Posts by tag: radial valves

MV Agusta April 14, 2018 posted by

Evolution: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 SPR for Sale

The MV Agusta F4 750 is so often referred to as "one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever created" that it's easy to forget it's actually a pretty good motorcycle as well. Sure, it's brutally uncomfortable and a little bit heavier than the competition, but the engineering is sound and it's an impressively refined piece, considering this was the company's first modern superbike, built from the ground up to compete against the very best sportbikes in the world. It fell a bit short of the mark, but not so far short you could consider it an actual failure, considering the bike's longevity.

The orignal F4 750 was introduced in 1999 and the later 1000cc version that followed in 2005 was basically the 750 with more displacement and some refinements, and every four-cylinder machine produced by the company was based on the same engine and frame, up until the complete redesign of the F4 for 2010. So you're looking at a pretty long-serving package, considering the normally rapid pace of sportbike development, and that second generation F4 introduced in 2010 is still used as the foundation for a mid-pack WSBK contender!

So what was wrong with the F4? Well basically, in a class where power-to-weight ratios are critical, the bike had just average power and about 50lbs too much weight. In any other motorcycle category, that would be pretty meaningless, but in the hyper-competitive sportbike world, it meant everything, especially when you consider the somewhat shocking cost of the F4. Ultimately, the F4 was just a step behind the leaders in a class that was now obsolete, as literbikes were suddenly the top dogs of the sportbike world. MV Agusta solved the power problems with their updated F4 1000 but the damage to their rep was done, and the bikes never really offered any performance advantage over a ZX-10 or GSX-R1000, with less reliability and a whole lot more cost.

The seller claims this is an SPR, but I was under the impression the SPR was introduced in 2004, the ultimate evolution of the F4 750 and is most commonly seen in flat black colors. Whether or not this is an SPR or an S, it's a later version of the bike and should be more refined and reliable than the first-generation examples. The included Power Commander is a nice touch: fueling on stock F4s is pretty terrible from the factory, lean through most of the rev range and then artificially rich at the top. It's especially noticeable on the 1000 but both versions benefit hugely in terms of usability from a fueling module and some dyno time. I've ridden a stock 1000 and a properly tuned example nearly back-to-back, and the difference is pronounced. The stock bike seems to almost bog when you whack the throttle open in the midrange, where as the tuned version pulls as you'd expect: like a freight train.

From the original eBay listing: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 SPR for Sale

Need garage space, so newer bikes must go! This 2002 MV F4 SPR was one of two California-legal MVs, purchased from Grand Prix Motors, San Diego. Original owner was importer for MV Agusta in 1970s, Commerce Overseas Corporation. Designer of the MV750S America: pictured in the foreground with this F4. The bike comes with a ton of MV Agusta history accumulated by Commerce Overseas, including racing photos from MV glory days! With only 8,000 miles, this F4 SPR is in "as-new" condition. Equipped with rare MV factory racing exhaust, bike is tuned with a Power Commander. New tires, recent service. Stunning example of the F4 that was produced in SPR form after initial hiccups with early models.

The bike has 8,250 miles on it and there are no takers yet at the $10,000 starting bid. For the most part, it's pretty commonly accepted that the later 1000 is a better bike overall and that the 750 is underpowered and slightly overweight. It is the original though, and rarer, and should prove to be the better investment over time. Plus, an MV is still an MV, and none of them are actually slow. Try to think of them more as... mature, with just a little bit of middle-aged paunch over an athlete's build. Put it this way: if you're riding an F4 and someone is faster than you are on track or down a given stretch of back road, the problem probably isn't the extra 50lbs the F4 carries over a GSX-R... The problem is probably you.

-tad

MV Agusta April 4, 2018 posted by

Signed by the Master: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 for Sale

An MV Agusta F4 750 Senna "signed by the master" would normally mean that it was signed by its creator, Massimo Tamburini. In this case though, the "master" in question is Giacomo Agostini, the famous rider who rode MVs to victory in so many races during the marque's heyday. The F4 was to be their return to prominence, and the 750cc displacement of the original F4 introduced in 1999 would have allowed it to compete in World Superbike, a series with roots in production-based motorcycles, rather than Grand Prix racing.

Unfortunately the F4 suffered in comparison to much more affordable bikes from the Japanese Big Four but, even at the time, the biggest disappointment seemed to come from the bike's lack of any performance advantage compared to the benchmark GSX-R750 and its high cost, rather than any real flaw in the bike itself. Given the exotic looks and racing pedigree, they expected riding nirvana and they got... a perfectly competent, fast motorcycle with typically uncomfortable Italian ergonomics and suspect electicals.

The 750 wasn't actually slow, it just wasn't any faster than a GSX-R750 and really, why would it have been? Aside from a shocking price tag, the big problem was that the achingly beautiful exotic was launched as a 750cc machine just as the class was being made redundant by rules changes in racing and the new breed of literbikes that fit 1000cc power into 750cc packages. MV released their updated 1000cc version of the F4 within a few years, but the damage was done to the bike's reputation, and you still hear people refer to the 750 as if it's a bit of a dog.

Claimed horsepower was 136, with 118 real-world ponies finding their way to the ground, which was nearly identical to a GSX-R of the same period. Unfortunately, weights were not identical: the F4 clocked in at nearly 50 pounds more, full of fuel, and it seems to carry that weight up pretty high. The riding position is definitely uncomfortable and, compared to modern machines, it's awkward at low speeds and runs hot in traffic. But get into a groove and a well set up F4 corners beautifully: it may never have been the most agile bike in its class, but it's a testament to the soundness of the original design that the same basic machine was able to remain competitive for ten years, at least in terms of handling.

I've never been particularly excited by the sound of an inline four, and the F4 doesn't sound all that exotic riding past. But from the saddle there's a metallic rasp not found on other bikes, and the engine has a frantic quality that gives the conventional inline four wail an exotic quality that sets it apart. This particular F4 is the limited-edition [aren't they all?] Senna edition, named after famed racing driver Aryton Senna. Miles are collector-bike low ad the bike is sporting the aforementioned signature of the great Ago on the windscreen.

From the original eBay listing: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 Senna for Sale

Extremely rare and beautiful. Part of a small collection of bikes purchased new by NHL Hall of Famer Sergei Fedorov. Bike has been personally signed by legendary MV Agusta rider/ champion Giacomo Agostini! This bike is number 192 of 300 built for worldwide production. MV reported that only 50 of these bikes were imported to North America. Inline 4 cylinder engine designed with cooperation from Ferrari produces 136hp at 13900 rpms. 0 – 60mph in 2.9 seconds. Quarter mile in 10.7 at 136mph. Lightweight and extremely fast. These bikes are legendary not only for performance and handling but for design and collectability!

Bike is in excellent cosmetic, running and riding condition at 3200 miles. The sale includes original owner’s manual, spare key, spark plug tool, and factory red rear wheel bike stand.

The bike appears to be in excellent cosmetic condition, although we really don't care about claimed horsepower for a bike that was famously unexceptional in that regard. The bike wasn't "lightweight" or "extremely fast" but it was definitely a very serious performance machine and it is still one of the best-looking motorcycles ever built. I prefer the F4 in standard colors, with the cool, yellow-faced tachometer, but it certainly looks very special in the black, grey, and red seen here. F4s can be surprisingly affordable to buy at the moment, but values of the very rare Senna are a good bit higher, and Ago's signature certainly adds to the cool factor. Bidding on this example is up to $13,000 with very little time left on the auction.

-tad

Signed by the Master: 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 for Sale
MV Agusta November 25, 2017 posted by

Private Dancer – 2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910S

Suppose you managed a specialty motorcycle shop and were smitten with particular exotic high-performance model ? Easy access to aftermarket enhancements and ready hands might result in a farkle-fest like this 2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910S.

2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910S for sale on eBay

 

MV Agusta's brilliant in-line four was an natural fit into the trellis frame for the boutique naked bike, the 908cc hemi providing 139 hp.  The Brutale came with a great deal of the performance and technology of the F4, but in a less showy and easier ergonomic package for use around town.  The 50mm Marzocchi forks and single-sided swingarm look right at home on the 910S, though making the plumbing look good on the fuel-injected, water-cooled standard must've been a challenge.

 

The Vegas-based owner of Bellissimoto hasn't had much time to ride this MV, but evidently bought it with a few updates, and made a bunch more.  Just to gauge the level of detail, the 6,000-mile bike is shown parked on a full-length mirror, and pictured on the cover of The Robb Report magazine.  Looking like a " what-if ? " wish list, here's the rundown from the eBay auction-

Carbon Fiber Upgrades:

Tail - Intake ducts - Upper frame covers - Key guard - Radiator guards - Underseat side panels - Front subframe/headlight bracket - Exhaust guards - Heel guards - Front fender (both pieces) - Rear fender - Upper and lower chain guards - Lower radiator surround

Hard Part Upgrades:

Scotts Steering Damper - Rizoma Handlebars - Rizoma Rearsets - Oberon Bar End Indicators w/ mirror mounts - CRG Arrow Bar End Mirrors - Domino XM2 Race Throttle with cables - MotoCorse Reservoir Covers - MotoCorse Adjustable Folding Levers - MotoCorse Billet Fender Eliminator - MotoCorse Turn Signals - MotoCorse Frame Plugs (complete kit) - LuiMoto Team Italia Seat Cover - Custom Headlight Fairing and Aluminum Mount with ZG Windscreen and custom paint - Full Titanium MV Agusta Racing Exhaust - Marchesini Forged Magnesium Wheels

 

The Brutale can seem smaller in person than it looks it pictures, and reviewed as a versatile canyon carver with great handling, that only needs a backpack since it's hard to strap anything on.  The auction shows a teaser starting bid, not even covering the upgrades - but as any shop owner will tell you, modifications are really an investment in the riding experience and won't return dollar for dollar.  This should be a great high-end rider, and the auction offers to mount new rubber at a discount for the new owner.  In this case, the most exotic naked bike has been fitted with highest-end updates, lightly used and practically a show bike.  Hardly what comes to mind when you say, " used motorcycle "...

-donn

MV Agusta October 25, 2017 posted by

The One – 2000 MV Agusta 750 F4 Oro with 1606 miles!

Cagiva bought the rights to the shuttered MV Agusta in 1991, and in 1998 introduced their first new motorcycle in fifteen or so years.  Designed and built to set the world on its ear, the F4 750 had many race-derived components and a pricetag to match.  This Oro is number 227 of 300 and has lived out its adolescence in careful hands and still has the factory original Pirelli Dragon tires.

2000 MV Agusta F4 750 Oro for sale on eBay

 

Designed by Massimo Tamburini, the F4 is striking from every angle and the specs read like an exotic motorcycle laundry list.  Ferrari helped design the radial-array four valve heads for the inline-4, and Tamburini himself had a hand in the 4-2-1-2-4 exhaust.  On the Oro, bodywork and fuel tank are carbon fiber, and magnesium wheels, frame connectors, and swingarm are anodized gold.  49mm Showa forks have quick release axle clamps, and the monoshock linkage allows ride height changes without changing shock settings.

 

Evidently on display since just after its first oil change, this F4 750 Oro's picture is next to "magnificent" in Webster's.  The gold magnesium just glows in the right light.  Pictures with Mr. F from FBF are icing on the cake.  The owner's comments from the eBay auction:

It is one of 60 imported into the USA by Eraldo Ferracci, the USA distributor for the MV Agusta, and number 227 of the 300 built  for worldwide distribution. Purchased in July 2000 from Fast By Ferracci, Willow Grove, Pa. and pictured on delivery with Eraldo at Budds Creek Motocross Track back when Elrado's Team Husqvarna raced there. 
 
Eraldo is pictured setting up the bike to my specifications. Some of the history and specifications of the F4 750 ORO are below. 1600 miles on this bike since its purchase, and it has always been stored in a climate-controlled environment. The bike is in perfect condition and comes with all original manuals. I think this bike will be a very good long-term investment and a great bike to have in any collection.

 

The Castiglioni brothers saw their vision for MV Agusta through and the F4 brought a few regional superbike wins back to the marque, but a factory race team wasn't in the cards.  The F4 engine proved to be the foundation of the revitalized MV, and though the model was more sensibly produced starting in 1999 with aluminum castings and plastic fairings, an Oro is worth pursuing.  This one appears to have the white-glove treatment and provenance to justify going wherever the bidding will take it...

-donn

The One – 2000 MV Agusta 750 F4 Oro with 1606 miles!
BMW February 24, 2017 posted by

Brains and Brawn: 2009 BMW HP2 Sport for Sale

Before the introduction of their conventional, but devastatingly effective S1000RR, BMW was known for their durable, quirky motorcycles and "old man in a Roadcrafter suit" image. But in the lead-up to the introduction of the RR, BMW attempted to revive their forgotten, but very legitimate sporting image with the limited-production HP2 Sport. BMW already had an inline-four engine that would, on the surface, have seemed like a more likely candidate for sportbike-ification, but BMW instead chose to base their sportbike on their iconic 180° flat-twin configuration. Did they choose the twin to clearly separate the planned inline-four superbike from their previous offerings? Or was the existing, longitudinally-mounted "brick" simply too heavy for sportbike duty? I'm not sure, but the resulting HP2 ended up being much more "nerd Ducati" and less "Teutonic Gixxer."

In terms of specification, the HP2 is surprisingly close to Ducati's L-twin-powered superbikes of the period: two cylinders, 128hp near the 9,500 rpm redline, and a claimed 392lbs dry weight is probably closer to the older 999 than the 1198, but the HP2 is still in the ballpark. That low weight looks especially impressive when you realize power reaches the rear wheel via a heavy driveshaft, and the BMW comes with a raft of high-performance parts to turn what might otherwise have been a bit of a sow's ear into the proverbial silk purse: dual overhead cam heads, radial valves, titanium connecting rods, adjustable ergonomics, and even a self-supporting carbon-fiber subframe. The lack of a slipper clutch is unfortunate, considering the rotational mass of the powertrain, but one is available if you have the time or money to drop the engine and install one.

The sometimes vague feeling often criticized by reviewers of BMW's "alternatively suspended" bikes is happily missing in the HP2, and handling is considered a high point, while Brembo monoblock calipers offer impressive stopping power well in excess of what might be required to rein in those 128 horses. The heads sticking out in the breeze do ultimately limit cornering clearance, but you'll need to be on a race track before it becomes anything more than an academic issue. Luckily, it comes fitted with plastic sliders... A bit of rear ride height helps, but dragging an elbow in corners might ultimately be impossible if you lack simian proportions.

From the original eBay listing: 2009 BMW HP2 Sport for Sale

Original adult owner purchased from Lone Star BMW in Austin Texas.  Carbon fiber body panels, forged aluminum rims, brembo antilock brakes, clutchless upshift, and ohlines suspension.  All warranty work done and service completed.  Replaced the fuel pump with a ethanol compatible unit. Never dropped, raced or crashed.  There is a blemish on the right lower fairing from a stone.  This is the ultimate boxer. With only approximately 115 ever imported to the US, you don't have to wait for this to become a rare classic - it already is!  Clear Texas title.  2016 miles.

Keep in mind that there's a price to be paid for all that exclusivity and high-performance technology: these weren't meant for casual owners and, when new, were priced north of $20,000. Maintenance costs are appropriate for a low-production exotic as well, and BMW recommends the titanium connecting rods get replaced at 30,000 miles, so start saving now. Hey, at least valve-adjustments should be a snap!

-tad

Brains and Brawn: 2009 BMW HP2 Sport for Sale
MV Agusta September 16, 2016 posted by

Jet Fighter Replica: 2006 MV Agusta F4 1000 Veltro Strada for Sale

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To stimulate interest in their flagship F4 that saw only occasional updates, MV Agusta trotted out a seemingly endless series of special-edition bikes with the usual collectors-only price tags, wild horsepower claims, and extremely limited production numbers. Certainly, today’s F4 1000 Veltro Strada counts as rare: just 99 were built, along with 23 of the track-only Pista version. The Strada included carbon fairings, tail piece, airbox, fenders, air-ducts and so on. The frame side plates are magnesium instead of aluminum. The Pista version also included a lighter frame, oversized radiator, a carbon-fiber fuel tank, and a magnesium triple clamp and swingarm. It was powered by MV’s 998cc, radial-valved, inline-four that, in this version, produced a claimed 174hp, or 185 with the “race-only” titanium exhaust fitted. The Veltro Strada was, to my knowledge, never imported to the USA: this one is for sale in the UK.

2006-mv-agusta-f4-velto-r-side

Interestingly, “Gruppo 23” isn’t a race team, as you might expect. It’s an Italian fighter jet squadron that was based in northern Italy. Their mascot was a greyhound, as can be seen in the graphic on the fairing. Unfortunately, at a glance the greyhound silhouette does look a bit like those awful tribal flame graphics that were popular during the early 2000s…

2006-mv-agusta-f4-velto-clocks

Considering these went for around $72,000 new, the approximately $80,050 USD asking price might sound reasonable for such a rare, exotic machine at first, until you consider that even very limited-edition MVs are going for relative peanuts right now here in the USA. If you’re a collector, this kind of thing might make sense. For the rest of us? The “regular” F4 1000 offers up the same exotic looks for 1/7th the money, with the only penalty being a few more pounds and a couple less horses you probably weren’t using anyway.

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From the original eBay listing: 2006 MV Agusta F4 1000 Veltro Strada for Sale

This is an exciting and rare opportunity to acquire a mint condition MV Agusta F4 1000 Veltro Strada Sports Bike - 1 of only 99 ever produced worldwide!!

This super bike is in 'As New' condition with only 175km/ 100 miles approximately on the clock, and is being sold complete with MV Agusta unused titanium exhaust system, MV Agusta race fairing and MV Agusta race helmet.

This collectors superbike would not look out of place being displayed within your home or as part of a vehicle/bike collection.

The Veltro Strada motorbike is the road legal version of the Veltro Pista, and only 99 of this model were every manufactured making it an excellent collectors item. The Strada features carbon fibre bodywork and fixtures, machined aluminium steering head and foot rests, Brembo superlight wheels and unique matt black paintwork/graphics in the style of a WWII Italian fighter plane.

It's top speed is listed as 190+ mph and features 185hp @ 12,000rpm.

Viewings are more than welcome on this rare motorcycle from serious purchasers. Vehicle location is within the London area, United Kingdom.

Asking price for sale is £54,995 GBP

2006-mv-agusta-f4-velto-rear-suspension

It's a shame for all those speculators who purchased what they thought would be blue-chip collectibles, but great for the rest of us: these things really should be ridden, not hoarded anyway. If you like the F4 and can't stretch to one of the various ultra-collectible versions, a "regular" F4 1000 offers up the same exotic looks for $10,000 or less and, in most parts of the country, you’ll still likely be the only person on one at your local bike-hangout. Obviously, that same money would buy an equally fast Japanese literbike that would be infinitely more practical, but if you want a bedroom-poster machine in your garage, and have a spare bike to ride while you're waiting for parts to arrive from Italy during August when the MV factory is completely shut down for the entire month…

-tad

2006-mv-agusta-f4-velto-r-front

Jet Fighter Replica: 2006 MV Agusta F4 1000 Veltro Strada for Sale