Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 MV Agusta F4 riding impression

The 2010 MV Agusta F4 - minor cosmetic mods only, or is it significantly better than its predecessor? To find out, MotorBox tests the bike at the Almeria circuit in Spain...

We’ve been big fans of the MV Agusta F4, which still looks absolutely gorgeous despite the design being a decade old. The 2010 MV F4 has supposedly been ‘redesigned,’ with sharper edges, new paintjobs and… well, not much else. Still, apart from the Ducati 1198 and Aprilia RSV4, there’s no other fully faired superbike that’s as good looking as the MV.

Now, while the 2010 F4 looks almost the same as its predecessor, is it any different when it comes to actually riding the bike? MotorBox recently tested new F4 and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about the machine:

While the new F4 looks almost identical to the old one, MV Agusta really have changed everything – the new bike doesn’t share any parts with the earlier F4. The new bike is more sleek, modern and streamlined than ever. With the new F4, the objective was make it harder-edged, more competitive on the track. And so, MV engineers have shaved 10 kilos off the bike’s weight, which now weighs 192.5kg dry.

The new F4’s steel tube trellis / aluminium beam chassis has been extensively revised and is 1.2kg lighter than the older chassis. With a slightly longer swingarm, the weight distribution now stands at 51.7% front / 48.3%. The inline-four engine’s capacity has been reduced from 1,078cc to 998cc and a new Marelli fuel-injection system, titanium valves and variable-length intake have been fitted. Output is an impressive 186bhp at 12,900rpm and 114Nm of torque at 9,500rpm.

New bits on the F4 include revised instrumentation, Bi-xenon headlamp, recalibrated Brembo brakes with monobloc radial callipers, 50mm USD Marzocchi fork, fully adjustable Sachs shock, handlebars that are wider and set higher than before and, of course, the 18,500 euro price tag.

Old it may be, but the design still looks simply scrumptious...!

On the track, the new F4 is much more nimble and agile than its predecessor, and the front end feels planted and rock solid. Surprisingly, the bike also works quite well on the street – the suspension is able to cope with broken tarmac and small potholes, which means enhanced usability all around. Power delivery from the new 998cc engine is less violent but though the engine is redlined at 13,500rpm, it does run out of breath at around 12,500 revs. Here, it must be said, it’s the higher revving BMW S1000RR that sets the new benchmark…

The new F4 is more manageable in situations that demand a delicate balance between coming on and off the throttle – definitely a plus in fast, high speed corners. The multi-setting traction control system also works well and doesn’t feel invasive – it works subtly, in the background, rather than cutting power abruptly when you’ve applied too much throttle. Brakes, while powerful, could do with more feel. Perhaps a different master cylinder will help…?

Overall, the bike isn’t perfect but is definitely an improvement over its predecessor. Indeed, the new MV Agusta F4 is up to the task of taking on the best in its segment from Europe and Japan.

For the original article, please visit MotorBox

Can there ever be a superbike as glorious, as achingly perfect as the MV Agusta F4...?

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