MV Agusta Turismo Veloce SCS
Trailblazing technology. Yes. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should…
AWE, FRUSTRATION, AND stupefaction. Arriving at a considered opinion on the Turismo Veloce requires you to first experience these three emotions. First, awe. The Veloce is stuffed with kit but only weighs 192kg dry. Expect a centrestand, 21.5-litre fuel tank, two panniers and a cruise control system standard. Plus heated grips, semi-active electronic suspension, two-way quickshifter… all wrapped up in beautiful/horrible plastics. ‘Personally I love the looks,’ says Hugo. ‘I just don’t fancy cleaning it.’ Inspection reveals one DIN socket per seat, and a dual USB power socket. The kit inspection doesn’t stop there. If you manage to read all the way to the end of the MV’S long name, you’ll see three letters: SCS, or Smart Clutch System. Thanks to components from US company Rekluse, the MV’S clutch engages and disengages automatically with engine rpm. Wedges within a two-sided friction plate expand with the centrifugal force of increased engine rpm, forcing the plate to widen and engaging the clutch. As rpm decreases, the clutch disengages. Intrigued? MV let you marvel at the technology through a Perspex window in the clutch cover. So what’s it like to ride? Start the bike, tap into first and pull away all without touching the clutch lever. It’s a strange sensation, but one that you can override at any time. Twin it with MV’S two-way quickshifter and you effectively end up with semi-automatic transmission. Throttle response is smooth when the engine’s sat at mid-revs, but there is a minor lag to the input at low speeds. You feel it most negotiating roundabouts in second gear, but you could always feather the lever like you would on the Ducati or Yamaha. Given their history producing fast motorcycles, MV understandably present the clutch as a performance enhancement. From the initial twist of the grip, they claim you can clock 0-60mph in just 3.15 seconds. All controlled from a luxuriously soft seat. Stick the traction control near the top of its eight stages, and a full-throttle launch holds the front wheel off the ground as you frantically click into the next gear when needed. The power curve trails off nicely so it’s easy to learn when to click up. In second gear, for example, it’s all poke until 80mph, and you have extra to change up before head butting the limiter. Third sees you to 100mph, a speed you can waft along at. It’s much more comfortable on the Turismo Veloce than on Yamaha’s Tracer… Or a Brutale 800 or F3, for that matter. The TV shares its engine with these two other MV triples, but a different tune – cam timing and engine maps – makes thrust more accessible at sensible speeds. MV claim that 90% of total torque is available at 3000rpm. And it feels like it. The Turismo’s content to maraud through suburbia in a mix of second and third gears. High torque pulls the front off the ground exiting junctions, and we’re not even pushing past 6000rpm. Slow speed? The auto-clutch helps here too. Power delivery is so subtle that full-lock U-turns trailing the back brake are no sweat. Thrust is only added when you increase the twist of the throttle. Now for the frustration. It’s crammed with componentry, yes, but these parts don’t quite gel together. Case in point: the colour LCD display. Stuffed into this screen is a huge amount of information. There’s so much to show that the date and time replace each other on a three-second cycle. You need a fiveminute acclimatisation session before each ride. Squint, and you’ll find the screen resolution is poor compared with new TFT dashes from BMW, KTM and Yamaha. You can’t cycle through the screen’s many options, so navigating from far left to far right takes ten button presses. That’s a lot. Finish the pre-ride dashboard check, light up the triple from cold, and the spluttering engine sounds like a coughing fit. Wind the triple up to motorway speeds, press the cruise control button, and there’s a 50% chance nothing will happen. Stop at a red light in sixth gear (thanks Rekluse), and the gearbox is notchy enough to make clicking back to first a 20-second struggle. Load up with luggage and a pillion and you’ll have to manually adjust preload, despite the bike’s semi-active damping. Finally, the centrestand’s lug isn’t textured which means a wet boot slides off it. The stupefaction? That comes when you hear the price. £19,950. That’s £2000 more than a KTM Super Duke GT with panniers, adjustable traction control and 168bhp. Hugo’s gobsmacked: ‘You could buy two Tracer 900s for that price.’ Quite.
‘The Veloce is stuffed with kit and still only weighs 192kg dry’
busy dash and, unfortunately, not that bright
(Above) And through the Round Window is the Smart Clutch System (Below) Massively
Almost twice the bike the Tracer GT is? Absolutely not