Here’s one for those looking for a bit of real exotica without having to mortgage the house. Yes, the MV Agusta F4 750S brings Italian prestige and class to the hot in-line four-cylinder category with incredible style and outright performance.
When Italian design maestro Massimo Tamburini penned the Ducati 916, most pundits suggested he give the game away. The consensus was that he had designed the world’s most beautiful motorcycle and that anything after that was going to play second fiddle. Well, those of that opinion had to eat their words.
Enter his wonderful MV Agusta F4 750S of 1999.
The innovation was not limited to aesthetics. The F4 engine was a 749cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC, four-cylinder with 16 radial valves derived from the 1990–1992 Ferrari Formula One engine. Power figures were pretty impressive for a 750 (which, at the time of release was a capacity that had lost favour in sportsbike realms).
You got 93kW at a heady 12,500rpm and 74Nm (7.5kg-m) at 10,500rpm.
Oh, the handling… It felt as though corners could be entered at insane speeds and pushed through on the gas like no other. It loved a good line, but there was always the grip/sure-footedness/ground clearance and balance to stuff it in harder.
At a claimed dry weight of 190kg the F4S was a long way from suffering anorexia, but it was not Porky Pig either.
Brakes were simply perfect. Six-piston Nissin calipers took hold of the brace of 310mm rotors with such precision that it was hard to see stopping improved and the Showa upside-down forks gave the front a very planted feel.
There was an Ohlins steering damper fitted latitudinally across the top triple clamp and, while it wouldn’t be there if not required, the bow end of the motorcycle never seemed to protest.
You want to make a statement and like your riding ‘engaging’. This thing makes its power in a frenetic crescendo of screaming top end (and we reckon that is just wonderful).
Give it a miss if:
You like your riding relaxed. This thing is uncomfortable and makes its power in a frenetic crescendo of screaming top end (and you may not like that at all).
1999-2003 MV Agusta F4 750S
Price new: $29,990
Price now: $8500 – $11,000
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.