By now, true motorcycle enthusiasts should be familiar with MV Agusta’s lineup of “RC” models from its sport bike lineup. These race inspired machines are limited in quantity, feature a unique race-inspired livery, and arrive with extra go fast parts that come in a special wood box.
The RC models are strong sellers for MV Agusta, so it is not surprising to see that the concept has permeated from the company’s superbike offering to virtually every machine in the Italian company’s lineup. For the 2019 model year, this idea is no different.
MV Agusta is set to retire the MV Agusta F4 superbike, but not before one last farewell. A final homage to the venerable machine, and a nod to the man who helped create it, the MV Agusta F4 Claudio is the supreme example of the Varesini company’s focus on performance and art. As such, only 100 examples will be produced.
The special edition model is based off the MV Agusta F4 RC platform, which means a 212hp inline-four engine when the dual-tipped race exhaust from SC-Project is installed. Peak torque hits 85 lbs•ft at 9,300 rpm, with a redline that reaches to 14,200 rpm. The bike still manages 205hp in street-legal trim.
Episode 75 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is out, and in it we talk about…nothing. We unfortunately didn’t have time to talk about the Suzuki Katana rumors, nor did we have time for Yamaha’s electric trials bike, which has a mechanical clutch.
We also didn’t have time for the debut of the Mugen Shinden Nana electric superbike, nor John McGuinness’s IOMTT movements. There is no time for Jonathan Rea racing at the Suzuka 8-Hours endurance race on a factory Kawasaki team.
We also glanced past RevZilla’s in-house apparel brand, REAX, which debuted last week. Did we talk about MotoGP?…Nope.
We do talk a little about what it is like to ride the MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR, the Italian brand’s superbike plans, and what new bikes we can expect to see from MV Agusta.
The show finishes with us trying not to talk about a story that has been going viral in the two-wheeled space. You can probably guess it from the title of the show, but rather than stoke the fires directly, we try and approach the subject from a more elevated perspective.
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.
We hope you will join the conversation, and leave us some audio comments at our new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we are happy to report the rebirth of the Cagiva brand, and the pending launch of MV Agusta’s new Brutale 1000, we do have some bad news to report from Italy, as this will be the last year of the MV Agusta F4 superbike, for quite some time.
While the Italian brand plans to debut three new models from its four-cylinder platform over the next three years, the company’s superbike offering will be the last to be revitalized.
As such, the Brutale 1000 will debut this year as a 2019 machine, a “neo-classical” bike will debut next year as a 2020 machine, and a new “F4” will debut a year after that, as a 2021 model year bike.
This news is about to get worse, before it gets better, so let me explain further.
We have been teased with near four-cylinder models from MV Agusta before, but after today’s announcement, the follow-up story that MV Agusta will launch its new four-cylinder platform in 2018 seems actually plausible.
Something we were expecting at this year’s EICMA show, MV Agusta CEO Giovanni Castiglioni has already shared that we can expect to see a 1,200cc four-cylinder Brutale in the near future.
We say this because its naked street bikes are MV Agusta’s best-sellers, so we expect the new Brutale to be given the nod over a new F4 superbike, in terms of priority, primarily because of financial reasons.
Hello and welcome to Asphalt & Rubber’s 2017 Superbike Deathmatch – our take on the motorcycle media’s superbike shootout review format, and the solitary path for a motorcycle to become A&R’s Superbike of 2017. Booyah!
What makes the Superbike Deathmatch different from other shootouts, you might ask? Well for starters, instead of renting a track out for a day, and spending only a limited amount of time on the plethora of machines available, we decided instead to take a lesson from college basketball’s very own March Madness.
That’s right, we are using a single-elimination head-to-head bracket system to find out which superbike is the best of the best, and thus worthy of being our Superbike of 2017. Think of it like a two-wheeled Thunderdome: two bikes enter, one bike leaves.
It has been a long road for MV Agusta, over the past few years. However, the Italian brand seems ready to finally move on from its financial troubles, once we see its debt restructured in the Italian courts, and the investment secured from Black Ocean.
MV Agusta latest issues, which concern cash flow difficulties, seem to be balancing out as well, though the effect on the company’s new model lineup has been noticeable, with a disappointing lack of new machines to show at the 2016 EICMA show.
As such for the 2017 edition of the trade show, we should have measured expectations, with Giovanni Castiglioni saying in an interview with MCN that only one new model will debut later this year, and only two new bikes will be shown in 2018.
Having missed the Jerez test, the MV Agusta squad had plenty of work to do in Portimão. Their sole rider, Leon Camier, had a tremendous 2016 campaign, but in the face of regulation changes, he faces the daunting task of trying to make the F4 into competitive package once again.
The Englishman had seven Top 5 finishes last year, and 15 Top 10s, and helped to change the perception of the Italian squad. Previously, MV Agusta had been consistent under-performers and tail-enders in WorldSBK, but their form last year gave plenty of hope of revived fortunes.
The ban of split throttle bodies, which allowed the cylinders to be opened independently when accelerating, hit the team hard in their initial tests and it appears that over the last two months little progress has been made on the issue.
To call the last couple of years for MV Agusta turbulent would probably be understating the situation.
The company has struggled for financial stability ever since its re-acquisition by the Castiglioni family, and that struggle has recently come to a zenith with the firms debt restructuring and investment by the Anglo-Russian investment group Black Ocean.
With that comes some harsh realities, namely that MV Agusta will not be producing a new superbike any time soon, as the cost of the project exceeds the Italian manufacturer’s capabilities – so said MV Agusta CEO Giovanni Castiglioni while talking to Alan Cathcart for Australian Motorcycle News.
Like with its three-cylinder counterparts, virtually no changes come to the 2017 MV Agusta F4 RC – the Varese company’s 212hp homologation special (with the supplied race kit, of course).
Still, this fine-looking Italian is worth some pixels, especially in high-definition photos.
Though MV Agusta is making great strides in the World Superbike Championship, next season will see Leon Camier using the same machinery as this year, with the team working towards its first podium finish with the MV Agusta F4.
With MV Agusta’s financial future still a bit uncertain, it’s not clear when we will see the next generation superbike, with the 2018 season being the earliest hope for Camier and the Reparto Corse team.
Until then, we will have to make do with these drool-worthy photos. You have to admit, no matter how it performs on the track, MV Agusta makes one good looking superbike.