What to do with a spare $33,000

Buy one of these: the 2012 MV Agusta F4 RR.

2012 MV Agusta F4 RR
2012 MV Agusta F4 RR

It doesn’t look much changed from last year, but under the plastic, it’s a new beast with an ultra-short-stroke 1000cc Inline-4 that MV says will release 201HP.  No top-speed-limiting governors for the Italian chaps at MV. The engine puts at the top of the superbike heap in terms of power.

Supporting the new bike are top-shelf Öhlins suspension components, and forged aluminum wheels.

Everything is top-of-the line on this bike. Sadly, that includes the price.

First Ride: 2010 MV Agusta F4

2010 MV Agusta F4
2010 MV Agusta F4

MCN’s Michael Neeves has gotten his hands on the all-new MV AGusta F4, and his ride impressions are posted at Motorcycle USA.  He really likes it.  Really.

F4s were always lightning-fast, but never that friendly to actually ride and live with, but the new F4 is different – it’s the best superbike MV has ever made.

Taking the F4 for a spin on the heavenly roads surrounding Almeria race circuit in southern Spain to start our test day, it’s a pleasant surprise to feel how easy it is to get on with. Gone is the harsh throttle, rough ride and a seat that trapped you resolutely between the tank and tail unit of the old bike. In its place is a seat you can move around in, spaciously-set clip-ons, a flawless throttle response, smooth gearbox, light controls and tactile brakes…

The Italian firm has smoothed out all the old F4’s rough edges and created a thoroughly usable superbike for the road. Relatively, it’s still not as soft or cuddly as a Japanese 1000 and probably not as easy to get on and ride, but it has considerably sharper teeth and is a thousand times more exclusive and handsome.

The F4 was always wicked fast, but it was a difficult beast in just about every other area.  But, now, it looks like MV Agusta may have finally found the F4’s stride.

EICMA Goodies

The new bikes are now being officially unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan, and it’s a nice crop so far.  Ducati and MV Agusta have made the big splashes today, with MV showing off the 2010 F4, and Ducati releasing the long-awaited Multistrada, as well as the Hypermotard 1100 EVO.

Click on any of the pics below to enlarge.

2010 MV Agusta F4
2010 MV Agusta F4

Let’s start with the 2010 MV Agusta F4.  MV Agusta  says that they’ve updated the Tamburini design to a more modern look.  If by modern, you mean “acutely angled and sort of ugly”, well, I guess they did.  There’s lots of improvements under the fairing though, getting an additional 3 HP out of a 3cc smaller 998cc engine, and shedding 22lbs of dead weight.  It also comes with a 8-level traction control system, a new chassis, swingarm, and 4-1 exhaust system.

2010 Ducati Multistrada
2010 Ducati Multistrada

The 2010 Ducati Multistrada has a new 150HP engine pushing 417lbs down the road.  The new powerplant is called the Testastretta 11° engine, and comes with a nice slipper clutch, because while a slipper clutch might not be a usual requirement for an on-road enduro bike, it should be for a Ducati.

There will be three variants of the Multistrada:

  • The 1200 base model with ABS brakes,
  • The 1200S with the new Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) system and Öhlins suspension components,
  • And, the 1200S Touring with all the above and hard bags.
2010 Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP
2010 Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP

“Hypermotard” always seems like some sort of non-PC epithet you’d call a developmentally disabled dirt-biker,  But the Europeans seem to disagree, so we’ll use their unflattering word for the Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO. It’s got 95HP and weighs 379lbs, which is 15.5 less than last year.  There’s also an EVO SP model. It’s got an upgraded suspension, with an Öhlins setup in back and Marzocchi forks up front.

2010 Ducati 848 Dark
2010 Ducati 848 Dark

Finally, Ducati released a poor man’s 848, called the 848 Dark.  It should retail for about $1,000 less than the base model of the 848.  Nobody seems sure yet how they’ve downgraded it from the “base” model.  But if you want a cheap, black Ducati 848, here you go.

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2010 MV Agusta F4

The EICMA show must getting really close (10 November, 2009, actually), because everybody is giving tantalizing little glimpses of their 2010 motorcycles before heading out to Milan.

2010 MV Agusta F4
2010 MV Agusta F4

Today it’s MV Agusta, with their new F4 sporting its saucy little derriere for the camera.

The first thing that hits me is the angularity of the design.  It looks like they’ve sharpened the curves of the classic Tambourini design.  The same elements are there, lik the flared top of the gas tank, but you can see that the curves have been noticeably narrowed.  Even the tail pipes have been squared off.

It has LED taillights and blinkers.

Oh, yeah, and it’ll come in at least the classic red and silver color scheme at the very least.

And…that’s about all we can see.  It’s not all we know, however, thanks to a press release from MV Agusta describing the new bike, which says, in part:

The engine has been revolutionized: the ultra compact in-line 4-cylinder 998cc engine is capable of reaching 186 hp at 12900 rpm. The highest level of engineering technology have been coupled with the most advanced electronic controls including: twin fuel injectors per cylinder, variable length intake system, slipper clutch and the TC MK II traction control system which has 8 levels of adjustment.

These advancements along with the uniqueness of the radial valve system attribute to the fact that this engine is the most sophisticated and evolved on the market.

The chassis has also been engineered to unheard of levels of compactness, the new single sided rear swingarm has been lengthened while at the same time its weight has been reduced along with the fully adjustable suspension which are all factors that contribute to making the new F4 unique.

The bike that originally revolutionized the world of supersport motorcycles has become even more beautiful, sleeker and modern while maintaining the unmistakable design “Made in MV”. The new xenon headlight and the new super light fairing are factors that contribute to the incredibly narrow cross-sectional area and the new pipe organ exhaust system with a restyled 4-in-1 silencer are all distinctive elements identifying F4 as the most exclusive motorcycle in the world.

It sure sounds neat.  But I’m curious to see what the first post-Tambourini F4 actually looks like.

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2010 MV Agusta F4 Sneak Peak

It won’t be officially unveiled until November, but MV Agusta has released a sneak peak photo of the 2010 F4.  It’s not much of a photo, and it doesn’t show much except the headlight, and the general shape of the fairing, front-on.

2010 MV Agusta F4 Teaser
2010 MV Agusta F4 Teaser

It looks a bit different, but it still has the essential Tamburini styling.  What is more important than the fairing is what’s under it.  An what’s under it may be nice.  We’ve already seen the 2010 Brutale, and that bike is essentially the naked version of the F4.  Since already know that the 2010 Brutale 1090R is pretty much brand new, with 85% new components, we can probably assume that the F4 is similarly new.

Still no word on anything like a specification for the new F4, of course.

I guess we’ll still have to wait ’til November for that.