MV Agusta Tourismo Ve­loce Lusso scs


we ride the three-cylin­der sport tourer from Varese

‘The Fast Touring triple’s new star turn is the au­to­matic clutch that gives it the full name of Turismo Ve­loce Lusso SCS, short for Smart Clutch Sys­tem. The higher-spec Lusso (mean­ing “lux­ury”) model now comes with the op­tion of an au­to­matic clutch that means you don’t need to touch the lever.’ We rode both on the out­skirts of MV’s home town of Varese

Sports-tour­ers are gen­er­ally de­signed to work best in sit­u­a­tions rang­ing from blast­ing down a twisty road to cruis­ing with pil­lion and lug­gage on a motorway. so, it’s slightly strange to find MV agusta’s re­vamped turismo Ve­loce high­light­ing its ma­jor new fea­ture in a very dif­fer­ent way: ne­go­ti­at­ing slow-mov­ing traf­fic with un­usual ease on the out­skirts of MV’s home town of Varese in north­ern Italy. that’s be­cause the Fast touring triple’s new star turn is the au­to­matic clutch that gives it the full name of turismo Ve­loce lusso sCs, short for smart Clutch sys­tem. the higher-spec lusso (mean­ing “lux­ury”) model now comes with the op­tion of an au­to­matic clutch that means you don’t need to touch the lever, so can ride the MV al­most like a big scooter in town, pulling away and chang­ing gear with­out us­ing your left hand. the new clutch, de­vel­oped in con­junc­tion with us spe­cial­ist rek­luse (who cre­ated the orig­i­nal sys­tem mainly as an an­ti­stalling de­vice for off-road use) weighs only 36 grams more than a con­ven­tional clutch and is vis­i­ble through a trans­par­ent cover on the right of the en­gine. the two firms col­lab­o­rated on its de­sign for MV’s ap­pli­ca­tion, work­ing both in Varese and at rek­luse’s base in Idaho to fine-tune the sys­tem and in­cor­po­rate the turismo Ve­loce’s elec­tron­ics.

else­where the 12-valve pow­er­plant is re­vamped in sim­i­lar fash­ion to MV’s other triples, to im­prove its re­fine­ment and to get through euro 4 with no loss of per­for­mance. the cylin­der-head is re­vised to give more con­sis­tent com­bus­tion, for smoother low-rev run­ning, and the starter clutch sys­tem is re­designed to cure a weak­ness of the orig­i­nal model.

the trans­mis­sion is up­dated with new gears to al­low smoother shift­ing and the front en­gine mount de­sign is changed from one long bolt to two much shorter ones, in­creas­ing chas­sis stiff­ness. What doesn’t change is the power out­put, all the way to the max­i­mum of 110 ps at 10,150 rpm.

The Lusso SCS model’s auto clutch adds a unique touch and is very promis­ing, but could use a touch more fine-tun­ing

the essence of the turismo Ve­loce is also very much re­tained. al­though it’s much taller than MV’s other triples and can’t match their aero­dy­namic shape, it’s a strik­ing ma­chine that man­ages to look el­e­gant and in­tri­cately de­tailed, from its quickly ad­justable screen all the way to its pan­niers, which blend seam­lessly with the bike’s lines and attach neatly to the min­i­mal­ist alu­minium rear sub-frame.

rid­ing po­si­tion is very up­right, with a wide one-piece han­dle­bar, short fuel tank and a seat that is fairly tall, and whose raised rear sec­tion keeps the rider well for­ward. For a sports-tourer the turismo Ve­loce feels very com­pact, at least for long-legged rid­ers (like this one) whose knees can’t fit in­side the tank cut-outs. It also feels very light and ma­noeu­vrable, helped by gen­er­ous steer­ing lock and by a dry weight of just 192 kg.

that light weight helps counter the rel­a­tively mod­est peak power out­put and the turismo jus­ti­fies the “Ve­loce” part of its name by be­ing fast enough to be fun. al­though it can’t ap­proach the top-end charge of its more pow­er­ful Bru­tale or Drag­ster sib­lings, it gains by be­ing more flex­i­ble, gen­er­at­ing 90 per cent of its max­i­mum torque fig­ure of 80 nm all the way from 3,500 to 10,700 rpm.

on a launch route that started on the banks of lake Varese and headed north to the swiss bor­der, the MV revved smoothly and pulled rea­son­ably well through the mid-range, re­gard­less of which rid­ing mode was se­lected. as be­fore, there are four to choose from, in­clud­ing a Cus­tom mode that al­lows fine-tun­ing of nu­mer­ous pa­ram­e­ters, in­clud­ing throt­tle re­sponse, en­gine brak­ing, and how sharply the revlim­iter cuts in. even the more ag­gres­sive sport gave very crisp fu­elling, with none of the snatch­i­ness of some pre­vi­ous MV sys­tems.

Dur­ing the day’s ride I rode both the con­ven­tional-clutch equipped lusso and the sCs model, which are oth­er­wise iden­ti­cal. Chang­ing gear was very sweet on the stan­dard lusso, which flicked flaw­lessly through the six-speed box in ei­ther di­rec­tion with the help of the two-way shifter that

comes as stan­dard. the sCs model’s trans­mis­sion wasn’t quite as slick on the open road, hav­ing a slightly heav­ier ac­tion, plus a ten­dency to find an oc­ca­sional false neu­tral.

pay­back came in town, when the auto clutch meant the left han­dle­bar’s lever was not needed, even when the bike slowed to a halt. the clutch au­to­mat­i­cally en­gages as the revs rise, so you can sim­ply crack open the throt­tle to pull away — even at max­i­mum pace. the sCs sys­tem def­i­nitely works, al­beit with an oc­ca­sional glitch (my bike stalled once, which it shouldn’t be able to do) and would be a real ben­e­fit in the traf­fic of a big city.

the turismo Ve­loce per­formed much as be­fore in other re­spects, in­clud­ing its chas­sis, which is very ag­ile by sports-touring stan­dards, helped by the en­gine’s con­tra-ro­tat­ing crank­shaft and by the bike’s light weight of just 192 kg (dry). the MV was very flick­able, its cor­ner­ing pace marred only slightly by its gen­er­ous sus­pen­sion travel, an un­changed 160 mm up front and 165 mm at the rear.

Both ver­sions of the lusso come with sachs’ sky­hook semi-ac­tive sus­pen­sion, in­stead of the stan­dard turismo Ve­loce’s con­ven­tional Marzocchi forks and sachs shock. Chang­ing rid­ing mode au­to­mat­i­cally re­cal­i­brates the sus­pen­sion’s damp­ing to suit. there’s also the po­ten­tial to ad­just preload man­u­ally with a re­mote knob for the shock.

In­evitably, with so much travel, there was a cer­tain amount of pitch­ing

The Ve­loce is a strik­ing ma­chine that man­ages to look el­e­gant and in­tri­cately de­tailed

un­der hard brak­ing or ac­cel­er­a­tion. But the semi-ac­tive sys­tem worked very well to min­i­mize that, es­pe­cially in the stiffer sport set­ting, and the rest of the chas­sis helped make the MV feel both quick and con­trol­lable on a twisty road. pirelli’s scor­pion Trail tyres gave de­cent grip, there was plenty of ground clear­ance, and Brembo’s ra­dial calipers en­sured pow­er­ful stop­ping.

The Turismo Ve­loce makes a de­cent fist of its touring role, al­though it would prob­a­bly seem a bit cramped two-up and pos­si­bly slightly short on power. The wind­screen can be ad­justed eas­ily with one hand, but the 60-mm range wasn’t enough to pre­vent a fair bit of tur­bu­lence. I oc­ca­sion­ally strug­gled to read the TFT dis­play, which is at­trac­tive but slightly clut­tered.

on the plus side, the fuel tank’s 21.5-litre ca­pac­ity is suf­fi­cient for a re­spectable range (around 300 km for most rid­ers), the pil­lion gets sturdy grab-han­dles and use­ful fea­tures in­clude cen­tre-stand, UsB socket, and heated grips. Those shapely pan­niers can each hold a full-face hel­met de­spite keep­ing the bike’s rear end nar­rower than the han­dle­bars.

as be­fore, there’s plenty to like about MV’s sports-touring triple, which is stylish, quick, sweet-han­dling and re­spectably ver­sa­tile. Both ver­sions of the Turismo Ve­loce Lusso are also ex­pen­sive, al­though, with MV’s em­pha­sis back on ex­clu­siv­ity and low-vol­ume pro­duc­tion, that’s to be ex­pected.

The Lusso sCs model’s auto clutch adds a unique touch and is very promis­ing, but could use a touch more finetuning. as things stand, most rid­ers would have to do a lot of town rid­ing to jus­tify the pre­mium of around 10 per cent.

LED DRLs have a unique sig­na­ture

Pow­er­plant from the F3 sport­bike makes 110 PS in this state of tune

Dig­i­tal dash is de­tailed and eas­ily leg­i­ble

Seat has been de­signed for com­fort over long dis­tances

Tail-light is an ex­am­ple of Ital­ian de­sign flair

Spa­cious pan­niers can take a full-face

The trade­mark triple pipes have been re­designed for this model

Un­in­ter­rupted view of the rear wheel, cour­tesy the sin­gle-sided swingarm

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