MV Agusta F3 800 adds power to sweet handling
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BIKE LOOKS GREAT BUT $25K PRICE MIGHT BE A BIT MUCH FOR SOME
Supersport bikes are an interesting breed. Managing to strike a balance of performance, comfort, and looks while also being rideable every day is the Holy Grail for sport bike manufacturers.
MV Agusta is one manufacturer that has the performance side nailed. With plenty of motorsport success in its history it knows its stuff when it comes to making bikes go fast, and now - thanks to MV's latest updates in the electronics package - MV's bikes are more rideable than ever.
With a beautiful trellis frame and lightweight building materials the F3 weighs in at a featherweight 173kg. Compared with my daily ride, when I pushed the bike into the safety of the garage at home the F3 felt closer to a push bike than a motorcycle.
Where the stereotype of a supersport tends to be a bike with peaky power all in the top of the rev range, the F3's 798cc inline triple cylinder produces 88 Nm of torque helping to propel the bike forward rapidly, even at low RPMs. Match the torque output with a great whack of 110kW (148 hp) at a screaming 13,000 rpm, on paper the F3 sounds like a monster to control. But thanks to MV's electronics package, the F3 is a smooth purring kitten to ride on public roads. With most electronic aids, including ABS and Traction Control, accessible from the left hand you can alter just how much aggression you want.
The adjustment is truly staggering when you start playing with those electronics. For instance, you can have full ABS intervention at the ready for those times when you have to jump on the big 320mm front brakes with Brembo four-piston monobloc calipers, but leave the traction control off to maximise tyre murdering potential (if you feel the need).
As I found out when a couple of utes decided to pirouette in front of me on the motorway, the ABS system and those big Brembo brakes are more than enough to safely bring you to a rapid halt in those all too frequent scary moments.
You've also got access to four different power maps to change the bike's electronics settings with a lot less fuss and effort than customising your settings. With Normal, Sport, Rain and Custom to choose from you can quickly switch to adapt to the conditions.
While the bike was on test I used it for the daily commute up and down Auckland's Southern Motorway with no issues. Unlike the slightly bonkers MV Agusta Brutale Dragster, the feel and ergonomics of the F3 were very comfortable and the surprisingly aggressive-looking Supersport F3 was the easier bike to live with.
The riding position is your typical jump on and adopt the "cannonball" position of the genre, but the sculpted bodywork works in your favour, encouraging you to hold on with your thighs taking weight off your wrists.
With a wheelbase of only 1340mm the handling in tight twisties did feel as if I was flying on the razor's edge. The rake of the fully adjustable 43mm Marzocchi forks is quite steep, making the short wheelbase even more noticeable as you prepare to hit that perfect apex. In the rear there's also a fully adjustable shock, this time by SACHS, helping to keep the ride from getting too uncomfortable.
Styling wise the F3 is a thing of beauty. The 800 carries on the fantastic looks of the 675 variant, including the signature triple outlet exhaust found on all of MV's triple cylinder bikes.
While the bike does have pillion accommodation it is not at all comfortable looking. The tiny pillion pad follows the thin lines of the rear subframe and is really only acceptable for either tiny people or emergency use.
Offering the power of a litre bike with the handling of a 600, the MV Agusta F3 800 strikes a great balance between the two. An excellent option for those wanting Italian exotica and litre bike power without the price tag.
MV AGUSTA F3 800
ENGINE: 798cc inline 3-cylinder
TOP SPEED: 269km/h
PROS: Beautiful looks and performance to match, electronics package.
CONS: Pricing a bit out of reach for some, engine a bit thirsty.