Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Test Riding the MV Augusta F4 and Ducati Streetfighter

A special thanks to Duc Pond Motorsports of Winchester, VA for setting up the awesome demo day. It is rare to get a factory demo ride and even rarer for an event to be run this well. Although our time was short, I was able to sneak in test rides of two really different, but amazing bikes. The demo route was about 20 miles long, but a good mix of back country roads and high speed bursts on highways giving a good impression of the capabilities and comfort of the bikes.

My impressions will be split over two posts. With the Ducati below, and the MV Augusta impressions arriving later in the week.

MV Augusta F4 First Impressions


Let me just start off by saying that even though I do not ride super sport bikes on a regular basis, and despite the contortionist friendly riding position, I loved every minute of my test ride on this bike. Everything about this bike was so well sorted and usable, it is easy to see why people who give the lesser known of the Italian motorcycle makers a chance often become believers for life.


The motor feels immensely capable, with good thrust down low, but really breathes well in the upper RPM ranges and issues a beautiful noise through the organ pipe exhaust system protruding from under the tail. The swell of power is at once usable and tractable and the traction control system is ever present, but not the slightest bit obtrusive, allowing you to get aggressive with the throttle, but keeping you from lifting the nose unnecessarily.


On the road, the bike feels light and handles well, quickly and easily transitioning with every input, feeling almost telepathic in it responsiveness. The wide flat tank allows plenty of space to tuck in out of the wind during the straights and the well positioned clip-ons offer excellent control. At a stop, the bike does feel a bit tall and a little top heavy, but once in motion again, it is well balanced and extremely nimble. Ready to spend the day with you strafing the corners of your favorite canyon road.


This bike is deceptively easy to ride and it is easy for even a relatively novice rider to find themselves suddenly quite comfortable with this 186 bhp superbike and while getting up to speed is fun and impressive, so is engaging the binders and bringing the bike back down to realistic speeds. With a solid feel and easily modulated lever, I was able to quickly and confidently late break down from 70+ mph to exit the freeway.


My only complaint about this bike, as I would complain about virtually any superbike, is the rider positioning, especially in the legs. I am not a particularly tall individual and with a 31 inseam, I am able to get comfortable on most bikes, but it took a while to find a position that did not cause some pain in my knees and hips. However, once situated properly on the bike (and once my joints became accustomed to the riding position), everything began to work well and I was able to ignore the riding position and get back to enjoying the ride.


So if the opportunity ever presents itself for you to ride the MV Augusta F4 (we will be looking to acquire one for the clubs stable in the future), you should absolutely take advantage of it as this bike will make you wonder why these guys are not just as popular as Ducati.