MV Agusta F3

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MV Agusta F4 1000 R Scuderia Ferrari

MV Agusta F3

New Jersey Motorsports

July 18th, 2012

I was to be disappointed.

Although I love I try not to be blind to its faults. The Italians the most beautiful language, lands, and majestic history. have dragged all of western into modernity not just but twice. They also the tragedy of the Camorra, the ‘Ndrangheta, the Nostra, and Silvio Berlusconi. balanced appreciation means while I am savoring a slice of buffalo mozzarella;.

I am also to taste for the telltale bitterness of dumped toxic waste.

The themselves refuse to purchase off the Internet (because you can’t the stitching quality on line) as is the ever present business to take advantage of the out-of-country that will buy suits a Made In Italy label, to the liner not the cloth), or Italian market olive oil that is from Spain. These practices are nothing new. It was 2500 years ago that the coined the term Caveat

And so, after my own heartbreaking experiences beautiful motorcycles that simply styling exercises around horrible excuses for combined with highly material strength engineering at you Moto Guzzi Lario Ducati 748R, etc) I was for the MV Agusta to be a lackluster performer distractingly beautiful bodywork.

The MV Agusta has had more owners in the ten years than Italy has had ministers; Cagiva, Proton, and Harley Davidson have all had a And the global financial crisis has a double-edged sword for MV. While the eviscerated the general motorcycle along with its middle purchasers, the luxury market has largely unaffected.

More the Japanese Yen has appreciated 50% over the five years while the has steadily declined. In 2008 today’s Japanese middleweight would cost $7,845 what they did then) and an one would cost about as much at $15,500. However, due to the rate changes, a 2012 middleweight is $12,000 and the Italian are only a paltry $14,000, or 16% more.

If Germany would do the of Europe a favor and leave the we would probably see Italian priced lower than Japanese competitors.

After ownership changes and the GFC, MV up back with original Claudio Castiglioni in August, Claudio has been the constant presence across all that and, upon his (one can hope) final acquisition of the he was determined to change the small brand from money to profitable and increase the models and of the marque.

So my contemplation while from DC to New Jersey was this: is MV a great looking suit bad stitching? A luxury lifestyle for display? Or is it a real performance

50.5% in the front, 49.5% 381lbs dry weight.

Claudio with a change in the company intended to move MV from the into just high The highly successful Brutale weight bikes were the of that move to more priced bikes. The 675 triple now that campaign in both (F3) and … (Brutale)

Make no mistake: rather putting red bodywork on a tired old air bike and cashing in, MV designers set benchmark at the best of the Japanese, and tried to surpass them, an move for a company of 214 people.

The performance middleweight engine Japan is the R6, whose engine 134 pounds and puts out 127hp and of torque. The F3 engine weighs 114 and puts out 128 hp and 72nm of torque. The F3 to 15,000 rpm.

With its … crank the Italian revs 2,000 rpm higher the Triumph 675 motor.

I was invited to the bike at the New Jersey Motorsports during the sweltering heat that desiccated the East in July. The weather was brutally with 100% humidity and 100 temperatures. The track’s grass was and dingy, the air was thick and the light was

MV Agusta’s entire US staff four of them) were in and legendary tuner Eraldo (of Fast by Ferracci fame) his humble box van the couple hours his base in Willow Grove,

American engineer Brian who lives in Italy and Italian Eraldo Ferraci who lives in

The whole affair had a much home cooked feel the highly corporate, themed and launches of other, particularly companies. Don’t get me wrong, I opulence as much as the next guy but it feels that the focus of a is on the lunch buffet, the souvenirs or, yet, the clothing line, and not the themselves. I was expecting lots of to the noble history of the MV brand and with the classic MV logo.

I got a of hard core motorcycle and the ‘corporate’ guys doing the swaps. I liked it.

The bike stock with Pirelli Rosso II tires but we tested on Q2s, principally because the guys would send a with a tire machine. were three bikes for riders so we would not have the to do too many suspension adjustments.

single sided swingarm is as as many of the current dual

The ergonomics are largely based on an R6 so the are low and flat and the impression is very of sitting on top of the bike, not in the bike. The is narrow, flat and hard is just perfect for track The pegs are stylish and sleek also means they are and a little slippery a la Aprilia.

The are actually comfortably low for a sport The plastic gas tank is short, accentuates the 50.5% forward bias and put one’s weight on the wrists and the helmet above the stem. The bike feels in all dimensions.

Engineer Brian points out to editor Sam Fleming how the 17 plastic gas tank extends the seat as is current practice in Superbike and Moto GP.

Thumbing the wakes up a clattering of mechanical This is no Yamaha.

The ‘throttle’ is no at all, it is simply a hall potentiometer measuring where the is twisting the grip. The signal is mixed with a host of CAN bus** data, which, being filtered through the selectable engine response (Rain, Normal, Sport, opens the single butterfly bodies and adjusts a host of settings. Riding the unfamiliar New track in Normal mode the felt powerful and torquey very tame engine

Repeated mid-corner on/off cycles (resulting from the am I in this turn?” syndrome upset the bike in the least.

The F3 was designed in CAD and has incredibly tight but with many of the oil and coolant cast into the cases and the CAN bus the final result is very and tidy. There are two injectors per but only a single computer-controlled An external oil cooler is fitted.

are about four times efficient that the typical coolers used on other and, of course, more

My initial impression of the handling was The bike was nimble and very and responsive to side to side RPM input but there was some underlying characteristic which was me from totally trusting the end and carrying a lot of lean angle.

The quick shifter encouraged throttle upshifts. I never a shift or hit a false neutral but the felt like it required a more effort or attention a Nipponese competitor. This could have just because I couldn’t adjust the to my preference due to having to share the with other test

A vibration through the low bars was but it was never too intrusive.

Stainless are the stock fitment with the calipers grabbing dual

The Brembo calipers are plumbed braided steel lines to a master cylinder. The brakes race ready performance like a lot of race brake had a little temperature related The lever position which too close in the pits would out a noticeable amount once I to the track.

This got me reaching for a remote adjuster on the left but the very fact that I was dropping into racing shows how close this is to a race platform.

The dashboard modes allow for throttle (normal, rain, sport), max torque (sport, rain), braking (sport, normal). response (fast, slow), rpm (sport, normal). There is no clutch; the back torque is by ECU-controlled idle adjustments.

The does not have a slipper and, instead, relies on the ECU to the idle speed when turns to prevent rear chatter. It works very and, of course, eliminates the wear of clutch components are part of the Faustian bargain mechanical slipper clutches.

The Control Unit is very It was designed by some Magnetti alumni at ELDOR in Como, They do a lot of work for Audi, and Lamborghini.

The ECU was designed with MV and MV has a three-year deal on exclusivity for the The unit can drive 4 cylinders, 8 4 ignition drives, a variable actuator, 2 lambda sensors as as air flow estimation, speed dual linear injector lambda fuel management, torque based management. It can ionization around the spark and reduce advance to prevent

It has total redundancy with micro architecture with for each I/O. If it has a problem its mode keeps full on the good circuitry, ; if it has a second it drops into limp mode. One of the three bikes did a problem with the electric but it only threw a code, it ever exhibit running

After two sessions of getting to the track we flipped the engine to Sport. In Sport mode the butterflies open more the redline moves up from a 500 RPM deceleration to a hard limit at the redline, and the engine braking up a bit.

In this light it looks like it is in race

Sport mode clearly how much of the motor’s rambunctious is neutered by the Normal mode. this in context, Normal does not punish indecisive input. For street riding over bumps) or learning a new the Normal mode smoothes out of the rider’s or terrain’s rough

Sport mode requires, and conviction. If you are only going to the throttle once coming out of a the bike responds immediately to the The available torque of the engine and its transition to top end horsepower even the option of lugging through a a bit in third or screaming it in second. approach yielded the same speed, but that sort of can offer a lot of options for approaching a

We used to build our Army Of superbike GSX-R engines out from 600 to 650. They had the same bhp as a normal race 600 but 20% more torque. This MV reminded me a lot of those championship superbike engines.

Although the F3 stock with eight way crank speed differential control (think Bazazz) I took it off it lowest setting as the rear only slid at the end of the day. The stock traction is all most track riders ever need.

However, if you up the motor past 140bhp you can buy an module that adds and lean angle detection to the CAN bus and the stock ECU will incorporate additional information into its control algorithms. This is clearly aimed at future Supersport racers.

Eraldo added a bit of preload to the rear softened the fork preload a bit and to get the damping to match. These made the bike carve (ie, raising the back, the front) but I think my lingering with the front end was due to the stiff springs (.95) and relatively rake number of 23.6. I over heard one of the MV guys to another one that the Dunlops the bike steer slower the Pirellis.

It is entirely possible the geometry of the MV was being compromised to degree by tire dimensional

According to Eraldo, the stock can be ditched along with its canceling power valve for an 6hp. You donna even to mess with the fuel.

One interesting characteristic of the bike was its to switch directions through the with ease. It is impossible to the light weight (plastic gas geometry and all the other host of that go into bike but another lurking secret motorbike handling is the affect of the crankshaft. Gyroscopes counter input with a 90-degree and a lighter crank means gyro and easier steering.

The is noticeable to the point that a 636, with its ever so heavier crankshaft, steers than its 600cc counterpart.

A inline bike has the wheels and all spinning in the same direction. The F3 the crankshaft backwards (a la Yamaha’s GP and uses the required-for-a-triple, yet much counter balancer shaft to the direction of power transfer. the crank spinning backwards its is off setting, to some unknown the gyro of the wheels, brake and tires.

The effect would based on both ground and engine speed but in the third high RPM hard right left hard right onto the front straight I I was going to hit the inside curbs my steering inputs were compared to the reaction of the bike. I the science was working.***

As luck have it Brian Gillen (my not his) ended up sitting to me at breakfast. Brian is an American blue collar Buffalo New who has lived in Italy for the last years. He is also the Platform for MV and currently lives in Bologna, with his indigenous wife and

Hey Brian, why is your engine so and rattley?

And good morning to you too For your information most of the you are hearing is the transmission gears. gears like in the F4 are ground and Those expensive ground can be made with a closer The F3 transmission gears are shaved, gives a tad more clearance but we had to some concessions to price on this bike and the thing we on was some gear noise at

I didn’t want to put rubber in the cover to quiet it down I didn’t want to compromise on and then he reached for his plate of

Why didn’t you just cheap out all the way and use the the Japanese use made of pressed so that the second gear off in street applications and the 3-4 gear can disintegrate in race applications? I before I realized that my was my own answer as Brian simply an eyebrow at me over his coffee

MV Agusta F4 1000 R Scuderia Ferrari

I hate working on engines at the so I wanted the best hard we could put in the cases. But if you ever a problem with it you can pull out the cassette in about ten minutes.

But I pressed, intent on interrupting his you put that cheap … master cylinder up there on the for everyone to point at and laugh?

We get a Brembo radial of comparable at this price point.

So, you are telling me, that you put in an expensive that no one will ever see but will hear, and you chose to money on the glamour component everyone can see?

I guess you look at it that way

I let this in a minute. Here was an engineer, at an company no less, focusing on metal, instead of exterior

So what other internal quality choices did you make no one will ever be able to because of the future mechanical that won’t happen.

looked at me carefully to see if I was kidding.

driven from the end twist so the cylinder at the other side of can end up with cam timing as much as 8 behind the cylinder closest to the cam Most cams are cast, are machined from billet and nitrided to prevent that distortion. The crank is forged, not and the whole thing is hardened, not the bearing surfaces.

Even the shaft is forged and nitrided.

I ran the uncountable list of destroyed I have known and rejoined What about the valve

We are using Ti valves with collets. They are stamped and The cam chain tensioner is from but is it the same one we use on the F4 and it is very high

GSX-R racers can buy similar from Yoshimura Suzuki to the life of their top end components but it is consuming to install them. is doing his customers a solid by high spec components the factory.

This bike is not a suit, it is a beautiful unique with serious performance into it, all at a very competitive point.

It would be understandable to buy one of for the looks, but you don’t need to.

Emptor — Let the Buyer

**CAN bus is a data network in motor vehicles. It is a bit more than conventional wiring but it for more versatility and, importantly, much lighter harnesses because the ECU doesn’t end runs to each sensor on the It is cool.

*** Caveat, Kawasaki they were being clever by halving the size of alternator on their ZX-10 for a few and driving it at twice engine The resulting gyroscopic impacts havoc with attempts to get the to handle.


MV Agusta is the sole remaining creative vessel for Claudio Castiglioni. He and his (Giovanni) used to own Cagiva got its start in the motorcycle industry by the old AMF- Harley Davidson in Varese. They then to buy up a number of moldering Italian which were well their apogee including Moto Morini, and Husqvarna.

slowly sold off Ducati, Morini and Husqvarna and then ownership of MV Agusta a number of before its owner ship up back with Claudio Now Cagiva is no more but MV Agusta on.

MV has a wholly owned subsidiary CRC which handles all the design The design center is in San Marino is surrounded by Italy, but not in Italy) and 40 designers. MV has a separate design for engines which has another 45

That means that 40% of the MV are working on R D. That is an astronomically number and shows a massive in the future. Assuming that also require some guys and some administrative it implies that they have as many people future motorcycles as building ones.

The factory is in the far north of in Varese. For those of you unfamiliar Italy geography, this is having your motorcycle in Lake Tahoe, or Vail.

the 2008 Global Financial all the MV Agustas were over which, at that time, they cost over or twice as much as a comparable bike.

Ironically, MV was owned by Davidson in 2009. As Harley was crushed by their leveraged base they scrambled for and shuttered Buell and sold off MV. picked it up in August of 2010. was losing money hand fist with the company.

had total revenue of €35m MV and their Earnings Before Taxes Depreciation and Amortization was a stunning -€20m.

Castiglioni over a sinking ship but only a couple of quarters was to stem the bleeding. He increased to €43.5 m and reduced the EBITDA to -€-8.8m. 2011 was better revenue of €44.7m and an EBITDA of 2012 is shaping up to be their year ever with a increase to 80m in revenue and an EBITDA of 5.7m.

That profit can be for many purposes (like off operational debts incurred in or invested in more design and production facilities. MV’s projections are for 2013 to be €13.6 in EBITDA profit on €101m in Those types of numbers a strong and sustainable company.

The cylinders are still intended to the halo product with the but pricey, F4. The three cylinder are designed to bring MV more the meat of the mainstream motorcycle with a more affordable point. MV increased their range from three in 2010 to five in 2011. In they’ve got a total of eight, three 675 models.

They a paltry 2213 bikes in but they are on track to sell 4-cylinder models in 2012 and a fattening 5150 3- cylinder in 2012. The goal is to have sales of over 10,000 in

In bocca al lupo, MV.****

Italian idiomatic saying is used to mean “good but literally translates to: in the mouth of the

MV Agusta F4 1000 R Scuderia Ferrari
MV Agusta F4 1000 R Scuderia Ferrari

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