There are a lot of bikes out there perfectly suited for entry-level and casual riders. The 2016 F4 RR from MV Agusta is not one of them. If you are new to two wheels or you don’t have mad riding skills, disabuse yourself right now of the idea of cutting your teeth on this bike. If you are an experienced rider, this machine is a heckuva lot of fun; it’s a race bike disguised as a street bike.

Technology abounds with a plethora of alphabet-soup acronyms that boil down to a lot of electronic controls that bridle the scary power of the F4 RR. (You may not be scared, but someone who loves you will be terrified.) Among them are eight-level traction control, electronically-assisted shift and ABS along with ride-by-wire and four engine maps that control throttle sensitivity, torque, braking, the rev limiter and engine response so you can dial in the controls specifically to suit you and your riding conditions.

Continue reading for my review of the 2016 MV Agusta F4 RR.

  • 2016 MV Agusta F4 RR
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Displacement:
    998 L
  • Top Speed:
    185 mph
  • Price:
    26498

Design

2016 MV Agusta F4 RR
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The F4 RR combines looks and performance right down to the details. Take, for example, the front headlight. The headlight, flanked by marker lights molded into the fairing, creates a sleek, uninterrupted aerodynamic line as well as enhances visibility.

That same attention to form and function is evident on the backend — the end you’ll see most of the time unless you are riding it — where the integrated marker lights molded into the rear panel both enhance visibility of the tailight and keep the bodylines streamlined for airflow.

Continuing the sleek design, the four-tailpipe exhaust system looks like a weapon pod tucked under the subframe and doubles as a mudguard in the absence of a rear fender. This baby looks like a superbike even before it starts moving. And once you do start moving, top speed is 185 mph. Yeah, stupidfast.

Chassis

2016 MV Agusta F4 RR
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The factory started with its proven F4 frame and tweaked it to further reduce overall weight. While the frame is made from chrome-molybdenum steel tubing, lightweight cast-aluminum cheekplates serve to close the rear of the frame and mount the single-sided swingarm for a strong, but light, composite trellis structure. One of the benefits of this system is that it allows you to adjust the swingarm pivot height so you can dial in the exact frame geometry you’re looking for.

Suspension components on the non-RR F4 are top-shelf items from names such as Marzocchi and Sachs, but the “RR” takes it to a whole new level with an electronically-adjusted Öhlins monoshock and 43 mm, inverted front forks. Components on both ends come with manual, spring-preload adjusters and 4.7 inches of wheel travel, and that’s not all – an electronic interface allows you to choose between preset compression and rebound maps. These maps come bound to the Motor and Vehicle Integrated Control System (MVICS), but you have the option of changing the suspension map independently in response to changing driving conditions. The steering damper can also be manually adjusted, or left on automatic to adjust steering stiffness electronically based on bike speed.

Super-fast bikes need crazy-strong brakes, and the F4 RR brakes are about as strong as they get. The front gets dual, 320 mm floating discs with Brembo, monoblock, four-pot calipers driven by a radial pump at the hand lever. A 210 mm rear disc and four-pot Nissin caliper bind the rear wheel. Much like the suspension and engine, the brakes come with electronic augmentation as well. A Bosch 9-Plus ABS complete with a “race mode” and rear-wheel lift-up mitigation (RLM) to keep things smooth during aggressive downshifts.

Drivetrain

2016 MV Agusta F4 RR
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Some of the features on this engine are nothing short of incredible for a production motorcycle. The 998 cc, four-cylinder mill comes with billet pistons and titanium connecting rods on a short 50.9 mm throw for reduced reciprocating mass, and a top end of 14,000 rpm. This helps it produce a staggering 200.8 horsepower at 13,600 rpm, but torque suffers a bit because of the short stroke, and is limited to 81.8 pound-feet at 9,600 rpm. An engine-coolant radiator gets some help from a separate oil cooler to manage the wicked heat generated by all those ponies. The intake is special, too. It comes with a variable-length intake tract Torque Shift System (TSS) that draws through 50 mm, Mikuni throttle bodies tucked away under what would normally be the fuel tank bump.

The smorgasbord of electronics continues into the engine, with an Eldor EM2.0 engine management system on board to manage engine braking, throttle response, throttle sensitivity, torque and speed limiter for complete control over the ride-by-wire control system. You can use one of the three map presets set for Normal, Sport or Rain, and use the fourth map to make an engine map all your own. A series of gyros and accelerometers monitors the bike, and sends data to the MVICS that helps to prevent loss of traction due to overacceleration. In short, you have gobs of power, and the technology with which to control it.

The six-speed gearbox wraps up the drivetrain with bells and whistles all its own. A back-torque limiter moderates torque feedback through the drivetrain during downshifts, and an Electronically Assisted Shift (EAS) ensures smooth shifts, even with less-than-smooth technique. The clutch — actuated by a Brembo radial pump — gives you low-resistance control at the hand lever.

Pricing

2016 MV Agusta F4 RR
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MSRP on the 2016 MV Agusta F4 RR is $26,498. Your color choices are White Ice Pearl and Metal Black Carbon or Avio Grey and Black Carbon.

Competitors

2016 MV Agusta F4 RR
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2016 MV Agusta F4 RR
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In looking for a competitor for the F4 RR, to keep apples to apples, I feel like the only way to go is with another Italian-made bike. The RSV4 RR from Aprilia is another race bike in street bike’s clothing, and like a thoroughbred racehorse, quivers with pent-up energy when standing still.

Engine specs and output numbers are remarkably similar, with only one cc difference in displacement and identical horsepower output at 201 ponies. Torque is nearly as close, with the Agusta putting out 81.86 pound-feet against 84.81 from the Aprilia. That shouldn’t be surprising given that both are running short-stroke four bangers.

Both rides enjoy significant electronic-control devices that give the rider control over the various subsystems, though the priorities shift a bit between the two. Traction control and ABS is fairly similar across the board, but while the RSV4 engine controls concentrate on moonshot prevention and race-launches, the F4RR comes with electronically-adjusted
Öhlins suspension components that allow the rider to quickly switch between preset compression and rebound maps for on-the-fly adjustments. Not much to choose between the two here; it mainly depends on your priorities and intended use. The sticker may be a deciding factor, however, with the RSV4 RR coming in at $16,499 compared to the F4 RR at $26,498.

He Said

My husband and fellow writer, TJ Hinton, says, “Incredible machine, no doubt about it. Once again, MV Agusta impresses not only with its typical European superbike looks, but also in performance and electronics as well. As cool as it is, and in spite of the ability to limit engine output, this is absolutely not a beginner’s bike – closer to the truth to call it a stupidfast bike – and it should be left to professionals, and riders with lots of salt in their leathers.”

She Said

"Three things I really like about the Italians: their passionate romance, their food, and they know how to build an awesome motorcycle. The F4s were kinda doggy until 2013 when MV Agusta redesigned some hardware components, but more importantly, they released a software update. With new mapping on things like traction control and fuel injection, the F4s went from coal to diamonds with better throttle response and overall better performance. If you checked out an F4 or an F4 RR early in 2013 — before the mid-year software update — or prior, do yourself a favor and take another look. Some folks might make an argument for the Japanese superbikes, but those cookie-cutter bikes don’t have the sexy good-looks and the ability to turn heads like the F4 and F4 RR."

Drivetrain:
Engine: Four cylinder, Four-stroke, 16 valve
Total displacement: 998 cc
Bore: 79 mm
Stroke: 50.9 mm
Compression ratio: 13.4 to 1
Timing system: DOHC radial valve
Starting: Electric
Maximum. Power: 201 horsepower at 13,600 rpm
Maximum Torque: 82 Pound-Feet at 9,600 rpm
Cooling system: Cooling with separated liquid and oil radiators
Engine management system: Integrated ignition - injection system MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) with eight injectors Engine control unit Eldor EM2.0, throttle body full drive 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 with lean angle sensor - TSS Torque Shift System employing variable length intake runners Electronic quick-shift MV EAS (Electronically Assisted Shift)
Clutch: Wet, multi-disc with back torque limiting device and Brembo radial pump/lever assembly
Transmission: Cassette style; six speed, constant mesh
Primary drive : 48/82
Gear ratio: 14/37, 16/33, 18/31, 20/30, 22/29, 21/25
Final drive ratio: 15/41
Voltage: 12 V
Alternator: 350 W at 5,000 rpm
Battery: 12 V - 8.6 Ah
Chassis:
Frame: CrMo Steel tubular trellis Rear swing arm pivot plates material Aluminum alloy - Adjustable swingarm pivot height
Front Suspension: 43 mm Öhlins EC Nix hydraulic “Upside down” front forks with TiN superficial treatment. Completely adjustable electronically controlled compression and rebound damping with manual, spring preload
Front travel: 4.72 inches
Rear Suspension: Progressive, single shock absorber Öhlins TTX. Fully adjustable hydraulic electronically controlled compression and rebound damping with manual, spring preload
Single sided swing arm material: Aluminum alloy
Rear Travel: 4.72 inches
Front Brake: Double floating disc with 320 mm, with steel braking disc and aluminum flange Brembo radial pump/level assembly
Front brake caliper: Brembo GP radial-type, single-piece with four 30 mm pistons
Rear brake: Single steel disc 210 mm
Rear brake caliper: Nissin with 4 pistons - 25.4 mm
ABS System: Bosch 9 Plus with Race Mode and RLM (Rear wheel Lift-up Mitigation)
Front Wheel: Forged aluminum alloy 3,50 x 17 inches
Rear Wheel: Forged aluminum alloy 6,00 x 17 inches
Front Tire: 120/70 - ZR 17 M/C (58 W)
Rear Tire: 200/55 - ZR 17 M/C (78 W)
Trail: 3.93 inches
Fairing Material: Thermoplastic
Steering damper: Öhlins EC with electronic manual and automatic adjustment modes
Dimensions:
Wheelbase: 56.27 inches
Overall length: 83.30 inches
Overall width: 29.51 inches
Saddle height: 32.68 inches
Ground clearance: 4.52 inches
Details:
Dry weight: 418.9 Pounds
Fuel tank capacity: 4.49 Gallons
Maximum speed: 184.9 mph
Rider’s footpegs: Adjustable height
Colors: White ice Pearl/Metal Black Carbon, Avio Grey/Black Carbon
Price: $26,498
What do you think?
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