As much as I love the MV Agusta F4 750 in the classic red-and-silver colors, it's nice to know that it also looks pretty good in basic black-and-grey. Or flat-black. Or silver-and-blue, or... Reportedly, the design for the MV Agusta F4 was originally intended by Massimo Tamburini as the replacement for the venerable Ducati 916. And I'm sure in retrospect, Ducati very much wishes it had worked out that way, considering the reactions to their Pierre Terblanche-penned 999...
When it was introduced, I was a little disappointed that the new MV was powered by an inline four, instead of a v-twin. But the F4's radial-valved engine has a much more exotic quality than other four-cylinder engines: they sound sort of generically inline-y as they go by, but the pilot is treated to a much more complex noise. Or maybe I'm just infatuated.
In any event, this particular F4 is powered by the earlier, 749cc version of the engine. A claimed 126hp meant the MV was making the right power to compete in the 750cc class, but there were really two problems. One, it was also a bit heavier than other bikes in the class. And two, interest in the 750 class basically evaporated right as the F4 was introduced. Sure, Suzuki still made a GSX-R750, but it lived in the shadow of the new superbike king, the GSX-R1000. And the F4 750 couldn't hope to compete against performance like that.
F4s show up regularly for sale with incredibly low miles, which reinforces the bike's reputation for a punishing riding position. It also points out that they get bought as display items more than actual bikes. Which is sad, because they're pretty great, rewarding sportbikes. If you're expecting this to flatten your eyeballs, you will be very disappointed, and the F4 is hard, and uncomfortable, and very serious. Handling is more stable than agile, but the potential is there for a seriously rapid bike, if you're willing to deal with the uncompromising ergos and bit of extra weight.
From the original eBay listing: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 Senna #172/300
The MV Agusta F4 was the motorcycle that launched the resurrection of MV Agusta in 1998. The F4 model was created by motorcycle designer Massimo Tamburini at CRC (Cagiva Research Center), following his work on the Ducati 916.
The F4 series bikes have a four pipe undertail exhaust, single-sided swingarm, large front forks (50 mm diameter) and traditional MV Agusta red and silver livery on the F4 Series Oro. The F4 model is also one of the few production superbikes to have hemispherical chamber 4 valves per cylinder engine.
After meeting and becoming friends, Formula One Racing Legend, Ayrton Senna and MV Agusta President, Claudio Castiglioni began a close collaboration. Borne of a mutual passion for speed, performance, and the painstaking quest for excellence, their friendship continued to grow.
Today this spirit continues, embodied in the form of a very special motorcycle, the MV Agusta SPR SENNA. Based upon the SPR’s increased performance and capability, the SENNA edition is further distinguished by its limited production (only 50 imported into the USA) and exclusive black color, distinctive red accents, and SENNA graphics.
The SENNA was produced in a limited worldwide quantity of 300 units worldwide, with proceeds benefiting the SENNA Foundation.
The SENNA Foundation was created to assist in improving the lives of over 300,000 Brazilian children and contributes 100% of its proceeds to the development and implementation of social programs.
The F4 750 Senna was released in 2002 and is rated at 0-60 2.9 quarter mile 10.7 @ 135. The Senna was a limited production run of 300 bikes like the orginal F4 Series Oro. The Senna shared the 136 hp (101 kW) engine of the Evo 02 but with a higher redline of13900 rpm, and top speed estimated at 175 mph (282 km/h) @ 12750 rpm . The Senna also had some suspension upgrades and some carbon fiber bodywork compared to other MVs.
MSRP was $24,995 in 2002. Only 50 units of 300 produced worldwide arrived in the USA and this one with only 188 miles is arguably the finest Senna available anywhere!
As the seller mentions, this is a pretty rare bike, but considering this is really just a paint-and-graphics update to the F4 750, the $19,999 starting bid is pretty hard to swallow at this point in time. Even F4 Serie Oro bikes haven't gotten much higher than this in recent eBay auctions, so I think the seller is a few years ahead of the curve in terms of pricing.