bolshy BMW S 1000 RR, while bonkers, is a dweeb sat alone in the corner of the wine bar, compared to the RC which is making every woman under the roof swoon, while arm-wrestling anyone who fancies being humiliated by the smartly dressed, dashing cad. You drink in its essence sat onboard, it talks to you, flatters you just by sitting on it – it’s an overwhelmingly incredible experience. It doesn’t even sound like any other inline four around, it rocks to its own beat, and that beat is terribly catchy.
5 – They’re all sold out – At least, we think they are, there may be one or two somewhere around the globe but you’d better be bloody quick if you just happened to find £31k behind the fridge and want one. And, why wouldn’t you?! Otherwise you’ll have to wait until one comes up for sale, which could be a while. Only 250 are being made and a lot of those will end up on race tracks, like this one from Hampshire MV will at a BSB circuit near you soon. The rest will go to MV aficionados, collectors and those lucky (read – rich) enough to snap one up. Nope, we don’t like them any more than you do!
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MV Agusta 800 Dragster RR Review
“Yes, it goes as well as it looks!”
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Yes this blinged-up version of the Dragster variant of MV’s 800 Brutale is expensive, but then it’s truly special, too. There are cheaper bikes, more manageable bikes, even faster bikes in the same category but this one is special. And yes, it’s not 100% perfect and certainly not for everyone, but just look at it! And it goes as well as it looks!
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
If the power delivery is a little aggressive, then so is thew Dragster RR’s handling. Twitchy is the word. MV is obviously aware of this and have added a top yoke steering damper. There was never an alarming almighty slap, but I had more than a few twitches on the narrow bumpy Italian roads. The wheelbase is short, it’s a light bike with a firm set up and lots of power, it was always going to be a little lively.
My only other gripe was the ride is on the firm side. I got thrown out of the seat on the odd occasion, the bars shake a little and you get hammered by the hard forks which aren’t absorbing the huge bumps. In MVs’ defence the roads were really bad and I was hitting them hard like a Greyhound that had just been released from the trap, I simply couldn’t ride slowly. On smoother roads it worked far better.
Engine 4 out of 5
MV have upped the triple’s performance from 125bhp to 140bhp by increasing the size of the air-box, improving the exhaust flow but more importantly revising the fuelling, which now with two twin injectors per cylinder. They’ve also tried to smooth out the power delivery amd make the torque more linear, which was a criticism of the old bike and they’ve done just that.
The old 800 had bags of attitude but was hard work and aggressive. But this engine is a peach. Fire up the 800cc triple and there’s a real rasp. It sounds lovely, revving quickly with aggression. Combine that with clutchless gear changes and intoxicating noise it’s hard not to thrash it. You end up attacking roads not riding them.
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Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
These pictures don’t really do the bike justice, you have to see it in the flesh to get the full impact; but be warned you’ll want one. The finish is outstanding, the paintwork looks handcrafted, the top yoke is lovely. Imagine casting an admiring glance over this MV every time you open your garage door, you’d smile every time
Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5
There’s no getting away from the fact that this is a helluva lot of money for ‘only’ an 800. But there’s also nothing else quite like it (although the Brutale version is a little cheaper and possibly more useful). Possibly the ultimate middleweight poster bike. Insurance group: 17 of 17
Equipment 4 out of 5
There’s not just three rider modes; Rain, Normal and Sport, there’s a quick-shifter, traction control, slipper clutch and top notch cycle parts everywhere you look, such as the amazing Brembo stoppers which lure you into taking huge liberties. Straight line braking is immense; just grab a handful of lever and let the electronics do all the work.
It’s impossible to lock either wheel and impossible to stoppie, you won’t be thrown over the bars due to the rear wheel lift intervention. It’s one of the best braking bikes on the market, period.
By Adam Child