When we talk about Italian sports bike we think about power, speed and beauty. But also a lot of “ifs” and “buts” cross our mind when we compare them to the Japanese sports bike, for example Suzuki or Honda models. If back in the ‘70s there was nothing on the road to compare with the Ducati 750SS, in the ‘90s the Italian sports back were long behind the Japanese motorcycle. But this was about to change when in 1997 MV Agusta launched the F4S at the Milan show.
It was supposed to be a come back for the Italian motorcycles, but when it was put into tests on roads, people discovered it wasn’t powerful enough compared to a Suzuki GSX-R750 and more, it was heavier. This all was about to change when MV Agusta launched the F4 1000 S. With an output of 166 hp and a weight of 423.3 lbs the new F4 was finally what the Italian designers wanted a F4 to be: a real competitor for the Japanese sports bikes.
MV Agusta launched the F4 range in 1997. The model was created by famous motorcycle designer Massimo Tamburini. The new F4 models is an unique model due to its four pipe undertail exhaust, single-sided swingarm, large front forks (49 or 50 mm diameter) and traditional MV Agusta red and silver livery.
The first model was the F4 750 Oro powered by a liquid cooled inline four cylinder engine with an output of 126 hp. It was limited to only 300 units. The next one was the F4 750S launched in 1999. It was basically the same model as the 750 Or with the only difference being its aluminium pieces. In 2002 MV Agusta launched the F4 750 Senna that had an output of 136 hp. In 2004 were launched the 750 SPR and SR, the last models powered by a 749.5 cc engine.
The first model with a 998.00 cc engine was the F4 1000 S (the first from the F4 1000 series) launched in 2005.
Priced at $21.795, the F4 1000 S is a legend dedicated to motorcycle style and technology. It is the symbol of beauty on two wheels and reflects the inspiration and understanding that has enlivened its designers in defining this motorcycle cult object. It is a design and technology specimen in constant evolution; reaching, with the new F4 1000S, its synthesis of performance and emotional limits.
The star of this new machine is the new powerplant able to express a domineering 166 horsepower strength. A strength that permits the F4 1000S to cleave the air and reach a speed that opens doors to a new legend: that of the most beautiful and fastest motorcycle in the world.
When designing the F4 1000 S, Massimo Tamburini (also designer of many Ducati and Bimota) wanted to build a sexy bike with aerodynamic, swept-back styling that just hankers to slice through the air at megaspeeds.
The F4 1000 S is the symbol of the beauty on two wheels and reflects the inspiration and understanding that has enlivened its designers in defining this motorcycle cult object. The 1000 S is a design and technology specimen in constant evolution that synthesized the performance and the emotional limits. In this latter version, named 1+1, the passenger seat was obtained with the intention of maintaining unaltered the stylistical flow of the spectacular arrow type tailend.
The F4 1000S is distinguished from its less cylinder capacity sister by the introduction of new racing colours that enhance the elegance of the F4 1000S’s volumes. This is on a silver base in contrast with the new blue also extended to the saddle. For traditionalists, the classic red-silver racing colours are still available.
The F4 1000S is also different from the 750cc version for the following aesthetic details:
New logo 37 MV Agusta world champion on the airbox back.
Tank guard with F4 1000 logo
Instruments with tachometer on a white background and F4 1000 logo
The chassis of the new F4 1000 S traces the existing lines of the 750cc version and is still the only production four-cylinder to be made with a precision TIG welded chromium molybdenum steel tube girder structure. An advantageous solution in terms of cross compactness, mechanical accessibility and torsional rigidity, it is entirely built in the MV Agusta factory in Morazzone.
The main structure is joined to the swingarm pivot plates where both the rear suspension rocker arm and subframe are connected. A great style sensation, the sculpture that is the single-sided swingarm has become a demonstration of the creativity and skill of CRC technicians for conceptual rationality and beauty.
MV Agusta F4 1000S
The chassis section communes with high level suspensions. The rear Sachs Racing shock absorber equipped with both dual compression calibration (high- and low- speed) and hydraulic control of the pre-load spring is new. The forecarrige is distinguished from the 750S version by the Marzocchi fork with 50 mm shafts, the largest ever in standard production.
The F4 1000S and 1+1, like its smaller displacement sister, is equipped with an Ohlins steering damper positioned crosswise to the driving direction. This unit is anchored to the chassis on both ends in order to be able to work symmetrically. Especially seductive are the triple clamps; the upper one has a prismatic diamond form while the lower one has a bridge-like frontal appearance that improves the air flow to the radiator.
The front braking system is made up of two exclusive "Nissin F4" 6 piston calipers (with differentiated diameters) that work on 310mm diameter disks. On the F4 1000S and 1+1, these units are made with aluminium instead of steel carriers. The rear brake is also a Nissin F4 unit, equipped with a 4 piston caliper that works on a 210mm diameter disk.
The front Nissin clutch and brake controls boast patented lowered position reservoir tanks in order to obtain a complete view of the instrument panel, the latter also equipped with a watch function. The splendid star design that characterises the 17 inch wheels of the F4 1000S and 1+1 are shod with the new Michelin Pilot Power or Dunlop D208 and Metzeller Sportec M1 are the same. The front tyre size is 120/65 and rear 190/50 or 180/55.
The new 998cc engine, initially baptized with the name F5, was born in 2001. While still tracing what was conceptually proposed in the 750 EV configuration, the new engine was subject to a series of important innovations derived directly from Endurance races with Steven Casaer’s Maxim team. In two years of work the Belgian rider put in countless miles obtaining encouraging results in racing terms but especially providing precious data for the evolution of the new engine.
The Belgian rider’s indications were then compared with Andrea Mazzali’s, Italian rider who is currently racing in the SBK national championships with a F4 equipped with a 1000cc engine. Technically the engine owes its cylinder capacity growth to bore increase, taken from 73,8 mm to 76mm and to the increase in stroke, moving from 43,8 mm to 55 mm. Despite the increase in cylinder capacity the 1000 engine is lighter than the 750EV engine by 5.8lbs. The weight savings was obtained by integrally redesigning the main mechanical parts, with special attention to the reciprocating mass, as can be seen in the enclosed table.
From the pure performance standpoint, the new MV Agusta engine is destined to become a new reference point for power and torque. The new four cylinder motor from Schiranna is able to produce a maximum power output of 166hp measured at the crankshaft @ 11,700 rpm, with a rev limit of 12,700rpm. Torque output reaches 80.32ft-lbs @ 10,200 rpm. The increase in cylinder capacity enhanced the efficiency of the exclusive distribution system with radial positioned valves, or non-parallel but effective for a 4 degree overall angle (2° per valve). The 1000 engine is also equipped with refined removable cassette gearbox derived from the glorious GP Cagiva racing machines.
The new engine differs from the 750EV unit by the introduction of the EBS (Engine Brake System) an innovative system that does not work on the clutch but directly on the intake system in order to reduce the engine braking. The system takes advantage of a valve positioned on the cylinder #2 exhaust pipe found downstream of the intake. This device permits the #2 cylinder to distribute torque in the detached phase (or when the throttle bodies are closed) through a totally electronic control system. Observing the table (right), the advantage in terms of high and medium rpm engine brake reduction appear evident.
The F4 1000 engine, in addition to being high-performance, is also in line with the most recent pollution standards thanks to a catalyser housed in a new exhaust commutator that flows in the celebrated "pipe organ" mufflers.
Of course that before you have the chances to ride this bike you are amazed by its beauty and its perfect lines. After eight years of honored career, its design “master” has given shape to a sexy bike with aerodynamic, swept-back styling that just made it worthy of its name of super sports bike.
Compared to the F4 750’s engine, the one for the 1000 S is increased with 32 percent. This means more power (166 hp instead of the first 126 or the latest 136hp) and nearly 50 percent more torque. Bore and stroke for the new motor measure 76 x 55mm vs. the 750 engine’s 73.8 x 43.8mm numbers.
All this makes the F4 1000 S to be extremely fast. With its beefy 50mm Marzocchi forks and Sachs shock the F4 tracks as true a line as any train. On the real-world road use you’ll find yourself short-shifting at around 10,000 rpm - which is where peak torque is delivered. And while you’re reading this paragraph you will find yourself driving with 180 mph.
The F4 1000 S is the proof that MV Agusta really deserves its name of Ferrari of bikes. The F4 1000 S and comes at a sizeable premium over Yamaha’s R1, Suzuki’s GSX 1000, Honda’s 1000 Fireblade and Kawasaki’s ZX-10, all of which retail for around R120 000.
MV Agusta F4 1000S
Type Four cylinder, 4 stroke, 16 valve
Timing system “D.O.H.C”, radial valve
Total displacement 60.8 cu. in.
Compression ratio 13:1
Bore x stroke 3.0 in. x 2.2 in.
Max. horse power - r.p.m. (at the crankshaft) 122 Kw (166 HP) at 11750 - Lim. 12700 r.p.m.