Details: 2010 MV Agusta F4

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Photos: Grant Ray

When the 2010 MV Agusta F4 was announced, we criticized it for being a little heavier and a little less powerful than the outgoing model. The official line at the time was that numbers lie, or a least MV’s old numbers did and the new one’s didn’t. Now that we’ve ridden it on the road and on the track we believe that. We’ll be bringing you a Vs. feature next week, but for the time being, here’s a glimpse at what it’s like to ride MV’s new superbike.

The good:
-  It looks great in black. Gloss on top, matte on the bottom. Understated and classy.

-  NACA ducts. FTW.

-  It’s incredibly fast. I remember thinking the 155bhp on my old CBR954RR was scary. 186bhp is a whole new world.

-  But it’s flexible. I was putting in respectable laps of Monticello using only third gear. That included a 20mph hairpin and 131mph on the back straight as it bounced off the 13,500rpm limiter. Sure it bogged a bit in the hairpin, but once it hits 5,000rpm, it takes off. That’s over a 100mph effective range in a single gear. Wow.

-  It’s smooth. No vibes, no power troughs, just easy drive everywhere.

-  It sounds amazing. Like an inline-four on steroids, deeper and stronger than most liter bikes.

-  It’s all-day comfortable on the track. No crick in the neck, no sore hamstrings, nothing.

-  The details are stunning. Swoopy single-sided swingarm, the red cylinder head peaking out from the black frame, the square exhausts, the LED lights, the generator cover in the left fairing.

-  But it’s not blingy. You get the feeling the engineers had to choose between what worked and what was flashy. They went with what worked.

-  DZUS fasteners. Why doesn’t everyone use them?

-  The brakes. Like all Brembo Monoblocks, powerful and progressive.

-  It’s easy to ride fast. There’s nothing weird going on here, just get on and ride.

-  The traction control works. Thank god.

-  The price. MV will only sell a couple hundred of these in the US. With that in mind, $18,500 buys a lot of exclusivity.

The bad:
-  The levers don’t rotate up or down. The brake and hydraulic fluid reservoirs are in the way, so the brake and clutch levers are stuck just south of horizontal. They need to rotate down at least 10 more degrees for comfort.

-  The hydraulic clutch is very heavy, no fun around town.

-  It’s really, really uncomfortable on the road. It’s not the height of the bars, which aren’t abnormally low for a sportsbike, but the shape and lack of padding in the seat. It’s like sitting on a wide, flat board. My butt hurt after 20 miles.

-  It cooks your butt. Thank the underseat pipes for that.

-  You look like an asshole. Or at least it makes me look like one. People can’t really tell it’s the new model, but they know the “MV” badges make it expensive. 29-year olds really shouldn’t ride around on bikes most people think are unattainable.

-  It looks exactly like the old one. It even took a guy on an old model about five minutes to realize I was riding the 2010.

-  The mirrors are blurry. At all speeds, under all circumstances. Also, they’re so narrow that you have to lift your arms up to see stuff in them, which makes it look like you’re doing the funky chicken when you change lanes.

-  It doesn’t need the standard steering damper. It’s completely stable, so why fit one?

-  The dash is hard to use and read. Just try adjusting the traction control level without consulting the manual, go one, we dare you.

-  The paint marks easily. Swing a leg over the seat unit. Oops, yeah, that’s not coming out.

-  There’s no defining characteristic or unique selling point. It’s an MV. What’s that mean? It’s like a GSX-R but nicer looking.

  • NoRubber

    Hehe, nice review.

    But I’d still go for the earier red/silver ones. they are cheaper to crash. (Thats a nice way to say I might imagine to afford one. )

    NACA ducts WTF?

  • Pete

    This bike in black makes me tingle in special places.

    That said, there’s no excuse for poor ergonomics in today’s bikes. Blurry mirrors that require arm movement to properly view, poor seat, incorrectly placed and non-adjustable levers? Boo. I expect that stuff in my $8k Triumph, but not for something around $18k.

  • Joe P.

    There is a lot happening on the tail of that bike, a lot of geometry but its pure sex.

  • Patrick from Astoria

    $18K is less than a Civic Si. Corbin’s still in business, right? La dolce vita.

  • vic

    i like it,consider it more of an evolution and thank god that they didn’t get the fugly vyrus that seems to be plaguing jap bbikes
    it’s a good thing that that they have addressed a lot of the issues that current owners complained most about,,:fueling,twitchy throttle and most of all overheating and i think that the new bike is currently targeted at them+getting new riders on board
    the old one was very organic this one is a lot more angular..some will like it some not
    i saw one at the dealer and i really like it,but then again i really liked the old one too and this looks different.yeah a bit like a gixxer but not that much

    ps:i see grant is using the new lens fungus filter

  • Kevin White

    This is about the least appropriate bike ever to have passenger pegs on. Luckily they look easily removable.

  • Edward

    Always remove passenger pegs. Always. Hell remove/cover the seat as well.

  • Isaac

    I’m with Edward on this one. Why have passenger pegs on a race bike? That’s like putting a back seat in a Ferrari F430. It doesn’t reduce insurance costs. They arent stupid and still change you more to own a sport bike. Lweave the pillion pegs on the VFR1200′s and the VStroms.

    Other than that the bike looks amazing. My only hope is that a couple of years from now we see a newly redesigned bike.

    • MotoRandom

      Umm, I’m fairly certain the F430 does, in fact, have a passenger seat. Even the FXX does. I’m also pretty sure it is way more difficult to remove for track days then these pillion mounts. So break out the tools and pull them off. Then when you’re down at the local watering hole and the pretty young thing sporting that awesome cleavage asks for a ride on your motorcycle, you can puff out your chest and proudly declare ” I’m far too cool to have the likes of YOU on the back of my motorcycle!” Some of us though do in fact like the occasional female rider along to share the experience and would deeply appreciate if the manufacturers would continue to provide pillion accommodations as a stock item.

      That being said, this is a truly awesome motorcycle. I’m not the hugest fan of inline 4s but if I had one, I’d want it to be this one. I’m kinda glad they didn’t mess with the original Tamburi design too much because this is just such a classic look and clearly not of the Japanese cookie cutter mold. It’s just so damn good looking. Maybe it doesn’t distinguish itself as well as you may like Wes but I think it will stand up well to the test of time.

  • sburns2421

    A pillion seat, even a cruel joke like on this bike or an Aprilia RSV4, might help gain approval from the household CEO for married guys.

  • kclement

    To be honest, I still don’t see what the big problem is with the price.

    Yes, it’s an MV, it’s more expensive than a GSX-R. But 18k $ is still peanuts if you compare it to car prices (and not even comparing the power/weight of the car to the MV).
    Why should anyone look awkward if they ride a bike cheaper than most cars, only because they’re only 29 y old?

    • Wes Siler

      The price isn’t a problem, which is why it’s under “the good” column. I get the same feeling when I drive a Ferrari or a fancy Porsche or an Aston Martin or something. At 29, expensive vehicles just make me look like a prick.

      • vic

        it’s different from a exotic car because most non-riders can’t tell it apart from a duc or a r1,sure they may say “hmm that’s pretty” but i doubt they would look at you and think prick because you are driving this and not an r6 .that is why they are more of a connoisseurs bike,and unlike big blingy cruisers[which non-riders consider to be the most expensive ] it can deliver

        ps:maybe it’s the haircut

  • the_doctor

    When will I be able to see one at my local Harley dealer?

  • Michale

    From the article: “You look like an asshole. Or at least it makes me look like one. People can’t really tell it’s the new model, but they know the “MV” badges make it expensive. 29-year olds really shouldn’t ride around on bikes most people think are unattainable.”

    Bah, I’m 29 and don’t buy that for a minute. They way I see it; I’m old enough to afford something decent, but young enough to not to look like some over the hill fuck that’s trying too hard.

    Either way, expensive vehicles make almost everybody look like prick.

  • sburns2421

    Strange concept. I bought an 851 at 23 (3 weeks out of college) in 1996. Paid a bit less less for it than a new GSXR750 at the time. Never felt like a prick.

    If you earned the money to pay for it I’m not sure what the problem is with having nice things we enjoy.

  • Mark D.

    Oh Wes, there are so many other things that make you look like a prick :)

    • Wes Siler

      Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

  • Edward

    Don’t hate us because your ‘beautiful’.

  • Joe

    Wow, I guess I’m an asshole then. I’ve owned an MV F4-1000 since I was 25 (29 now)

    I think the new one looks good. It is $6500 cheaper than the older models, so whatever you dont like on the new one, MV gave you enough of a discount to pay to upgrade those parts.

    The only people that complain about this bike are the ones that will never own one anyway.

  • Marty

    I have ridden the bike and it is everything that the reviewer says it is. It does not like being under about 75mph. The front end feeling is one of the best in motorcycling. I have also ridden the BMW and I would pick the MV over the BMW even though the BMW is faster in a straight line.

  • Kit

    I’ve gotta say, it looks like a blend of a 1098 and a 955i Daytona. I’ll have the older style, thanks.