I will be honest about my ego, I like being right…but that doesn’t mean that sometimes I wish I was wrong, and such is the case with the delivery date of the beautiful MV Agusta F3 Serie Oro. It is hard to believe that we first saw the MV Agusta F3 break cover back in October 2010, with the Italian company’s three-cylindered supersport being spied and rumored well before even that date, as far back as 2009. Then breaking the hearts of many Italian motorcycle fans, MV Agusta announced that the F3 would not be a 2011 model year bike.
Having issues getting its parts suppliers to deal with a company with a horrible credit record, pricing of the MV Agusta F3 quickly rose from $9,000, to $10,000, and then finally to $13,495 MSRP (Note: All US bikes will comes with a quick-shifter, pushing the MSRP now to $13,995). This of course would not be the price for the limited edition MV Agusta F3 Serie Oro, which was set to sell ahead of the base model. At $27,900 MSRP, the “gold series” F3 has been operating on a similar sliding scale as the price tag of the base model, as the delivery date of the bike was first pushed back from March, to May, and now is set for early July. But wait, there’s more.
This news makes it anyone’s guess as to when the base model MV Agusta F3 will hit American shores, though early ride reports suggest that the more time the F3 marinates in Varese, the better. Said to have appalling fueling and throttle control by the venerable Kevin Ash, the Brit bike reviewer said “the Italian bike still needs a lot of work doing, quite simply it shouldn’t have gone on sale yet. Beautiful, with huge potential but for now, fatally flawed.”
For those Americans with money down on the F3, the bike is said to be coming with the company’s latest ECU firmware upgrade, though whether that update fully resolves the initial problems remains to still be witnessed by someone that hasn’t drunk the brand’s kool-aid. As for those hoping for the naked version of the F3: the MV Agusta Brutale 675, that model has similarly been pushed back with the delays encountered by the MV Agusta F3 production. Surely what was expected to be a 2012 model year bike, will likely not be in dealerships until 2013.
As if all those missed promises didn’t happen, MV Agusta has some gumption as it has begun teasing out its next 675cc three-cylinder model, which is expected to be cut from hypermotard cloth. Called either the MV Agusta Rivale or MV Agusta SM3, the bike will feature longer-travel suspension, and the same problematic supersport motor. Expected to debut this fall, we would say that this bike will be a 2013 model, but let’s all be honest for a minute about things, and realize the vaporware status MV Agusta is cultivating for itself.
While MV Agusta is touting its hopes of producing 12,000 units a year in the coming annum, the fact remains that the company is continuously missing its own deadlines, and then releasing unfinished products to consumers. That sort of nonsense only goes so far with even the most loyal of customers, and firmly puts the company’s future into doubt with the massive blow it has done to the company’s brand, which has long been the only thing of value to come out of the Varese factory.
Adding only more suspicion to the precarious nature of MV Agusta, is the sense of urgency surrounding the release of so many new models, especially when they are not fully-developed. We have seen this same maneuver from a number of motorcycle companies recently, and it has always been from a motorcycle manufacturer who desperately need to start selling product in larger volumes. Said to have a break-even point of around 10,000 units, I suspect that number is in fact higher for MV Agusta, but what is clear is that the Italian firm is on the wrong side of an income statement right now.
Unable to support itself through current operations, and finding its name scrolled in the little black books of major financial institutions, MV Agusta needs to rapidly grow its customer base in order to stay afloat. This surely has been the driving force behind the premature birth of the F3, and hopefully this is the only model to garner such an oversight. As the Italian company delivers it bikes, or doesn’t deliver them as the case may be, the future of the brand will become more clear, though right now it is still a bit too cloudy.