MV’s new Turismo 800: Premium pricetag
Softer, easier to get on with, classy looking exhausts. Yep, that’s the new MV – but it’s got a fight on its hands to win sales.
There was something of a problem with the original Turismo from MV – and it was the motor. That first generation bike had been built with the same engine as used by the firm’s Dragster 800, and it was too sporty by far for a touring sort of bike.
If MV wanted to make the new Turismo work then it’d have to rethink how the power was delivered to the back wheel.
So, the plan was simple for the Italians – softer power on tap and a stronger low-rev performance. More oomph when you need it without that oomph getting too out of hand.
New pistons, cams and gearbox ratios helped cool things down enough and to make the bike even more user friendly the engine also got a hydraulic clutch.
But none of this is to say that the MV is all beige and grey, oh no. Unlike on MV’s other touring option, the Stradale 800, the Turismo sports a slipper clutch, as well as a quickshifter and a downshiftingblipper. The ride-by-wire throttle is of the same ilk as used on MV’s F3 675, along with a counterrotating crankshaft which is in place to reduce the effects of inertia when the bike changes direction. It’s all very clever stuff and the tech doesn’t stop there.
Slotted behind the bike’s wide bars is an allnew TFT dash.
As with an ever growing number of motorcycles, this bike offers different riding modes (Custom, Rain, Sport, Touring), along with different levels of traction control (a range of eight options, as well as the ability to switch it off entirely), which can all be adjusted on the fly by tapping away on a dedicated left-barmounted switch. The same switch also allows you to set a speed restrictor, disengage your ABS or quickshifter, as well as completely customise the mapping of the Turismo’s motor to the extent that I’ve never seen on another bike before (everything from altering the mapping to changing the amount of engine braking you require). There’s no questioning the MV’s level of sophistication, which is taken to the next level on the soon to be released ‘Lusso’ (Luxury) version of the Turismo, which will feature panniers, a centre stand, heated grips and semi-active electronic suspension as standard.
The lesser priced base model Turismo doesn’t come with the 30 litre panniers as standard and it is equipped with adjustable Sachs suspension front and rear, nestled within a narrow steel trellis frame.
The bike’s wheelbase is visibly short, measuring just 1424mm long, but the thing which blew my mind was discovering its tank could hold 22 litres. To look at, you’d think it’d struggle to squeeze half of that volume within its sleek and stunning profile, but the
figures don’t lie. Lined up on the outskirts of Nice, we were set and ready to test this bike on a multitude of roads on a 120 mile loop, kicking off with some nadgery street riding on the town’s edge.
The fuelling was excellent. Pick-up from down low was torquey and smooth, with the quickshifter making life even more pleasant as I rattled my way up and down the motor’s seamless gearbox. I wasn’t expecting this to be the case, having heard lots of bad things about the fuelling on MVs in recent times, made worse by taunts over dodgy electronics. But that certainly wasn’t the experience I was having as we climbed higher and higher above the Mediterranean coastline below.
You sit very upright and forward on the bike which gives you a comfortable stance, but also the opportunity to really hustle the bike around with ease; pulling it around on its big bars. I was blown away by the MV’s agility and I’msure the model would have impressed me more had I had chance to stiffen up the soft rear shock. As it was, the back end tended to bounce around too much for my liking; compressing downwards on every bump before being fired back hastily because of too much rebound. This being the case, the MV would still hold a decent line and the more smoothly I rode it, the more rewarding it was.
Riding at the very front of our group, I was line astern of the factory’s outrider who didn’t hold back on pace, literally backing the bike into corners on every given opportunity. It was really impressive to watch and gave testimony to the
model’s handling prowess and the potential of the steel/aluminium blend chassis.
I’m I’mnotnot going to criticise the bike’s choice of Pirelli Scorpion Trail tyres, as they performed perfectly well, but I was a little confused as to why they’d be chosen for this bike, which has zero off-road or dual-purpose inclinations. Maybe something stickier and sportier would have been a much better fit?
Not that the bike was found to be lacking in grip. The only slide I had during the test was when I gassed the bike over some loose stones, just to get a gauge of the traction control’s otherwise defunct input. The ABS on the other hand never seemed to want to leave me alone. I never felt I was braking excessively hard, yet the Boschpowered system seemed overly eager to join the party at every given chance.
As the ride drew to an end, we headed back along the coast road through Nice and straight into the heart of a car park-style traffic jam. The bike’s fan had been coming on intermittently during our test, but it was almost permanently on by this point, blasting me with hot air.
On a cold day, I was grateful for the added heating, but figured it could leave you roasting during the summer months.
A small niggle, joined only by one other criticism of the bike; its clutch. The lever itself is adjustable for span, but you can’t alter the biting point, which was really far out on my bike. Almost all the guys I was riding with had the same complaint, having over-revved the bike accordingly for fear of stalling it when setting off from junctions, or tootling through town.
Come the end of our ride I’d calibrated my hand to the bike’s excitable throttle and the awkward clutch, but I’d have hoped for better on a bike this expensive.
Costing £11,899, the Turismo Veloce 800 carries the premium pricing you’d expect from the premium motorcycle it is.
But in a world that’s probably more focused on affordability than it’s ever been before, it’s imaginable thatMV will be challenged to sway people into spending several thousand pounds more than they would for a similarly sized, similarly inclined product, which probably comes as standard with a similar wealth of tech and features.
But that bike wouldn’t be an MV Agusta, and nor would it be able to deliver the unique riding experience of the Turismo Veloce.
As motorcycles go, this one is pretty special.
The ABS feels like it’s interfering a lot even without much lever useage. It’s a minimal look to what is a pretty large pillion perch. It wouldn’t be an MV without the triple-stack exhausts... oh, yes... Stylish and chunky where it needs to be, all adds to the look. The engine has come in for a lot of work to make the power delivery smoother and overall easier to live with.
The front of the bike is neat and stylish, aping the top of the F3’s fairing.
The smoother you are, the better the ride that the MV returns in reward.