2010 MV Agusta F4 1000 UK test and review

MF rides the new MV Agusta F4 in ‘proper’ British weather

Click to read: 2010 MV Agusta F4 1000 owners reviews, 2010 MV Agusta F4 1000 specs and to see the 2010 MV Agusta F4 1000 image gallery.

Rockingham’s National circuit is not the grippiest out there, even on a good day. In February, with 4 degrees of ambient temperature,  thick mist and the after effects of overnight rain – grip is even harder to find.

So, it was a brave place for MVAgusta to launch their new F4 sports bike to a mixture of assembled press, dealers and prospective customers. I nipped home an hour before the end of the day to write this and as I type this with still-numb fingers, I’m pleased (and amazed) to report that no bikes were chucked into the Northamptonshire countryside.

There’s good reason for this. The new F4 is incredibly easy to ride. Flattering, even.

The new Magneti Marelli engine management system delivers predictable, smooth and crisply controlled fuelling – particularly at those life-and-death small throttle openings that are so conducive to fine and comfortable living when conditions are this miserable.

The increased engine torque (more reciprocating mass in the crankshaft assembly, variable length inlet trumpets, a much cleverer ECU and an exhaust power valve) is also massively useful in weather like this. Through the faster corners at Rockingham it was quicker, smoother and safer to carry a gear higher than you’d first assume. The increased engine torque and tractability encourages you to do it. And boy, does it drive hard, even half way through its maximum rev range.

Click pic below to read page two.

MV F4 1000 UK road review page 2

As the day progressed the track did start to dry but there were still enough wet patches to encourage the traction control to do its thing. I left the TC on max setting of 8 as an insurance policy. The braking zones were  eventually dry enough to really push the slipper clutch and it’s nice – smooth, unobtrusive and predictable.

With conditions like these, where an inch perfect line is the difference to missing or hitting a wet patch I’m pleased to report that the F4 steers beautifully. Through the butt-clenchingly fast, bumpy and off camber turn 5 just rolling off the gas mid-corner (for a fraction of a second) was enough to tighten the line, square off the approach to the final apex and offer the best drive out. Bloody lovely. Lap after lap. Bang, bang, bang. (that was the noise of an apex being hit, by the way)

But at £14,250 Italian exotica has not only got more affordable, all of a sudden it becomes a real alternative to Japanese superbikes. Which would you rather be gloating over in your garage - this F4 or an R1?