We say it over and over again, but today’s liter-class sportbike field is the most competitive it’s ever been, and with Honda and Suzuki releasing updated versions of the CBR1000RR and GSX-R1000, respectively, for 2017, that leaves MV Agusta as the senior in the group with its aging F4.
MV doesn’t have plans for a new bike in 2017, but the company did announce today the launch of a new F4 RC, a premium road-going version of the F4 RC which the MV Agusta Reparto Corse team currently races in World Superbike with rider Leon Camier. As one would expect from a bike modeled after a world championship competitor, the F4 RC is heavily influenced by its cousin. For starters, the bike’s red and white livery mimics that of the racer, even down to the sponsor logos, with the number 37 occupying the number plates – an homage to the number of constructors world titles the Varese company has won.
If you’re one of the lucky 250 to get your hands on the F4 RC (a commemorative plate on the top triple clamp denotes which number you have), then you can expect to receive a wooden box branded with the MV Agusta logo. Inside, you’ll find a few trick bits, highlighted by the SC-Project titanium single exit exhaust system that has been developed together with the dedicated racing Electronic Control Unit. Other bits in the box include aluminum mirror caps and quick-release fuel cap, as well as a single-seat tail unit for cleaner aesthetics and slight weight savings. Rounding out the items in the box are a carbon-fiber exhaust shroud, a personalized bike cover, and a certificate of authenticity from Varese.
Of course, being a limited-run racing special, MV couldn’t leave the engine alone. MV says the 998cc engine of the F4 RC features a “light crankshaft” as well as “light pistons and rods.” The cylinder head gets a new intake tract, and the entire engine is capped off with magnesium valve and side covers fastened with titanium bolts.
In road configuration MV claims the F4 RC can pump out 205 hp at the crank, jumping to 212 hp with the race kit installed. That power is harnessed in a TIG-welded steel frame with aluminum alloy plates that house the adjustable swingarm pivot. An Ohlins NIX30 fork handles bumps in front, with rebound and compression damping circuits separated into each leg. An Ohlins TTX36 shock takes care of bumps in the rear and also features full adjustability. Stopping power is handled with radially mounted Brembo four-piston calipers mated to 320mm discs. Bosch ABS is included and features rear-wheel lift mitigation to help keep the back end under control under hard braking.
Rounding out the electronics package of the F4 RC is the MVICS 2.0 (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System), that allows you to command many parameters, including throttle sensitivity, maximum torque, engine brake, engine response and rev-limiter intervention. Three gyroscopes and accelerometers act as lean angle sensors to help the eight-level traction control manage wheel slip to the rider’s needs. It can also be switched off entirely. The 2.0 EAS (Electronically Assisted Shift) Quick Shift comes standard, enabling clutchless upshifts without releasing the throttle, though the system does not include downshifts as has become standard for many of MV’s competitors.
MV Agusta didn’t release pricing or availability info, but chances are if you have to ask, then you either can’t afford it or it’s already too late.