First ride — MV Agusta F3 — Motor Cycle Monthly Magazine

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First ride MV Agusta F3

Published: 01:23PM Mar 2012

MV Agusta launches its middleweight triple streetbike to against Triumph’s Daytona 675 and the fours.

THERE’S something about seeing a line of MV Agustas in the pit lane of Circuit Ricard. Especially when are factory mechanics fiddling the new F3s: giving bodywork a removing tyre warmers; throttles to warm the three-cylinder on a bitterly cold morning in the of France. It’s almost a racing scene from glory days in the early

A sense of history is never far when you ride an MV Agusta at a like Ricard, where Agostini won the 1973 French Grand Prix on a works on the way to his 13th and last world for the Italian firm.

But never history and race wins; the F3 is all the future and bringing MV Agusta to a new of customers. The Italian firm is on this 675cc triple, with the similarly powered Brutale that will it into production in a few months’ to give a vital boost to and profitability.

What’s new?

racing heritage ensured the firm’s engineers had one main to create the most powerful, and fastest middleweight of the lot. The capacity and liquid-cooled, DOHC layout match those of the 675, but there’s a clue to the character in its cylinder dimensions. The short-… layout (79 x 45.9mm the Triumph’s 74 x 52.3mm) is designed for revs and horsepower above all

The F3 also has the most sophisticated management system yet seen a middleweight. It combines ride-by-wire control with a choice of engine maps one of them plus adjustable traction The result of all that is a motor revs to 15,000rpm, and produces a maximum of 128bhp that is up on the Triumph’s figure and matches class-leading ZX-6R.

MV’s team overseen since his last year by Massimo formerly Ducati’s technical also went to great to make the F3 engine light and Many components were to do more than one job, the counterbalancer, which also the camshafts. And the engine is innovative in a contra-rotating crankshaft, which the claims gives lighter by reducing inertia.

Chassis follows that of MV’s F4 models, so is based on a frame combines tubular steel sections with aluminium at the steering head (Magnesium was for the limited edition Serie of which 200 units were The triple also follows the model in having a single-sided swingarm. Suspension is by Marzocchi up and Sachs at the rear, multi-adjustable in case.

There’s an obvious with the F4 in the new triple’s styling (by the British design chief Morton), especially in the traditional red and of the launch bikes at Paul But the triple’s exhaust system in a neat trio of silencers set midway on the bike’s right, of with four pipes in the And its motor fired up with a raspy three-pot sound instantly sounded raw and aggressive.

How does it perform?

Heading out the track, I was relieved to find the F3 reasonably roomy, as it’s a compact bike whose wheelbase is the shortest in the class. Its tank put the clip-on bars easy reach but the non-adjustable gave a fair bit of room for my legs, despite a thinly seat which, at 812mm off the was low enough to let even the tiny tester get both feet

So it’s small, light and this MV, and I didn’t have to it far to realise that it’s bit as racy as it looks. As soon as I was out on the cracking the throttle open the F3 howling forward with felt like very force for a middleweight, even if the of speed was probably emphasised by the wind that was shooting the back of my neck as I tried in to shelter behind the low screen.

The equipped motor has a distinct character and it was very smooth, sweetly until the flashing light at 15,000rpm demanded a up. It was hard to tell in isolation, but the way the F3 made me think it’s up there with its fastest in a straight line.

But you have to work that hard to get the best from it, just as its dimensions suggest, the F3 is a little bike that appreciate being treated Provided I kept the slightly and hard-to-read instrument panel’s rev-counter bar past the 10,000rpm the bike pulled cleanly and hard. When I kept it 12,000rpm the MV really flew, three silencers howling a tune as it headed towards a top of about 160mph.

But although the seemed to run cleanly enough at low it was clear that the MV didn’t the midrange punch that is of the Daytona 675’s appeal.

the bikes I rode shifted sweetly (though one rider a few missed changes), and some of the machines were fitted the accessory quick-shifter that very slick upshifts backing off the throttle. So on the track it was fun to the F3 on the boil, although on an everyday ride it might simply be a bit

Throttle response was a particular in my first session, when the was slightly jerky as I wound on the especially out of the first turn, a hairpin. That was easily for the next session by switching the selector from Sport to which gave a calmer and more controllable response.

The Custom mode I used for my session was also excellent, and potential to fine-tune the set-up how you like it.

The F3 is also unique for a in having a big-bike style control system, with levels. On the fairly intrusive five, I was occasionally conscious of the seeming to hesitate slightly, when accelerating hard out of the right-hander onto the pit straight. the TC set on setting three for the last I didn’t notice this, so possible that the system was doing its job.

MV Agusta F3

I’d more time on a warmer than Ricard to be sure.

One I didn’t have any doubts was the handling, which was not only as and quick steering as you might of such as small, light but also had the stability to make the F3 confidence inspiring though curves such as the long right-hander at the end of the Mistral. The bike through there at roughly feeling superbly planted, its Supercorsa SPs gripping despite the (These were fitted for the The F3 will be delivered with more road-biased Diablo Corsa rubber.).

Flicking the chicane placed halfway the Mistral (the old long is rarely used these as Ricard is now an F1 car test track), was too.

The MV changed direction with the of Silvio Berlusconi surveying guests at a pool party, whether the contra-rotating crankshaft a difference was impossible to tell. And its held everything together as I up the bike from the tricky, left-hander then aimed it and accelerated onto the straight.

It was to imagine some bikes vague here but the F3 was very and well balanced, even I improved it slightly for my 14-stone by adding a couple of clicks of compression and rebound damping to the shock.

And the multi-adjustable Marzocchis up meant I could dial in a of extra clicks of rebound to improve the front-end feel as I into the circuit’s tight turn.

That bend full-bore stopping from in fifth gear at not far off 150mph, and the Brembo front stopper did the job time. The calipers are conventional four-piston jobs rather monoblocs but they weren’t of bite. The only doubt in the F3’s stopping ability in the first session and concerned my fingers’ ability to squeeze the with sufficient finesse.

the verdict?

That was pretty true of the overall performance of a whose power, light and handling ability look set to put it near the front of any track-based super-sports shootouts in the coming How it fares on the street is another as it remains to be seen how much the unashamedly racy character against it in everyday situations. undoubtedly an uncompromising sports but plenty of riders won’t a problem with that.

There’s certainly a touch of about the F3 that makes it special, not least its drop-… and the electronic sophistication that of its rivals can match.

Finish good, too, with options black or white. so the mirrors are narrow and the seat (especially for a pillion), but you shouldn’t too much long-distance comfort an MV Agusta sports bike.

And many previous MV tests one ends on a very positive thanks to a price of £9999 means the F3 is less than 10% expensive than some of its rivals. Like a ready-to-wear collection from some Milan fashion house, the new brings its Italian glamour to the at a relatively down-to-earth level.

years after MV’s the F3 could just be the marque’s and most competitive model so

MV Agusta F3
MV Agusta F3
MV Agusta F3
MV Agusta F3

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