Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Heavy Hitter: MV Agusta F4 Veltro Pista

The MV Agusta F4 Veltro Pista. 185bhp. 300km/h...

When it was launched back in 2006, the MV Agusta F4 Veltro Pista cost the equivalent of US$90,000. The Pista (the Italian word for ‘track’) was only meant for track use, and was not street-legal. MV only made 23 units of this bike. A bit more common was the F4 Veltro Strada, the road-legal version, of which 99 units were made. So does the Veltro rank alongside the F4 Senna, Tamburini and CC versions as one of the most expensive, most exclusive motorcycles MV Agusta ever made? You bet.

Fettled by MV Agusta Corse (MV’s racing division, which was recently shut down…) and hand-built in San Marino by the Cagiva Research Centre, the 159-kilo Veltro Pista was fitted with MV’s 998cc inline-four, taken from the earlier F4 Tamburini. A titanium exhaust was fitted on this bike, which, along with other mods, pushed power output up to 185 horsepower at 12,000rpm. Top speed was all of 305km/h.

Carbonfibre was used for making the Veltro Pista’s bodywork, and magnesium and titanium bits were everywhere. Lightweight Brembo wheels, Pirelli slicks, magnesium alloy swingarm, and a race-spec quickshifter were also fitted. High-spec suspension components were used – fully-adjustable Sachs shock (with ride-height adjuster) at the rear, and fully adjustable 50mm Marzocchi USD fork at the front, with billet aluminum brackets for the radially-mounted four-piston Brembo brakes.

From left: The MV Agusta F4 CC, Senna and Tamburini. Ooooohhhhh.....!!!

The cheaper Veltro Strada, which cost about US$72,000, weighed a bit more – 170 kilos – but got the same engine and tubular trellis frame as the Pista. Of course, the Strada came with lights, turn-indicators and a street-legal exhaust system, which kept power down to only 174bhp. (The racing exhaust also given to customers, but in a separate box – to be used on the track only.) And there was no quickshifter on the Strada. Still, there was more performance here than most mortals would ever be able to use on the street. Or on the track.

When MCN tested the Veltro Pista, they said, ‘The MV goes like nothing you’ll ever find on the road. It bludgeons you with a hammer blow of gale-force, ear-splitting, face altering acceleration. It’s all you can do to keep up with the relentless speed the Veltro is happy to dish up for your masochistic enjoyment.’

‘The power at low rpm isn’t great, not helped by the tall gearing, but once in its stride – at around 6000rpm – it takes off, all the way to 13,000rpm, when a selection of lights flash at you to signal it’s time to change gear. Coming off the gas and on to the freight-train-strength four-piston Brembos, the mechanical slipper clutch does its thing. Bang, bang, down through the gears, popping and banging on the overrun, don’t blip the throttle, and you glide serenely on to your chosen corning line. The bike has so much grip, so much composure and feedback from the chassis that it seems to laugh at your attempts to go fast through the corners,’ said the guys at MCN.

So coming back to the question of which is the greatest MV Agusta F4 1000 ever built, is it the Veltro Pista / Strada? Ummm… ok, we really don’t know! For us, the F4 Tamburini, Senna, Veltro and CC are all bikes that we can only dream of – never actually afford to buy. So for now, we’ll continue to dream. Someday, maybe – just maybe – we’ll at least get to ride one of these awesome MV F4s…

You'd also want one, wouldn't you?

Also see:
The Fast and the Furious: More Italian bikes...!
The Human Hayabusa: The world's fastest man against the world's fastest bike!
John McGuinness replica Honda Fireblade...
Track specials from Japan: Hard-core Honda CBR1000RRs and CBR600RRs!
Memorable: The Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850...
Can Honda work the CB1100R magic once more?
Faster and Faster, on Flickr!
MASSIVE collection of hi-res MotoGP wallpaper...

Eva Longoria joins the biker brigade!

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