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MV Agusta posted by

Jacket Included: 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini for Sale

Limited by budgets and economies of scale, many smaller car and motorcycle manufacturers are stuck rehashing the same product line, trying to keep pace with much larger companies capable of significant revamps and updates of their models to keep pace with the ruthless advance of technology and changing consumer tastes. Certainly, the Italian brands have often fallen victim to this and, until pretty recently, even Ducati was often forced to generate excitement through "limited editions" that amounted to performance and appearance upgrades to existing, sometimes obsolete machines. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially when your existing, obsolete machine is as spectacular as Massimo Tamburini's most beautiful creation, the MV Agusta F4.

Out of date the F4 may have been by 2005, but when the original bike looks so good and offers such a high level of performance, that phrase is of limited importance. It may have been 40 pounds heavier than more affordable competition like Suzuki's benchmark GSX-R1000 while offering very similar power, but it's not like the F4 was by any measure slow. The biggest issue, aside from purchase and running costs, was how much harder you had to work for that speed: ergonomics really are pretty brutal for anything other than committed riding, and anyone considering an F4 today should keep in mind that the bike is devoid of any electronic safety net, so you'd better be sure of the road surface or be fully upright before pulling the trigger. In an era of 200hp superbikes, it's easy to dismiss a 170hp machine, but inexperienced riders do so at their peril.

To drum up interest in a bike that had basically been around since the 1999 introduction of the F4 750, MV Agusta took their more powerful 998cc version and basically made everything lighter or better or at the very least carbon-fiber-ier and created the F4 1000 Tamburini. The result was still nearly 20lbs heavier than a GSX-R1000 but I'm not sure anyone with the means to buy one really cared. Power was up just a few ponies, but the big news was the addition of MV's interesting and effective Torque Shift System that used two sets of intake runners to improve midrange power without sacrificing the top end.

Inline fours can sound a bit bland to me when they drive past, but the sound of the F4 from the saddle is entirely different, much more frantic and exotic than something like a BMW S1000RR, and the soft stutter of the Engine Brake System on the overrun adds a layer of additional interest. That system was fitted in lieu of a slipper clutch and basically holds a couple of valves on once cylinder open on a closed throttle. It works very well, allowing hard downshifts without locking the rear wheel.

Most sportbikes go through a period of time where they just look out of date, before becoming "classic," but the F4 somehow missed that phase entirely. It's shocking how much attention even an ordinary example can generate, and how good it still looks in the flesh. It's like owning an affordable Ferrari: it doesn't really matter that you bought that 308 a few years back for $25,000, everyone still thinks you're some kind of rich guy, because Ferrari. Of course, if you're interested in today's Tamburini edition of the F4, it would probably help to actually be rich...

From the original eBay listing: 2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini for Sale

2005 MV Agusta Tamburini #254 our of 300 ever built. Mint condition with 1,400 miles. I am the second owner was originally purchased locally in Dallas TX at an MV dealer will come with all original documents, COA, etc and an MV Agusta leather jacket.

Oooh, a jacket! Well that's it then, I'm going to drop the $38,000 asking price if it includes a gen-u-ine MV Agusta jacket [not pictured]! Hey, considering the original $43,000 asking price, not adjusted for inflation, that price seems almost reasonable. There's not much information in the listing, but what is there really to say about a "mint condition" bike with so few miles? Normally, I'd want to know if the little things that are typically done to improve the F4 have been taken care of, but I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume they haven't considering the mileage and the bike's collectable nature. I'm sure no one will really care all that much about the fragile fuel connectors being replaced with more robust bits, or a Power Commander being fitted and dyno-tuned, but who knows? Maybe someone will get dinged thirty years from now for those sensible changes at some obnoxious, concourse-style event where they judge that kind of "originality" to be critically important.

-tad

8 Comments

  • These are absolutely beautiful bikes. Even the “standard” F4 is almost as nice to look at and relative bargains. My issue with these and other MVs from this period: why do manufacturers think a sportbike seat needs to slope forward into the tank, ensuring we are constantly having to push our asses back in the seat to avoid nuts getting crammed against the tank? Really, I get that you want your weight forward in all out sporting situations but a flat seat allows that just as easily as one that has your nuts slamming against the back of the tank unmercifully. I’ve ridden a couple of F4s and Brutales and these MVs are among the worst as far as this goes. But dang, they are pretty to look at.

    • I agree on the Brutale but found the F4 not as bad for some reason, with the stock or Alcantara seat. Maybe I was too distracted by the pain in my wrists and back and shoulders to notice my nether bits being smashed?

  • Because I will probably never know I will ask.
    How does alcantara work as a seat covering for track days? Is is super grippy under ones leather clad butt? I have an impression it might be tough transistioning left to right and vice versa.

    First world problems, or a non issue?

    • Alcantara works great with a pair of Kevlar riding jeans but I can’t personally vouch for leather. Yet. The Alcantara is a bit grippier than a standard seat so you don’t slide forward into the tank as easily, but it’s still easy to transition side-to-side. I’m sure you’d notice a difference on track, but I’d guess it’s mostly a non-issue. Source: I have a friend with a blue and silver F4 that has an Alcantara seat and I’ve ridden it a bunch. I actually found it less uncomfortable than I expected, and the seat seems shaped to help keep you from sliding forward as much as some other bikes I’ve ridden. The bigger ergonomic issue for me is the reach to the bars and the weight on your wrists. It’s a particularly awkward position for anything like normal, “around town” riding. It does “get better the faster you ride it” and all the cliches, but it still wears you out a bit.

  • Such a nice looking bike. I really would like just a standard F4 with one of those cool exhausts. I know you can get for the R1 and such but doesn’t look nearly as classy. I must say I have wished for more grip from sport bike seats and would hope Alcantara would provide it but totally speculating!

  • I kept my eye on ebay and bagged a 2000 F4 for 4800 with only 4700 miles on it. I love going to the barn and just looking at it.Started up grades like the higher volume water pump impeller, rad bracket and just learned something on here about fuel connectors, will have to do that too I guess.

    • Nice buy! That’s a sharp price for an F4 and should hopefully leave you with a bit of extra dough to do those updates. So yeah, there are plastic quick-disconnect fittings for the fuel lines under the tank, and they’re let’s say… less than robust. If yours haven’t cracked, it’s good sense preventative maintenance.

      Same thing with the rear hub: they’re kind of notorious for failing, which is pretty terrifying on a 170hp motorcycle. The main culprit is supposedly overtightened pinch bolts, but it’d be on my short list to update the part to a more robust unit. Poke around the MV Forum for some suggestions. But definitely keep an eye on it: I’ve known a couple guys that have had them fail and they do not give much warning…

  • Hey thanks Tad for the link.The fairings were a little rough so I had decals made and resprayed, other than that a nice non pristine rider.

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