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Down but not out: 2004 MV Agusta F4 750 SPR

When MV Agusta dropped the F4 to an adoring public, they made a significant splash. This was important, as the F4 was the rebirth of the legendary brand. Penned by designer Massimo Tamburini, the F4 was a spiritual successor to the Ducati 916 line. Featuring a timeless silhouette coupled with an all-new inline four cylinder 750cc power plant, the MV Agusta simply oozed quality and exclusivity. Eventually the 750 grew into a 1,000cc variant, and each of the two capacity lines spawned numerous special editions. In total there were nine different 750 variants offered, along with a dozen different 1,000cc limited offerings. Today’s F4 SPR was the pinnacle of the 750 line and intended for racetrack use. Both the SPR and the later SR (intended as a reimagined ORO edition) utilized a power unit derived from the Senna edition, itself a more powerful engine derived from the 750 Evo 2 (which was originally intended as a SPR model), which itself was an upgraded motor based on the standard 750 S unit. All clear?

To build an SPR required new engine internals to improve power and engine characteristics befitting a race bike. More power (146 HP @ 13,000 RPM) improved straight line performance when fitted with the race exhaust and eprom. The transmission was altered to a close ratio gearbox with a new clutch assembly. The chassis remained standard across the full 750 family, but suspension was upgraded for racetrack use. The SPR utilizes a larger fork with nitride treatment to reduce stiction. A race-spec rear shock sourced from Sachs was a step up from previous models. Weight was reduced through the use of carbon fiber body panels. As with all special F4s, a limited edition numbering scheme was created and a plate was attached to the headstock. The seller has included some great information about the F4 SPR, so I will let him pick up the story:

From the seller:
This is a very limited production MV Agusta F4 750 SPR #268 out of total 300 SPR production. At 146 hp the F4 SPR is the most powerful F4 750 produced. It was built only for 6 short months (June-December of 2003) to culminate the end of the F4 750 series production. There was only one color availabe, the flat black.

This is not a gussied up F4 but a distinct model within the series, produced by MV primarily for track use. SPR engine was equiped with a new cylinder head with re-designed combustion chambers, improved intake and exhaust manifolds, hotter cams, Mahle pistons with oil jet cooling, lightweight crankshaft. This resulted in 146 hp at 13,000 rpm. To improve performance on the track, SPR is equipped with a close ration gearbox. Depending on the final drive used, SPR’s top speed ranged from 170 mph to 183 mph – not bad for a 750cc motorcycle!

Suspension upfront are massive 49 mm Marzocchi forks with titanium nitride treatment. Sachs Racing damper is in the rear and has a dual compression adjustment for high and low speed. Front brakes are dual 6 piston calipers with a single 4 piston caliper in the rear.

More from the seller:
#268 is a strong runner. It does not overheat, leak or smoke. It comes with a full service history with most work done at Pro Italia. It just had a $650 service performed which included new battery, fuel pump, starter solenoid and chain lube. The stand switch was intermittent and was disconnected which results in the N green light to remain on constant. Tires are ok but would recommend replacing if you will be riding this SPR in anger.

It comes with an Ohlins steering damper, factory tool kit, owner manual, service records and one key. It has a clean California title and registration that is good until 12.18.2020

This SPR is not a garage queen. It was down earlier in its life and with the exception of the the slight damage to the rear brake pedal and a cosmetic (no punctures or leaks) dent in the radiator (see pics for both). The rest is cosmetic, primarily the right side fairings are scratched and the front fairing has two small cracks – one just above the headlight and the other below the mirror which I found only after cleaning the bike. The windscreen has a small crack on the top. I have included pictures with the fairings off for better inspection as well as the pictures of the damages. Please feel free to ask any questions.

MV Agusta F4 SPR models are rare. 300 unit count rare. They are some of the most capable 750s on the planet, exclusive as all get out, and expensive on the used market. Expect to part with $15K+ for an impeccable example of the breed. Which brings us to the downside of this particular example: it has been down. Purists will tell you to run – not walk – away from this one. But purists may have the cash a spic-n-span example will bring (even a lovingly used SPR is over $10k these days) And purists are more likely to collect than ride. If you are seeking an awesome bike that you want to use – possibly even on track days – do you really want a museum piece? The pictures show some bodywork damage, but some deeper inspection might be warranted to ensure the rest of the components are straight and serviceable. If they are, this could be a cheaper way to ease yourself into a rare and coveted SPR.

Today’s bike has a Buy It Now asking price of $6,600, with the seller open to offers. While that is not a bad deal for a rare SPR model, potential buyers will have to trade off between cost and value. Part of the bargain here is the in the unknown – damage which is beyond cosmetic. The seller has done a good job of describing and showing the effects of the impact, so that should help. If there are no hidden issues lurking, then all the better. But don’t discount the cosmetic either; those carbon skins do not come cheaply, if they can still be had at all (I don’t know about SPR parts availability – knowledgeable readers feel free to chime in). At the end of the day, you could have a rare rocket for fun, but not likely to be on the same level as a collector bike. Check it out here and then make your choice: are you willing to trade sweat equity for status, or do you buy only the best? Good Luck!!

MI

11 Comments

  • … more interested in that sweet looking Aprilia in the background ! Always wonder why Sellers include other bikes in their posts especially if theyre the nicer ride 😉. No matter – GLWS.

  • Can any readers help me identify the stand this owner is using for his F4?

  • Condor Garage Dolly.

    It is pretty easy to make a much lower cost version of this with a Harbor Freight motorcycle dolly and a Condor clone chock off Ebay.

  • Will always be the I Robot bike to me.

  • Just noticed that this bike is being sold by “tirefriar”, one of RSBFS’s best and most prolific commentators. GLWS tirefriar. Always loved the MV Agustas!

  • Phil, thank you for the compliment and well wishes. I tried to keep low profile on this one… Since I’ve been “outed”, I wanted to address couple of questions. In his post Mike touched upon mechanical concerns. Aside from the cosmetic items I outlined in the listing, I would say its the disconnected neutral switch and right turn signal in-op. I believe the culprit is the right front bulb which is out as the rear signal turns on but does not blink. I will work on the signal tomorrow, hopefully I am correct and it will be a simple solution. Aside from this bike runs solid. I took it to the canyons and it ran great. Temp stayed in the 170+ F, throttle is smooth, not smoking or leaking fluids. Previous owner had it for 5 years, he bought it with the damage as it appears in the pictures. MV originally intended the SPR to be used on track and this would be a perfect candidate.

    I completely agree that Bol d’Or is a beautiful bike and really pops in the photos. Only Italians can make purple look great on a motorcycle. The bike in the picture is my former RSV that was to a friend of mine. He happened to drop by when I was taking few pics of the SPR and I couldn’t pass up on getting the Bol d”or into the background. I love both bikes but I am moving towards light weight/smaller displacement bike for skills and for fun.

    The stand is a Condor Garage dolly, good eye Ray. It is of fantastic value in terms of storage. Its not really something you would use to service a bike, Bursig stand is a better bet for that. However, having the dolly is like adding an extra garage space. Wish I could have one for each bike but they are pricey little devils. I have not tried to duplicate one using Harbor Freight hardware, perhaps Ray can share few pics.

    If anyone is interested in seeing the SPR please feel free to text me at 818 822 8625.

  • Damn…I wish I could trade you my S4R for this

  • Nice bike and a good deal if youre not looking to put the thing in a glass case-buy it, use it, track it, love it.
    The glass case guys want zero miles still in the crate with the original air in the tyres – I say bah humbug they are meant to be ridden and they produce decent power and a good scream from the motor- it wont scream in a glass case.

  • Pietro, respect to S4R but there is an 1098 SFS in the garage. I am keeping an eye out for Ninja 400 or something similar plus the rumors of an R4 are actively floating around…

  • @Brian, you nailed it brother. This is exactly the what this particular SPR would be perfect for. The best part is you can ride the p!ss out of it and not loose any $$. Try doing that with a glass case candidate ))

  • No problem, Tirefriar. I appreciate the response, and you won’t know the answer unless you don’t ask, amiright?

    Best of luck with the sale. I hope to come up across her again.

Comment rules: Add something useful and constructive, and don't be a jerk. Comments that don't add value will be deleted. Comments will automatically close after 30 days. Thank you. -dc

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