2018 MV Agusta Dragster 800 RC Revealed

Brent Jaswinski
by Brent Jaswinski

Raw, naked performance

What is there to say about the 2018 MV Agusta Dragster 800 RC? Well, for starters, it’s art in motion. No, wait. Scratch that. It’s a red, white and green blur singing a beautiful harmony of three cylinders setting fire to a compressed air/fuel mixture at an incredible rate.

Italians have never been known to skimp on style or performance, and the designers at MV Agusta are no exception. The RC designation stands for Reparto Corse, or Racing Department, and while the Dragster 800 RC isn’t fully faired, its high-performance lineage is apparent. With a claimed dry weight of 370 lbs and a claimed 140 hp, this race-inspired, stripped-down naked is sure to haul the mail.

The “Dragster” name implies straight-line performance, however, MV Agusta engineers have given the bike a multitude of racing-derived features, including a counter-rotating crankshaft that’s shared with its F3 brother which helps reduce inertia in corner entry to deliver “unique driving dynamics far exceeding the expectations of a bike born to achieve straight-line performance.” Further race-inspired details include colors and graphics of those found on the F4 RC factory superbike, as well as a plethora of carbon fiber. The number 37 is not the number of potential laws one can break riding the Dragster, but rather a nod to the amount of world titles MV Agusta has achieved over the years.

The Dragster RC puts the power to the ground via a 200mm rear tire, and with updated electronics, the rider can choose between a variety of engine maps or create his/her own settings to best suit their needs, or more appropriately in the case, their desires. With so much power and so little weight, twisting the throttle on the Dragster RC should offer a visceral experience. Keeping that power in check is a choice of 8 different levels of traction control, or zero at all if you prefer to smoke your tires. Furthermore, the EAS 2.0 electronic quickshifter has also been modified to allow even smoother and faster shifts both up and down.

Other updates and innovations include minor alterations to the motor and drivetrain that aim to increase efficiency, reduce wear and improve overall durability of the components. The principal areas MV Agusta focused on are the cylinder head valve guides, starter motor mechanics, balance shaft, the primary gearing as well as the water and oil pump drive gears. The goal was to optimize gear contact while simultaneously reducing friction and noise. MV Agusta claims to have improved gear engagement by 30%.

Only 350 of these limited-edition bad boys will be produced, so if you’re lucky enough to snag one, you’ll definitely be the envy of your riding buddies. Pricing has yet to be released, but based off of last year’s MSRP, one can expect to shell out an amount somewhere north of $18,200. Find out more below in MV’s official release.

Begin Press Release:

Varese, Italy – 26th October 2017 – Emotion at first sight. The gaze can’t help but linger on the silhouette of the Dragster 800 RC. A synthesis of style and performance, like every MV Agusta. Yet also an extraordinary example of originality and irreverence. The Dragster 800 RC is brazen yet smoothly executed, uncompromising yet perfect in every detail. Which is why it’s even more electrifying than its predecessor.

The RC livery, enhanced with racing-style graphics, was designed by the MV Agusta Reparto Corse (Racing Department) and inspired by the F4 RC, currently competing in the Superbike World Championship. Make no mistake: just one glance at the Dragster 800 RC and you’ll imagine you’re exiting pit lane and hurtling towards the first corners, leaving behind only the roar of the in-line three-cylinder engine.

The Dragster 800 RC offers an exclusive mix of chassis, mechanics and style. But don’t be fooled by the extreme design and the choice of a 200 mm rear tyre: while that drag racing sensation is never far off, the Dragster’s ultra-sophisticated chassis set-up ensures the dynamic effectiveness and pure riding pleasure of a pure sports bike.

From a technical viewpoint, the new MV Agusta Dragster 800 RC has inherited the many new features of the Dragster 800 RR and, like the entire three-cylinder platform, is Euro 4 compliant. The engine – fully designed and developed by MV Agusta – provides cutting- edge compactness, low weight, elastic power delivery and superb performance, making it the benchmark in its class.



• Exhaust manifolds with a new 83×90 mm diameter catalytic converter, cell density 400 CPSI • Larger-volume silencers which reduce noise as per standards but amplify the distinctive sound of the MV Agusta three-cylinder engine

• An exhaust valve located in the exhaust manifold makes its debut on this model

• The cylinder heads are fitted with valve guides in a new sintered material, impregnated with lubricant to reduce wear, HB +25%

• Introduction of a Harmonic Damper to reduce vibration and noise

• Starter motor mechanics have been redesigned to improve durability

• The starter freewheel has been reinforced

• The balance shaft has been completely redesigned with a 2.25 gear module with 30% more engagement to reduce noise, modified profiles with optimised contact to reduce friction; the bushing set clearance has been modified to reduce wear and noise

• Introduction of new oil and water pump control gearing, z39/45 2.25 gear module with 30% more engagement to reduce noise, modified profiles with optimised contact to reduce friction

• Primary gearing has been redesigned (z22/41) 2.25 gear module with 30% more engagement to reduce noise, modified profiles with optimised contact to reduce friction

• As with the F3 range, a completely new gear shifter is completely new, with redesigned gear dogs making changes more fluid. Average space between gear dogs has been increased by 45%, lower lever effort and a reduced shifter recess angle

• As on the F3 range, new engine covers have been fitted: these increase engine protection in the event of impact, reduce noise emissions (in line with the certification standard) and amplify the frequencies that combine to create the distinctive MV Agusta 3-cylinder sound.


All electronic developments are shared across the entire three-cylinder platform. More specifically, they include new engine mappings (specially developed for the Dragster 800 RC) and 8-level traction control which has been further optimised to improve performance. EAS 2.0 electronic shifter logic has been modified to make shifting faster and more practical for sporty riding yet also smoother and more progressive

Brent Jaswinski
Brent Jaswinski

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  • Mad4TheCrest Mad4TheCrest on Oct 31, 2017

    I have lusted after an MV many times, almost 100% based on looks, and the Dragster is no different. It really does look a million bucks. But my days of owning exotically beautiful but temperamental, money-hole expensive Italians is likely over. Of course, should MV remedy my one objectively legitimate complaint by switching to a metal (preferably aluminum) tank from the current plastic job that does not always play well with our E10 gasoline, I may be doomed to buy another.

  • Sajid Iftikhar Sajid Iftikhar on Dec 11, 2017

    How would you rate the reliability of MV Augusta 800RC/RR? Also, how many miles does it go before walve adjustment?
    Reply would be grately appreciated!