MV Agusta F4 series test from d’Oro

MV Agusta F4 series test from d’Oro

The incarnate

We have been lying in wait for years, is it coming – or is it not coming? Now the MV Agusta F4 stands in front of me – it has to be photographed, tested and measured. And I can do it.

So one thing is clear: I didn’t pay anything for it and didn’t do any awkward things. It just got me. Just because. Actually, I was supposed to turn the new Yamaha R7 through the mangle, but it has failed – for the time being. And then the F4 was in the underground car park. Nice too. If only because I can finally get rid of the story that nobody wanted to hear until now. I already drove in a 750 MV. A good quarter of a century ago, at a time when the riders of Japanese "athletes" stuck their wobbly boxes into the landscape in a gruesome way during a rodeo ride that had never been done.
Well, sometime in 1973 a graying gentleman strutted into my workshop, someone with the zack-zack look. »Can you change the oil and put on a new slipper? Metzeler Racing, of course. ”“ Of course, what box does it put on? ”The gentleman, somewhat amused, emphasizing the box:“ We have 750 MV box. ”“ Oh, yeah, we’ll do it, logical. At three o’clock everything is ready, I’ll run in the new tire for you right away so that nothing happens, right, Herr Vogt. "
Auuuuh, man, what a day. I, Werner Agostini, er Giacomo Koch, the oily motorcycle mechanic, crashes around the Solitude racetrack with his dream MV during the lunch break.
Class, twelve o’clock, the girls from the housekeeping school are having a break, I absolutely have to hum by. Me with my MV. Disappointment number one: it’s vacation, no school, no girls. It doesn’t matter, out of town. Every shop window becomes a reflection of vanity. Only the oily mechanic station wagon just looks lousy.
Disappointment number two: The great MV Agusta experience gives way to reality with every kilometer. AT rough engine with loudly grinding spur gears and a rather meager 72 HP turns out to be not exactly awesome. In addition a chassis, heavy in lumps with an annoying elevator effect due to the massive cardan – I fall from my faith.
Two hours later the myth was gone and I had one more experience.
And now it starts again. It does get a bit queasy when you fumble the ignition key in the lock. MV importer Zupine demands 72,000 marks for an F4 from the Oro series, but everything is only the finest. Massive single-sided swingarm, golden wheels in star design, hand-width triple clamps, of course made of feather-light cast magnesium, garnished with lots of carbon fiber and artfully arranged little things.
The MV slips flawlessly through the city, from the first stroke on clean idle, perfect response, plus first-class switches and instruments, only the idle turns out to be a search game between the gears, and with a resounding "clone" the first gear moves into its place. Nobody is perfect, and that includes the fact that the four-cylinder gets stuck in the huge power gap between 3000 and 4000 rpm, accompanied by pithy engine vibrations, which are followed by a rasping carbon fiber lining in the cockpit. With the painful realization that the pilot is squeezing his thumbs in a U-turn, we conclude the list of defects and turn to the beautiful things in life.
The sitting position, for example. Mercilessly sporty, but perfectly arranged. Similar to the Ducati 916, the to ride does not sit on the motorcycle, no, he locks between the ideally cranked handlebars and the flattering leather seat. Zack, that fits. Nothing presses, nothing tweaks on this slim, slim 250cc motorcycle .
Lean because the lavish four-cylinder (see box on page 15) was not grafted its alternator onto the crankshaft, but hid it piggyback behind the cylinder bank.
Nowadays, the 121 measured horsepower do not tear a 750 mm driver off the hump. “Ridiculous,” the GSX-R group trumpets, “we do something like that with half-throttle. ”“ You don’t do that, ”I say. Because your leather suit runs freezing cold when the F4 engine starts burning from 7000 rpm, its greedy desire for revs roars in your ears and seconds later stutters excitedly from the shift light. Aha, limiter caught at 13,200 rpm. Always with the tachometer in the corner of your eye, the six precisely changing gears of the cassette gear are stepped through. The F4 injector hangs on the gas cord in a lively and spontaneous manner and pulverizes the current top speed values ​​of the 750 class in no time at all. 272 km / h. And in 9.5 seconds to 200 km / h. hats off.
But because the engine alone doesn’t make a motorcycle, the Italians knitted a picture-book chassis around it. Stable triangular connections with artful weld seams, flanged to a magnesium carrier, in which the position of the swing arm and the pivot point of the rocker arm can be varied. It goes without saying that the steering head also allows interchangeable angles. So everything is ready for superbike use. And the nice thing about it: The tubular space construction works splendidly. So gorgeous that no country road can be crooked and humpbacked enough to even come close to demanding this chassis. No wobbling, no rocking, no nothing. But bucket by bucket of driving pleasure with razor-sharp turning, 600 handling and spring elements that keep the magnesium wheels on the ground with all their might. How nailed down. If only because 53 percent of the 207 kilograms are on the front wheel and the sensitive Ohlins steering damper nips any approach to handlebar beating in the bud. That’s the way it should be.
With the front wheel clamped in huge 49er immersion tubes, the MV Agusta completely redefines the terms steering precision and stability. In harmonious balance with the rear Sachs Competition shock absorber, the suspension elements are the very first choice.

S.o, and now the whole thing again on the race track. Hockenheim, small course. A crumpled washboard from front to back, on which many a Far Eastern series chassis takes the oath of disclosure. On the MV Agusta, on the other hand, the jogging track looks as smooth as a freshly made pool table. Exit north curve, there where everyone hits the handlebars: nothing but fully dampened spring movements. Brakes with a brutal effect that cannot be broken down even under heat stress. Slight discrepancies with the tires. At the front, the 65 cm height Pirelli MTR 21 does not provide any credible feedback when it is brutally turned, while the rear of the 190 MTR 22 Corsa slips out of track too early, but instead paints beautiful black stripes. Nevertheless, every round pure pleasure. More manageable than the Ducati 996 and a bit more direct, even more stable. And with plenty of ground clearance, left and right. The reference in terms of chassis is now called MV Agusta. Too expensive for you and me, unfortunately. Like back then. With the difference that my dream is only bursting today because Mr. Castiglioni wants his F4 back. So there is nothing left but to wait for the F4 750 S. About ten kilograms heavier, not quite as classy, ​​but for half the price. It should go into production in the fall. Until then, friends: keep the pennies together.


The Cagiva crew labored on project F4 for around nine years. The result is an engine with a conventional basic structure, but with an interesting inner workings: The valve train sits between cylinders two and three and transmits the crankshaft rotation via two spur gears with a ratio of 2: 1 (reverse the direction of rotation, halve the speed, allow small camshaft gears = low overall height) and a subsequent timing chain. Conically ground cam profiles (Concam patent) act on the valve pairs, which are positioned at an angle of two degrees to the vertical, via bucket tappets (see functional sketch). Advantage compared to valves arranged in parallel: better flow conditions due to a greater distance between the valve plate and the cylinder wall, optimized combustion chamber shape. Tea intake camshaft is higher than the exhaust camshaft, which allows longer valve stems and thus more straight intake ducts. The cassette gear enables the gear shafts to be removed from the side with the engine installed. Bore x stroke are extremely short-stroke with 73.8 x 43.8 mm (Suzuki GSX-R 750: 72 x 46 mm). Advantage: high speed stability, low overall height, large valve diameters (29 and 25 mm) possible. Disadvantage: less torque. The engine mounting on the frame is already oval in order to accommodate the higher placed cylinder head (longer stroke) of the planned 900 engine (see photo on page 16).


Nothing was more important to the racing-crazy Count Agusta than the success of his racing machines. With a lot of money and the best technicians, he also attracted the best drivers to his Scuderia. Giacomo Agostini, for example, 13-time world champion on MV and the idol par excellence. Road machines were produced on the side. A 150 single-cylinder four-stroke engine for everyone, a 350 OHV twin-cylinder for the sophisticated public and the highlight for the well-heeled at the beginning of the 1970s: the 750 S, which made a big crowd at every motorcycle meeting point. The four-cylinder with the open Dellorto carburettors was based on the racing engines of the 1960s and presented itself as a technical high-flyer for the conditions at the time: two overhead camshafts with bucket tappets, driven by spur gears. To make assembly easier, the cylinder bank, including the camshaft drive and crankshaft bearings, was screwed onto the one-piece engine housing (photo on the right). The gear shafts were placed on the side in the one-piece housing, the chunky cardan could be converted to a chain using a conversion kit by racing boss Arturo Magni. And in general, a lot was rebuilt and rebuilt, because the 750 S was actually a – if beautiful – breakdown. At the end of the 1970s, the Italians stopped producing their motorcycles.


This monument is the ultimate dream. A dream that comes up in real life with astonishingly high everyday quality, a perfect finish and impeccable driving dynamics. The modern F4, even if it has nothing more in common with the classic MV Agusta racers than two wheels and four cylinders, revives the myth. Genius Massimo Tamburini, who already set a milestone with the Ducati 916, interprets the four-cylinder theme in his own way. Just awesome. But there will not be much more than a dozen MV Agusta F4s of the Oro series in Germany either. The noble racers are more likely to be admired in dust-proof showcases than on rubber-smeared racing slopes.

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