MV Agusta 921 S First Look

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

Retro-cool, with an all-new engine.

Drawing off a company’s past success is a popular starting point when it comes to future models, and MV Agusta is drawing off its success 50 years ago to guide a new category of motorcycle it hopes to bring to market in the coming years. What you see here is the 921 S concept.

The brainchild of MV Agusta’s Brian Gillen and Stephen Zache, the two looked at the 1973 MV Agusta 750S as the inspiration to build a new motorcycle for the future while still respecting tradition and history. Interestingly, MV’s press materials are quick to point out that the 921S is not intended to be a modern replica of the 750S, but rather a “tribute to that beguiling bike.”

mv agusta 921 s first look, The inspiration
The inspiration.

From a design aspect, the horizontal lines mimic cafe racers of the era, while the proportions attempt to stay true to those bikes as well. What this means is a svelte package when viewed from the top. You won’t find much bodywork either, especially on the lower half, because MV wants to show off its brand-new inline-four-cylinder engine. As such, you can see the engine’s red valve cover, and the overall aesthetic of the block with its cooling fin motif is a definite throwback to air-cooled engines of the 60s and 70s.

mv agusta 921 s first look, Live from MV Agusta Milano Photo by Ryan Adams
Live from MV Agusta Milano. Photo by Ryan Adams

The 921cc Four is a fresh ground-up design that isn’t necessarily looking for outright performance as nice, useable power. Nonetheless, it still features MV’s radial valves. Other bits include forged pistons and connecting rods, forged and nitrated crankshaft, horizontal air intakes, an optimized cooling system, 39mm ride-by-wire throttle bodies, camshaft profiles for maximum torque over peak horsepower, and a secondary balance shaft. MV says it makes 115.5 horsepower at 10,000 rpm and 85.9 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm.

mv agusta 921 s first look, The latest all new engine from MV Agusta is an inline Four with retro motifs like the cylinder fins and long exhaust runners
The latest all-new engine from MV Agusta is an inline-Four with retro motifs like the cylinder fins and long exhaust runners.

This engine is suspended from a steel trellis frame with aluminum pivot plates, but the other eye-catchers here are the oversized (red) swingarm, brake air duct, the four exhausts exiting under the engine, and the forged aluminum wheels with spokes meant to mimic the metal spokes used on the 750S. Suspension is fully adjustable Öhlins units.

To keep the handlebar area as clean as possible, the round touchscreen instrument panel is located at the tip of the fuel tank. This allows the bars, beautifully machined triple clamps, and handlebar mounts to stay visible. The handlebars themselves are the clip-on type but mounted to a forged aluminum central piece, reminiscent of clubman bars seen on some cafe racers. In this case, the design was inspired by time trial bicycle racers, with their aerodynamic profile.

mv agusta 921 s first look, Ago approves Photo by Ryan Adams
Ago approves. Photo by Ryan Adams

Capping off the design at the rear of the 921S, there’s the Alcantara single seat with a “floating” bolster behind it where the passenger seat would go. It’s a clean yet futuristic design that integrates the tail light with a centralized MV logo.

As this is still a concept, though one very close to looking production ready, there’s no telling when the 921S will actually come to market and for how much.

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