Steering, braking and overall stability are superb. There was never anything wrong with the F3 675’s solid handling and pin-sharp steering and the F3 800 is just as impressive. Think of it as a big ‘600’, not a small ‘1000’. The F3 800 is all about generating big corner speed, taking wide swooping lines through the corners and thrashing the bejesus out of the engine. It’s involving and easy to ride like a 600, with added speed and grunt, but won’t intimidate you like a 1000.
A new crankshaft with an 8.4mm longer stroke (up to 54.3mm) brings the liquid-cooled, three cylinder engine up to 798cc. It’s still a revvy beast despite its extra capacity and a 30bhp more midrange. The F3 800 is as easy and exhilarating to ride as a 600, but hasn’t so much power it’s a handful, like a 1000. The counter-rotating crank keeps the front nailed to the floor out of corners, even under hard acceleration, so the speed it delivers is deceptive. Better still, it has a soundtrack so good you’d download it from iTunes.
Finish quality and componentry is, as usual, sublime, but MV’s reliability has been iffy (although improved during the Harley years) and the F3’s are still too new to make a judgement on its record.
There are four owners' reviews on the MV Agusta F3 800 so far, and they're overwhelmingly positive, with the caveat that build quality isn't as good as some rival products. This shouldn't stop you trying one out, though.
Eleven and a half grand is a lot of moolah by anyone’s standards but compares better to its rivals (Suzuki’s GSX-R750 is, as I write, £9899, Ducati’s 848 Evo £11,130) than its four-cylinder F4 sibling while it’s just as exotic and it’s performance even more competitive.
Insurance group: 16 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
The 800 runs an updated ride-by-wire system and the same electronic rider aid package, which includes four riding modes (Sport, Normal, Rain and Custom), eight stage traction control and an optional quickshifter. Marzocchi forks and Sachs shock are the same as the F3 675 with revised spring and damping rates to suit the 800’s power characteristics. The 800 uses higher spec Brembo monobloc calipers to the 675 for improved braking feel and power at higher speeds and MV’s optional quickshifter is also impressive.