The Performance Of A Literbike Without Being a Literbike

MV Agusta launched the F3 800 way back in ’13 for the ’14 model year, and apparently is happy with the result since it carries over straight into MY2018. The F3 800 stands with a foot in two worlds — literbikes and mid-displacement sportbikes— and at a glance it seems safe to say “mission accomplie.” A powerful triple delivers the goods with power figures that land near the top of the range for what is appropriate for “civilized” road use. The electronics suite is even more impressive than its hardware, and the whole package comes together to deliver the goods in a manageable manner with plenty to offer riders looking for a thrill but not wanting a full-on race machine or the leather-bound payment book that comes with one.

Continue reading for my review of the MV Agusta F3 800.

  • 2014 - 2018 MV Agusta F3 800
  • Year:
    2014- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Displacement:
    798 cc
  • Top Speed:
    150 mph
  • Price:
    € 17290
  • Price:

MV Agusta F3 800 Design

2014 - 2018 MV Agusta F3 800
- image 790524
The F3 800 has a swank and class all its own with a look that is sure to turn heads and put many current sportbikes to shame.

To be honest, the Meccanica Verghera Agusta has always put out attractive machines, but it lacks the pure sex-on-wheels we see from its main domestic competitor Ducati. That said, the F3 800 has a swank and class all its own with a look that is sure to turn heads and put many current sportbikes to shame. The curb appeal starts out with the superbike-like front end carrying a windtunnel-tested fairing that mounts the cyclops headlight in a diamond-shaped recess before opening up into a rather full cowling. Since the fairing actually extends forward quite a bit on each side, much of the suspension is obscured for an all-up-front visage. The look is accentuated by the lofted and tapered tail section that peters out to nothing over the aching void between the subframe and the rear wheel.

A nose-down/tail-up posture completes the race-tastic panache, and you can go ahead and pencil me in as a fan of the integrated turn-signal/mirror units; not only do they help keep the front end clean, but the elevation of the winkers themselves helps with visibility. Clip-on hand controls pull the rider forward with jockey pegs to tuck your heels up nice and tight enabling the most extreme body English, and a generous tank flange that pulls the knees in out of the slipstream and forms an anchor for same when you start hanging off the side of the ride.

The shallow seat pan rests your butt at 31.69 inches off the deck, and the narrow waist gives your thighs a break so you can flatfoot the thing with at least one foot at a time. A tapered tail section comes to its terminus at the taillight that rocks a heavily sculpted lens slung under the subframe for a super clean look that leaves the rear end looking naked as a jaybird, and that is reinforced by the inconspicuous hugger, snub-nose exhaust and single-side swingarm that leaves an unimpeded view of the rear wheel from the right side. Ya’ know, I’m fine admitting when I’m wrong, and after further consideration I realize that this MVA rocket isn’t any less sexy than a comparable Ducati, it’s just a different kind of sexy.

MV Agusta F3 800 Chassis

2014 - 2018 MV Agusta F3 800
- image 790520
Naturally, the anchors reflect the great potential of this machine, 'cause you need plenty of “stop” when you've got this much “go.”

ALS steel members make up the bones of the beast with aluminum sideplates that tie it all together at the midsection. The Trellis frame mounts a 22.69-inch, single-side swingarm with support from a coil-over piggyback Sachs shock that rocks a nitrogen reservoir as an anti-foaming measure and the full trinity of adjustments.

Marzocchi stems float the front end on 43 mm tubes that rock the same adjustable preload and compression/rebound damping values as the rear end for all-around tune-ability that lets you dial the ride right in. Cast wheels keep unsprung weight low with a 120/70 Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa up front, a 180/55 out back and a symmetrical, 17-inch diameter that places the contact-patch centers 54.33-inches apart.

Naturally, the anchors reflect the great potential of this machine, ’cause you need plenty of stop when you’ve got this much go. A pair of 320 mm discs work with dual, M4.34a, Brembo Monobloc calipers to control the front, and a twin-piston caliper and 220 mm disc hauls down the rear to help you keep it under control. ABS is handled by Bosch 9 Plus with Race Mode and RLM (Rear wheel Lift-up Mitigation).

Frame: ALS Steel tubular trellis
Rear swing arm pivot plates material: Aluminum alloy
Front Suspension/Fork Travel: 43 mm (1.69 in.) Marzocchi “UPSIDE DOWN” telescopic hydraulic fork with rebound-compression damping and spring preload external and separate adjustment/ 125 mm (4.92 in.)
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: Type Progressive Sachs, single shock absorber with rebound and compression damping and spring preload adjustment/123 mm (4.84 in.)
Trail: 99 mm (3.89 in.)
Single sided swing arm material: Aluminum alloy
Front brake: Double floating disc with Ø 320 mm (Ø 12.6 in.) diameter, with steel braking disc and flange
Front brake caliper: Brembo radial-type monobloc, with 4 pistons Ø 34 mm (Ø 1.34 in.)
Rear brake: Single steel disc with Ø 220 mm (Ø 8.66 in.) dia.
Rear brake caliper: Brembo with 2 pistons - Ø 34 mm (Ø 1.34 in.)
ABS System: Bosch 9 Plus with Race Mode and RLM (Rear wheel Lift-up Mitigation)
Front Wheel: Material/size Aluminum alloy 3.50 ” x 17 ”
Rear Wheel: Material/size Aluminum alloy 5.50 ” x 17 ”
Front Tire: 120/70 - ZR 17 M/C (58 W)
Rear Tire: 180/55 - ZR 17 M/C (73 W)

MV Agusta F3 800 Drivetrain

2014 - 2018 MV Agusta F3 800
- image 790516
Plenty enough power to drive the machine over 150 mph, though I'm sure individual results will vary based on weight, elevation and testicular fortitude.

Most of the magic resides within the F3’s beating heart; the inline triple that makes this ride punch above its weight, as it were. Bore and stroke measure out at 79 mm and 54.3 mm for a total displacement of 798 cc and sizzlin’ hot, 13.3-to-1 compression ratio that contributes to the stellar performance envelope the F3 800 brings to the table.

Dual over-head cams time the 12-valve head with ride-by-wire-controlled throttle bodies to manage the induction. The signal from the right grip washes through the MVICS and ECU features for seamless transitions and hiccup-free operation, and that input is further modified by a torque control feature that comes with three premade maps and a fourth that allows you to customize your power deliver to suit. A traction control feature rides along to ensure that you can safely get the most out of the mill with 8 levels of intervention that can catch the smallest slips to keep you safe, or at the very least, help protect you from yourself a little bit.

Additionally, there’s a slipper clutch between the engine and the six-speed transmixxer for yet another layer of safety gear, and MVA blesses it with its Electronically Assisted Shift feature that lets you quickly move up and down the range. Shaft power clocks in at 148 ponies at a screamin’ 13,000 rpm (yikes) and the torque maxes out with 64.9 pounds o’ grunt at 10,600 rpm; enough to drive the machine over 150 mph, though I’m sure individual results will vary based on weight, elevation and testicular fortitude.

Engine: Three cylinder, 4 stroke, 12 valve, “D.O.H.C” with mechanical chain tensioner
Displacement: 798 cc (48.7 cu. in.)
Compression ratio: 13.3:1
Starting: Electric
Bore x stroke: 79 mm x 54.3 mm (3.1 in. x 2.1 in.)
Max. power (at the crankshaft): 108 kW (148 hp) at 13.000 rpm
Max. torque: 88 Nm (64.9 lb-ft) at 10.600 rpm
Cooling system: Cooling with separated liquid and oil radiators
Engine management system: Integrated ignition - injection system MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) with six injectors Engine control unit Eldor EM2.0, throttle body full ride by wire Mikuni, pencil-coil with ion-sensing tech- nology, control of detonation and misfire Torque control with four maps, Traction Control with eight levels of intervention
Electronic quick shift: MV EAS 2.0 (Electronically Assisted Shift Up & Down)
Clutch: Wet, multi-disc slipper clutch
Transmission: Cassette style; six speed, constant mesh

MV Agusta F3 800 Pricing

2014 - 2018 MV Agusta F3 800
- image 790525
MSRP is high enough to act as a firewall to save the less skilled riders from themselves.

MV Agusta calls it 17,290€, but I see MSRP at dealers for $16,995. Considering the caliber of bike for the money, it’s not a bad deal. Color choices are Matt Metallic Black or two-tones Red/Ago Silver or Pearl Ice White/Matt Avio Grey.

Colors: Red/Ago Silver, Matt Metallic Black, Pearl Ice White/Matt Avio Grey.
Price: 17,290€

MV Agusta F3 800 Competitors

2014 - 2018 MV Agusta F3 800
- image 790531
2016 - 2018 Ducati Panigale 959
- image 790537
I never thought I'd see the day, but aesthetically, I think I prefer the MVA over the Ducati.

Yeah, the obvious competitor here would be something from Ducati or Aprilia, so I’m going to pull Duc’s Panigale 959 for my head-to-head here. The similarities in design are to be expected; there’s only so many ways you can effectively maximize efficiency.

Ducati splits the wind with a pair of headlights below a bubble screen and similarly integrated mirror/winker units, and I gotta’ say I think I prefer the monocle that MVA leads off with at the tip of the spear. The Panigale carries a bit more in the way of body paneling with a deeper cowl that leaves but a glimpse of the powerplant, but Duc doesn’t do itself any favors with that stick-on mudguard cluttering up the rear end. Heh, I never thought I’d see the day, but aesthetically, I think I prefer the MVA over the Ducati. Hello Hell? What’s the temperature there, please?

While MVA uses fairly standard, if advanced, unpinnings, Ducati takes it a step further with a stressed-skin monocoque system to provide the support and rigidity. Brembo wins out all around as Ducati favors the monobloc anchors as well, and both sport a stock ABS system for a bit of a wash in that department. A set of fully adjustable Showa Big Piston Forks float the front end, and again, as with the F3 800, Sachs provides a similarly adjustable unit to support the rear of the Panigale.

Ducati powers the Panigale with its Desmodromic Superquadro that packs away 955 cc inside its L-twin configuration for a bit of a displacement edge over the F3, but surprisingly, fails to convert that into much of an advantage. The Panigale claims a total of 150 ponies and 75 pound-feet of torque against 148/64.5, so in the end the two are quite closely matched. Ducati gains a slight edge in the fandanglery with an Engine Brake Control on top of all the goodies included with the F3, but it’s just that, a slight edge.

He Said

“Is it something in the water over there? Those Italians can sure build a bike while striking a balance between form and function. Do I like the F3 800? You betcha. Would I ride one? Only if they add a Noobie MacNewberson setting to the engine mapping, because this is a bike you had better respect, and I’m positive I don’t have the skillset for it.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “It’s actually got a nicer saddle than I thought it would and the pegs aren’t uncomfortable. If you dare to twist it all the way, it’ll pull all the way to the redline, which is quite exciting. This bike screams for a stretch of road and no one else in front.”

MV Agusta F3 800 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Three cylinder, 4 stroke, 12 valve
Timing system: “D.O.H.C” with mechanical chain tensioner
Total displacement: 798 cc (48.7 cu. in.)
Compression ratio: 13.3:1
Starting: Electric
Bore x stroke: 79 mm x 54.3 mm (3.1 in. x 2.1 in.)
Max. power- r.p.m. (at the crankshaft): 108 kW (148 hp) at 13.000 rpm
Max. torque – r.p.m.: 88 Nm (64.9 lb-ft) at 10.600 rpm
Cooling system: Cooling with separated liquid and oil radiators
Engine management system: Integrated ignition - injection system MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) with six injectors Engine control unit Eldor EM2.0, throttle body full ride by wire Mikuni, pencil-coil with ion-sensing technology, control of detonation and misfire Torque control with four maps, Traction Control with eight levels of intervention
Electronic quick shift: MV EAS 2.0 (Electronically Assisted Shift Up & Down)
Clutch: Wet, multi-disc slipper clutch
Transmission: Cassette style; six speed, constant mesh
Primary drive: 22/41
Final drive ratio: 17/43
Chassis:
Frame: ALS Steel tubular trellis
Rear swing arm pivot plates material: Aluminum alloy
Front Suspension/Fork Travel: 43 mm (1.69 in.) Marzocchi “UPSIDE DOWN” telescopic hydraulic fork with rebound-compression damping and spring preload external and separate adjustment/ 125 mm (4.92 in.)
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: Type Progressive Sachs, single shock absorber with rebound and compression damping and spring preload adjustment/123 mm (4.84 in.)
Trail: 99 mm (3.89 in.)
Single sided swing arm material: Aluminum alloy
Front brake: Double floating disc with Ø 320 mm (Ø 12.6 in.) diameter, with steel braking disc and flange
Front brake caliper: Brembo radial-type monobloc, with 4 pistons Ø 34 mm (Ø 1.34 in.)
Rear brake: Single steel disc with Ø 220 mm (Ø 8.66 in.) dia.
Rear brake caliper: Brembo with 2 pistons - Ø 34 mm (Ø 1.34 in.)
ABS System: Bosch 9 Plus with Race Mode and RLM (Rear wheel Lift-up Mitigation)
Front Wheel: Material/size Aluminum alloy 3.50 ” x 17 ”
Rear Wheel: Material/size Aluminum alloy 5.50 ” x 17 ”
Front Tire: 120/70 - ZR 17 M/C (58 W)
Rear Tire: 180/55 - ZR 17 M/C (73 W)
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 1380 mm (54.33 in.)
Overall length: 2060 mm (81.01 in.)
Overall width: 725 mm (28.54 in.)
Saddle height: 805 mm (31.69 in.)
Min. ground clearance: 125 mm (4.92 in.)
Dry weight: 173 kg (381.4 lbs.)
Fuel tank capacity: 16.5 l (4.36 U.S. gal.)
Maximum speed: 240.0 km/h (149.1 mph)
Combined fuel consumption: 6.4 l/100 km ( 36.8 mpg)
Electricals:
Voltage: 12 V
Alternator: 350 W at 5000 rpm
Battery: 12 V - 8.6 Ah
Details:
Fairing Material: Thermoplastic
Colors: Red/Ago Silver, Matt Metallic Black, Pearl Ice White/Matt Avio Grey.
Price: 17,290€

References

Ducati Panigale 959

2016 - 2018 Ducati Panigale 959
- image 790536

See our review of the Ducati Panigale 959.

no article
- image 790532

Read more MV Agusta news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: mvagusta.com, ducatiusa.com

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