Sporty – First test MV Agusta F3 800: maxi Supersport – Test of the new MV Agusta on the circuit

MV Agusta F3 800 first test: maxi Supersport

Sporty - First test MV Agusta F3 800: maxi Supersport - Test of the new MV Agusta on the circuit

Developed at the same time as the 3-cylinder MV Agusta 675, the 800 cc version of the Tre Pistoni was unveiled this winter on the Brutale. Today, the F3 800 is entering the track on the Misano circuit (Italy). First try !

Testing the new MV Agusta on the track

Cut like a Supersport (cut concretely "in" an F3 675, read our Technical point on the penultimate page), this new MV Agusta could hardly be more radical in terms of driving position !

The hands are low and close together, the feet perched back and the buttocks are greeted by a saddle harder than stone. Fortunately, the tank is quite short, which avoids having to lengthen too much to grab the handlebars.

The controls are in keeping, in particular the clutch which requires a good grip to disengage. But before engaging first gear – and even before turning on the engine – let’s guide our F3 800 out of its stand….

We discover at this precise moment one of the master assets of this new sportswoman: its featherweight, appreciable on a daily basis when it comes to maneuvering it on the sidewalk in the paddock and in traffic in the pit lane, but above all formidable on road circuit !

A short press on the starter and the "Tre Pistoni" wakes up. A rotation of the gas handle and, there … the whole neighborhood wakes up! We had already noted it on the 675, but the 800 drives home the point: the three small exits of the pot have "silencer" only in the name and the air box has a sacred chest !

But the acoustics are not the only source of this noise that the trackers will readily qualify as a "symphony". Unlike a cable accelerator, the MV Agusta "ride-by-wire" lever offers no resistance: this extreme ease, combined with the very short pull of the grip and its high sensitivity, leads to first flights in surprising, even involuntary turns.

The phenomenon is also accentuated by the liveliness of the engine: for an 800, the Italian 3-cylinder is remarkably inclined to rev up. The descents are also done in a flash: Mamma mia, he holds a sacred form this mill !

The first 25-minute session on the "Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli" will allow us to quickly confirm this point. From 4500 rev / min, the revivals of the F3 800 are vigorous. And they are even more so from 6,000 rpm, up to around 10,500 rpm.

After this regime, the 3-cylinder continues to reel but seems to level off in terms of power, while the growl of the pots and the hoarse breath of the airbox continue to bring their share of "molto forte" sensations..

If necessary, it is therefore possible – and exhilarating – to pull the gears up to the switch which intervenes in an ultra-soft manner at 13,500 rpm. The range of use of this 3-cylinder is particularly wide and allows you to concentrate on discovering the rest of the bike, as well as that of the track. !

Because by selecting the Misano Adriatico route, MV Agusta did not facilitate the task of its new model, nor those of the testers. Sometimes ultra fast, sometimes very slow, the Italian track is quite complex, in large part because of the reversal of its direction of rotation in 2007 (to welcome MotoGP, read).

Many bends and sequences gradually close instead of opening, straining the front end of the bike. And precisely, that of the F3 800 is doing impeccably: obvious to dive towards the rope or waltz from one turn to another, the bike is then very stable on the angle.

However, the case thickens at the end of the curve, when the "rubber" is put back on. Under the effect of the engine torque very present from mid-revs, the MV Agusta tends to widen the trajectory and leaves only two options to the pilot: return the throttle – that, never! – or abseil inside the bend. Hisse and ho !

In addition, the F3 800 gave us on two occasions a generous steering at the exit of turn 6, a fairly slow left – okay, a left "where we were quite slow" – and bumpy. Available as an accessory, the steering damper could have avoided these little fears..

No tool, on the other hand, is able to reduce the apprehension of the pilot approaching the famous Curvone. After a few passages, however, the MV Agusta encourages you to enter harder in this impressive break to the right: the meter does not take long to indicate speeds above 200 km / h.

This passage is all the more "hair-raising" as it requires leaving the small area devoid of turbulence offered, not without difficulty, by the tiny bubble of the F3! Those who plan to take the road with this pistarde will have an interest in slipping a pot of tiger balm in their backpack, due to lack of space under the saddle…

The F3 800 is wild, sometimes "brutal" !

The neck is not the only one to suffer: the left foot must also show good endurance, due to a selection that is a little too rough but also – and above all – because of a poorly calibrated shifter. On several occasions during the first laps in particular, the F3 was reluctant to shift into fourth gear.

In order not to get stuck for several seconds in third, the pilot was tempted to force the selector. Although this method is not 100% validated by MNC – we missed a few fourths afterwards – it does improve the situation..

In general, we regret that the EAS system (Electronic Assisted Shift, the shifter what!) Is not both faster and smoother. In fact, the jolts during gearshifts make the bike lose its fine balance and the rider his concentration, even his confidence. Electronic update would be welcome !

Under braking, the F3 800 is just as physical. If the bite is not exaggerated – a good point for the reckless who would consider driving in town with this bike, incidentally devoid of ABS even as an option – the power is phenomenal !

Better than the F3 675 in terms of acceleration and pick-up, the F3 800 is also sharper when it comes to deceleration. Those who know the "little" Supersport will understand how much this new MV Agusta demands from its driver not only experience, but also courage..

By insisting on the right lever, the rear of the bike ends up sweeping the track lightly while the anti-slip clutch allows the gears to be returned unceremoniously. Fortunately, the F3’s reservoir is exceptionally thin at the thighs, which allows you to firmly grip the machine and control small drifts, or even large ones depending on your level. !

Back in the pits, it is with a certain relief that we get out of the F3 800 … This sports bike is clearly not to be put between all gloves as it requires vigilance, commitment and self-control – in particular of his right wrist !

Before heading out for the second session, some "big" handle welders – and wrapped welders too! – increase the preload of the spring and close the hydraulics of the Sachs shock absorber in order to counter the tendency of the animal to widen, or even to wriggle out of a curve.

For its part, Site decides to engage the "Normal" mode of the engine … And this modification instantly allows us to realize that the "Sport" mode selected by default by the MV Agusta staff for our very first turns of the wheel had somewhat deceived us.

Now less savage on the go-around, the F3 800 is no longer as nervous when exiting a curve and allows the pilot to refine his trajectories. The maximum power remains the same as in "S" mode, so that the lap times in "N" mode are no worse, on the contrary.

It is only once the Misano track is known that one can re-engage the sport mode of the 800 and gradually lower the "Traction Control" slider. Already not very intrusive on setting 7 thanks to the excellent grip of the Pirelli Supercorsa, the traction control system is insensitive to ordinary bikers when placed on 3.

Note occasionally that the maximum power of the new F3 (148 hp) is not as overflowing as that of an F4 RR (201 hp!). The electronics have therefore much less work to do to manage a 3-cylinder – was it an 800 – than to muzzle a 4-cylinder of 1000 cc..

Likewise, the pilot is much less likely to be overtaken at the controls of the F3 800: the arrival of power is gradual and the front wheel only sheds light on rare occasions. Very fast, the new MV Agusta is not necessarily unmanageable.

At the end of the five driving sessions on the demanding Italian track, the results are also crystal clear: this MV Agusta F3 800 EAS is much more a "maxi Supersport" than a "mini Superbike". Lightweight, agile and super efficient, she demands a little more attention and commitment than her little sister 675. But she offers more in return !

As pretty, easier and less intimidating than an F4, the F3 800 remains a racing beast and achieving a clean turn on its handlebars is not easy. But we are all the more satisfied to be able to do a few at the end of the day !

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