Monday, January 19, 2009

Gordon Murray: “The MV Agusta F4 is so slow!”


Gordon Murray, the man who designed the McLaren F1, says the Ducati 916SP was much better to ride than the MV Agusta 750 F4...

John Cantlie of TWO magazine had the opportunity to talk to Gordon Murray, the man who designed the McLaren F1, perhaps the greatest, ‘purest’ street-legal supercar of all time. With its top speed of 386.7km/h, the McLaren F1 is still the world’s fastest production car with a normally-aspirated engine.

What some people may not know is that Gordon ‘Mr McLaren F1’ Murray is also an ardent motorcycle enthusiast. Speaking to Cantlie, here’s some of what Murray had to say about his bikes:

On the Ducati 916 vs MV Agusta F4

I own a 916SP and I love it. The only bike I like better, which was made by the same team, is the MV Agusta F4. I bought the 750 just because the styling and the engineering is so good. I love all the forgings and casting and just thought it was a fantastic motorbike. But I only kept it for two years.

Unfortunately I hadn't had a small engined bike for many years and that thing just didn't go, it was aggravating to ride and you had to get over 9,500rpm before it did anything. I should have hung it on the wall, that's what I bought it for. The F4 is so slow! The Ducati is a much better bike to ride.

On how he got into motorcycling

The bike thing started when I lived in South Africa. When you were 16 you could ride little 50cc bikes that we called 'buzz bikes.' For £10 I got a second-hand Maserati 50 and used to ride that around. In fact just this month I've bought another one to hang on my workshop wall at home to remind me of those early days. Unlike my dad I never raced bikes. Well, not formally anyway. The only bike racing I did was when we used to break into the circuit and race our 50cc bikes around, ha ha!

On his Honda VF1000R

In 1981, when I was technical director of Brabham, Nelson Piquet [who won the F1 world championship that year] was driving, and he gave me a Joey Dunlop Isle of Man replica VF1000R as a thank you. I had that for quite a few years and then I started getting into Ducatis…

On his Ducatis

Well I had a 750 F1, which I went down to the factory to order, then an 888 SP1 and now I have a 916 SP4. I sold the VF because it got to the point where I simply had too many bikes. I had loads of dirt bikes because I used to do trail riding. I wasn't riding them all, so I thinned down to one touring bike and one race bike.

Apart from all the dirt bikes, I still have them all over the place. Now I just have a 1300 Pan European for long distance and the Ducati for fun. I hate collecting. If I don't ride or drive something in 12 months I sell it, or hang it up.

On his best biking memories

Any one of the years at the TT, I love it. From the point of view of me riding? The first time I got on the 916. In those days the SPS used to arrive in a box and you had to assemble them yourself. I still enjoy getting my hands dirty...

See the full interview on Visordown here

Also see:
Does your bike need hubless wheels...?
Carl Fogarty isn't very popular after all...
Back to the 1980s...
SUB G1: One racy trike...
The best two-stroke sportsbikes in the world...
Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850. Holy Kaw!
HUGE collection of 2008 MotoGP wallpaper...
When Lamborghini made a motorcycle...
At least the Ferrari motorcycle looks better...

Elsewhere today:
Gordon Murray speaks about his T.25 city car project...
Verona Motor Bike Expo 2009: Picture gallery...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Murray has obviously not had the opportunity to explore the limits of MV Agusta's more recent F4-1000R, F4-312R, or a F4CC. No one in their right mind would be tempted to characterize these as slow. They eat their contemporary Ducati competitors for lunch in all tests, both objective and subjective...

Pulsurge said...

Well its a normal comment for a person who has had so many bikes. Maybe the 916 might beat the MV on the track- but then you dont need a track to make your heartbeat go faster, a sight of the MV is enough :D

Anonymous said...

Mr. Murray is obviously a Ducati enthusiast.
Just to remind some persons, a Ducati 916SP and a MV Agusta F4 750 are to complete different motorcycles.
Not sure if these are the right specs for the Ducati:

1997 Duc 916,
916cc V2 engine
131 bhp

MV Agusta F4 750
4 in line engine
749cc
126 bhp

I am one of the lucky persons who owns a F4 (1000 cc) and I have also driven some Ducati's, including the new 1198.
Have to say, but that is purely my opinion, a 1000 cc MV drives beter the Duc 1198.

Anonymous said...

Mr murray just don't know what he is talking about.

Anonymous said...

+1

Needs to move on a throw a leg over the latest F4's

Any late model F4 1000/1078 spanks any Duke 1098/1198 in a straight line.

Respect to the man, but he has no idea really about the bikes, and bias to Ducati. I'm sure we've all met a few of those.

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