Eugene Laverty, aboard his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000, led the field today as the first day of World Superbike testing got underway at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia, site of the first race of the 2014 season. Under sunny skies and perfect weather conditions, Laverty adapted quickly to his new ride after spending last […]
2013 MV Agusta F4 and F4 RR – First Ride
Our Euro correspondent Tor Sagen is one of the first in the world to ride MV Agusta’s brand-new F4 and F4 RR, both equipped with lean-angle sensors, electronically assisted shifting and more. The up-spec RR flagship features an electronic Ohlins suspension and steering damper controlled by a dedicated Ohlins ECU unit, enabling full suspension adjustment (excluding preload) via the press of a button.
Also new is the F4’s engine, with the RR claiming 201 crankshaft horsepower at 13,600 rpm, just shy of its new 14K redline. The standard model has to settle for “only” 195 horsepower made at 13,400 rpm. Sagen sends us his early impressions after ripping around the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain. –Ed.
Both F4s are ferocious above 9000 rpm, but the F4 RR is in a different league all together. Whilst there’s plenty of electronic brain within the fairings, it takes its toll from the rider to keep up with the sheer speed. Things happen so quickly above 10K rpm and acceleration is immense!
The F4s are not the most comfortable motorcycles in the world, and it’s a real struggle to escape the wind as I can’t push myself far enough backwards to get any protection from the windscreen. On the Valencia circuit, this didn’t really matter as the 201 ponies pushed big holes in the air like a hot knife through butter.
The standard F4 with its Marzocchi fork and Sachs rear shock also performs incredibly well, and you need to be a top-notch rider to really exploit the benefits of the F4 RR when laptimes are concerned. In terms of engine power, the F4 feels plenty powerful enough and it’s only in the upper 3,000rpm I could really feel the difference. With the new traction control and the new set of Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP’s featuring a 200/55 rear tire, there was plenty of grip even with a low TC setting.
Both F4s are fantastic superbikes and perfect track tools. Hardcore as few and faster than most, but they take time to get used to. Much more in my full review to follow.