The 2013 MV Agusta F4 RR
thinks and reacts with you and for you. Gone are the steel cables that used to connect your right wrist to the throttle bodies; power is now entirely controlled by a computer (ride-by-wire). When coming out of corners, sensors determine whether to unleash all 201 horsepower or not. If so, you'd better hold on tight!
For those who fear that an electronic glitch could leave the throttle wide open, get this: To ensure maximum effectiveness and safety, the data that arrives from the two potentiometers is cross-examined with analogue signals, and a third sensor confirms the requirement of complete throttle closure.
Designed to combine styling with functionality, the 2013 MV Agusta F4 RR is one of the best-looking superbikes on the market. If the sight of this chromoly steel, aluminum, titanium, and three-layer polymer doesn't send your heart racing, you're probably dead or completely uninterested in motorcycles (but then, why would you be reading this review?).
As far as enhancements go, a keen eye will notice the revised tailpipes (all four of them), forced air intakes, and taillight that evoke the styling genius of original designer, Massimo Tamburini. The message that shows up on the instrument cluster when you start the engine doesn't lie: It truly is “motorcycle art.”
|Designed to combine styling with functionality, the 2013 MV Agusta F4 RR is one of the best-looking superbikes on the market. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
Riding a high-calibre bike such as the 2013 MV Agusta F4 RR on a tight track like the ASM advanced riding school's in St-Eustache is definitely no walk in the park. I mean, those 201 horsepower eat up tarmac in a real hurry. The peak rev limit of the 4-cylinder Corsa Corta (short stroke) engine has been raised to 14,000 rpm thanks to a lighter valve system and reduced moving mass.
On the track, you can feel an extra dose of torque and decibels. With the sharp powerband and hard-to-modulate throttle, it's like working with a race engine.
The 2013 MV Agusta F4 RR's acceleration is pure madness. You just can't go full throttle without the front wheel taking off. The wicked sound effects as you approach the red line prove quite intoxicating, so you're always asking for more. Even the engine on the BMW HP4 feels smooth by comparison. However, despite using Electronically Assisted Shift (EAS), the transmission is not exactly rider-friendly and requires above-average effort and concentration on a straightaway.
|Riding a high-calibre bike such as the 2013 MV Agusta F4 RR on a tight track is definitely no walk in the park. Those 201 horsepower eat up tarmac in a real hurry. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
MV the master
The Italian manufacturer holds 37 world championship titles, and it shows on the 2013 MV Agusta F4 RR. Ergonomics are perfect for aggressive riding, as is the chassis which remains the best-sorted part of this superbike. Extremely rigid around the steering, the frame is judiciously flexible in key areas and ideally matched with the single-sided swingarm. The latter, unlike the Ducati 1199 Panigale
's, ensures flawless precision and stability under acceleration, even on a bumpy stretch.
The leading attribute of the 2013 MV Agusta F4 RR is a formidable front wheel setup that offers unparalleled precision and handling. Add an excellent power adjustable suspension (43 mm Öhlins EC Nix front fork and Öhlins TTX rear shock), and you get a machine that dives into corners and holds on to its line like no other. The F4 RR even makes up for certain riding mistakes, like when you attack a combination of turns and miss the first apex: It happily and effortlessly heads to the second as if nothing happened.
In the braking department, it's business as usual for the 2013 MV Agusta F4 RR. The state-of-the-art system consists of two 320 mm front discs gripped by new 4-piston Brembo Monobloc M50 callipers -- an absolute reference for performance. Although powerful and fade-free, it lacks ABS at a time when nearly every direct competitor has one such system, including the HP4, 1199 Panigale S and R, Aprilia RSV4
, and Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
MVICS to the rescue
|The latter, unlike the Ducati 1199 Panigale's, ensures flawless precision and stability under acceleration, even on a bumpy stretch. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
On the plus side, the sharpest Italian diva on two wheels banks on the industry's most comprehensive electronic assist package, namely the Motor Vehicle Integrated Control System (MVICS). Here's the list:
- Four-map engine management;
- Traction control;
- Electronically Assisted Shift;
- Intelligent ride-by-wire throttle;
- Adjustable engine braking;
- Power adjustable suspension.
Electronics are now the name of the game, setting new standards of performance, control, and safety. At a sporty pace on the road, the 2013 MV Agusta F4 RR's arsenal stays alert and contributes to fun and surprisingly friendly riding dynamics for such a powerful steed. When you switch over to the track and pick up the tempo, it's really not the kind of bike for everyone. The ultra-responsive throttle and abrupt traction control intervention demand plenty of experience if one is to complete hot laps.
That being said, the Custom mode provides a number of answers and solutions. By tweaking the traction control, throttle response, engine braking, and anti-wheeling settings, you can get closer to what's expected from the 2013 MV Agusta F4 RR: perfection.
|When you switch over to the track and pick up the tempo, it's really not the kind of bike for everyone. The ultra-responsive throttle and abrupt traction control intervention demand plenty of experience. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
- Ultra-powerful and aggressive engine
- Competent brakes, suspension, and frame
- The best front-wheel setup in the world
- Stunning to behold
- Fantastic Custom mode
- Harsh engine
- Transmission is not so rider-friendly despite EAS
- Electronics could still use some upgrades