It seems like we’ve been waiting years for it, though it’s been less than two, but MV Agusta’s new 3-cylinder, 675cc supersport bike has finally appeared in production form. You can catch the initial impressions from the guys at Motorcycle USA and Motorcycle.Com, if you’d like, or I can tell you that they all seem to like it. The one thing of note that needs to be addressed is apparently the chassis, which still needs some sorting out.
Still, a 129HP torquey triple, and a MV Agusta design that’s sex on wheels is a good start. That rear wheel, and stubby triple straight-pipe exhaust have me swooning. On the other hand, the bike’s diminutive size, and the contorted riding position would probably soon have me groaning.
For the past few months, MV fans have been waiting for something concrete about the new 675cc triple, the F3, from MV Agusta. There’s been lots of spy shots, though mostly those were of a bike with F4 fairings, preventing us from getting a good look at the bike’s final appearance. That’s changing now, as MV begins releasing some images of what appears to be the final pre-production version.
We’re still short of performance specs for the F3, but Motociclismo, in Italy, is reporting the bike will have radial valves like the F4, a cassette transmission, and will weigh in, dry, at 354 lbs. As a 675 triple, this bike’s obvious performance comparison will be with the Triumph Daytona 675. The Daytona is 407 lbs., wet, with an engine output of 124HP at 12600 rpm and 53 ft.lbs of torque at 11700 RPM making for a pretty revvy bike, although not unusually so for a SuperSport.
So, the real question is whether MV is going to be satisfied with simply matching those specs…or try to better them. A 10% increase in power would give the F3 an output of 136HP. That would be…fun. How they’d get that much of an increase is a bit problematic, though.
The Daytona 675 already has a compression ratio of 12.65:1, so there’s not a lot of room to grow there, and a compression ratio of 20:1 to get to 136 HP is right out. An increase to a race-spec compression ratio of 14:1 yields an output of 127HP, so I think we’re pretty much done, there. Exhaust restrictions are probably going to limit any increase by preventing a freer-breathing–hence more polluting–system from being implemented. We’re already at 4 valves per cylinder, too. So, we’re pretty much down to really hot cams, I guess.
I can hardly wait to see what the final specs look like.
Italians seem to be pretty happy that MV Agusta is back in Italian hands, “where it belongs” according to Italian motorsport enthusiasts. Sadly, though, while Harley-Davidson gave MV a reprieve from an untimely death, it remains to be seen whether that temporary reprieve turns into a permanent salvation. Hiring Massimo Bordi, who did fantastic work making Ducati successful, as MV’s new CEO is a good first step, but some of MV’s old problems are still there. Before the Harley purchase, MV produced fantastically expensive bikes in very small numbers. Reliability problems were an issue, and troublesome one, as MV Agusta dealers were few and far between. The slightest mechanical problem might keep an MV off the road for weeks or months while some arcane part was produced and shipped from Italy.
But that may be changing. In an interview with the Italian web site Il Solo 24 Ore (Italian), MV’s new owner–or is that re-owner–Claudio Castiglioni, opens up about the bike he hopes will save the company.
Pictured at left is the brand new MV Agusta F3. According to Castiglione, the F3 is powered by a 675cc triple, just like the Triumph Daytona 675. This bike will come in a base model, as well as an upgraded “sport” model.
Where things get really interesting is that Castiglioni quotes a base model price of €9,000 ($11,520 at today’s exchange rate), and a price of around €10,500 ($13.440) for the sport edition. The actual price in US terms probably won’t reflect straight exchange rate calculations, however, so, we might see a price of around $10,000 here in the US. They’re also planning an as yet unnamed Brutale-like model of this bike, which will probably go for somewhere in the vicinity of $9,000, pleasing the fans of naked bikes.
At that price point, the F3 seriously undercuts the $12,995 sticker price for the base model of the Ducati 848, and even puts it in direct competition with the Triumph Daytona’s MSRP of $10,000. With pricing at that level, Castiglioni hopes that MV can sell 10,000 of these bikes next year.
Having said that, it’s still an open question whether MV even has the capacity to produce 10,000 supersports in the next year. If they can–and they can sell them–then MV stands a good chance of not returning to it’s pre-2009 state of slowly running into the ground.