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.

Motorcycle Monthly - - First Ride - Tested by: Bruce Wil­son Photography: MV Agusta

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.

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