Nothing gets our Robin hot and bothered more than testing a sexy new Italian sportbike.

MV Agusta 2005 F4 1000, Mamba and Ago page 3

The chassis of the new F4 1000 S traces the existing lines of the 750cc version and is still the only production four-cylinder to be made with a precision TIG welded chromium molybdenum steel tube girder structure. An advantageous solution in terms of cross compactness, mechanical accessibility and torsional rigidity, it is entirely built in the MV Agusta factory in Morazzone.

The main structure is joined to the swingarm pivot plates where both the rear suspension rocker arm and subframe are connected. A great style sensation, the sculpture that is the single-sided swingarm has become a demonstration of the creativity and skill of CRC technicians for conceptual rationality and beauty.

The chassis section communes with high level suspensions. The rear Sachs Racing shock absorber equipped with both dual compression calibration (high- and low- speed) and hydraulic control of the pre-load spring is new. The forecarrige is distinguished from the 750S version by the Marzocchi fork with 50 mm shafts, the largest ever in standard production. The F4 1000S and 1+1, like its smaller displacement sister, is equipped with an Ohlins steering damper positioned crosswise to the driving direction. This unit is anchored to the chassis on both ends in order to be able to work symmetrically. Especially seductive are the triple clamps; the upper one has a prismatic diamond form while the lower one has a bridge-like frontal appearance that improves the air flow to the radiator.

The front braking system is made up of two exclusive "Nissin F4" 6 piston calipers (with differentiated diameters) that work on 310mm diameter disks. On the F4 1000S and 1+1, these units are made with aluminium instead of steel carriers. The rear brake is also a Nissin F4 unit, equipped with a 4 piston caliper that works on a 210mm diameter disk. The front Nissin clutch and brake controls boast patented lowered position reservoir tanks in order to obtain a complete view of the instrument panel, the latter also equipped with a watch function. The splendid star design that characterises the 17 inch wheels of the F4 1000S and 1+1 are shod with the new Michelin Pilot Power or Dunlop D208 and Metzeller Sportec M1 are the same. The front tyre size is 120/65 and rear 190/50 or 180/55.

The new 998cc engine, initially baptized with the name F5, was born in 2001. While still tracing what was conceptually proposed in the 750 EV configuration, the new engine was subject to a series of important innovations derived directly from World Endurance races with Steven Casaer’s Maxim team. In two years of work the Belgian rider put in countless miles obtaining encouraging results in racing terms but especially providing precious data for the evolution of the new engine.

The Belgian rider’s indications were then compared with Andrea Mazzali’s, Italian rider who is currently racing in the SBK Italian national championships with a F4 equipped with a 1000cc engine. Technically the engine owes its cylinder capacity growth to bore increase, taken from 73,8 mm to 76mm and to the increase in stroke, moving from 43,8 mm to 55 mm. Despite the increase in cylinder capacity the 1000 engine is lighter than the 750EV engine by 5.8lbs.

The weight savings was obtained by integrally redesigning the main mechanical parts, with special attention to the reciprocating mass. From the pure performance standpoint, the new MV Agusta engine is destined to become a new reference point for power and torque. The new four cylinder motor from Schiranna is able to produce a maximum power output of 166hp measured at the crankshaft @ 11,700 rpm, with a rev limit of 12,700rpm. Torque output reaches 80.32ft-lbs @ 10,200 rpm.

The increase in cylinder capacity enhanced the efficiency of the exclusive distribution system with radial positioned valves, or non-parallel but effective for a 4 degree overall angle (2° per valve). The 1000 engine is also equipped with refined removable cassette gearbox derived from the glorious GP Cagiva racing machines. The new engine differs from the 750EV unit by the introduction of the EBS (Engine Brake System) an innovative system that does not work on the clutch but directly on the intake system in order to reduce the engine braking. The system takes advantage of a valve positioned on the cylinder #2 exhaust pipe found downstream of the intake.This device permits the #2 cylinder to distribute torque in the detached phase (or when the throttle bodies are closed) through a totally electronic control system.

The F4 1000 engine, in addition to being high-performance, is also in line with the most recent pollution standards thanks to a catalyser housed in a new exhaust commutator that flows in the celebrated "pipe organ" mufflers.

Wrapping it Up
The F4-1000 base model ("S" -solo seat, "1+1" dual seat) bike is priced at $21,495
It is or was available in 3 different upgraded / limited edition versions:
• F4 Ago with special paint, carbon fibre and billet bits, forged Marchessini Aluminum wheels, $25,995
• F4 Mamba Kit (new carbon fibre bodywork, forged Marchessini Aluminum wheels, $12,000 Stage II Kit.
• F4 Tamburini, carbon bodywork, mag wheels, 412 lbs., 172hp engine w/ variable intake, $48,000.

Our test bike was the base F4-1000 which was upgraded with the $12,000 Mamba Full Option Kit (limited to just 300 editions) and included all new Red & Black carbon fibre bodywork and forged Aluminum Marchesini wheels. Bolted onto a base price F4-100 you are looking at a finished cost of $33,495. It's a very expensive upgrade to shed off about 20 pounds with no engine performance gain. And in turn, you're left over with $10,000 in stock bodywork and wheels which will be almost impossible to resell.

In comparrison, the F4 Ago, a limited edition tribute to Giacomo Agostini gets special limited edition painted carbon fibre bodywork in tribute to his old GP bike colors, with the forged aluminum Marchessini wheels which save 5 lbs over the base cast wheels,all for a reasonable $4,500 over Base Retail. This Ago price is less because the factory excludes the stock bodywork and wheels, rather than having them left over at the dealer or inside your garage.

Unless you have the extra money and want the status of a special edition F4, we'd suggest buying a base F4 and spend that $4,500 on the Marchessini forged maganesium wheels and a racing exhaust system (maybe a little more for MV's Titanium Race System). Toss the stock catalytic converter mufflers and the cast wheels and you'll get Mamba and Tamburini limited edition weight savings and performance with a savings of $8,000 - $22,000. I think I can live with the stock bodywork for that kind of savings.

Cio Mia Bambino! XOXOX, -"Rockin' Robin" Cunningham

... more MV Agusta F4-1000 Intro Page 1Ride Page 2 Details Page 3

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The Suspension
The base F4-1000 gets excellent suspension right out of the box which none of its higher priced Special edition models will improve on. Up front are sturdy 50mm Marzocchi front forks whcih work very well, in conjunction with a twin resevoir, fully adjustable Sachs gas single shock on the back. Sachs shocks have improved their technical products significantly in recent years to the point Sachs suspension is now used on the Ferrari Formula One machines as the best available. The Mamba Special Edition bike for Euopre suposedly gets an upgrade Sachs GP shock with titanium spring, billet body, and 4-way adjustable damping.
It might be a cost effective upgrade in itself with the significant weight savings provided by the Ti spring, but we will have to guess at the improvement in handling since the stock Sachs shock feels just fine.

Electronic Slipper Clutch
One unique feature of the F4 Mille is the EBS antilock braking system, another exclusive to MV, which is their electronic equivalent to a mechanical slipper clutch. When you brake into a turn with the throttle closed, a pair of exhaust valves are electronically held open to reduce reduce engine braking. A very complex, yet smoother alternative to the jerky clutch lever feel of a conventional ramp style slipper clutch.

On a separate path for fighting rear wheel lockup, we think the new Adler Power Torque Clutch (APTC) with its smooth heliical coupling between the clutch hub and basket that offers a progressive slippage under braking, with lighter lever pull under normal use, is where the industry will be heading. Ducati is already equippinh APTC on a some of its 2005 models.


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