MV Agusta Turismo Ve­loce SCS

Trail­blaz­ing tech­nol­ogy. Yes. But just be­cause you can doesn’t mean you should…

BIKE (UK) - - SPORTS TOURERS -

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

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