MV-AGUSTA F4 1000 (2004 - 2012) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The MV Agusta F41000S blends a monster engine, God-given handling and heart-aching beauty to be possibly one of the most desirable two-wheeled creations of all time. Only its high price, discomfort and lack of convincing reliability prevent it taking full marks.
In September 2003 MV launched the F4 1000 Tamburini costing £29,000.
The 300-bike limited edition was far more than just a special with a bit of new bodywork. MV raised the peak power, reduced the weight and added a new fuel injection system - the most advanced system to be used on a bike so far. It takes its inspiration from Formula One cars, using variable inlet tracks on each cylinder to increase power throughout the rev range, helping it to its top speed of 190mph.
The bike also got lightweight Marchesini wheels, handmade carbon-fibre body panels, magnesium alloy swingarm and pivot, a Sachs rear shock, Showa forks and six-pot Nissin brakes.
In November 2006 MV Agusta launched the most radical version of the F4 yet with the incredible, limited edition F4 CC.
The bike was named after the MV boss and bike designer, Claudio Castiglioni, and sold for an incredible 100,000 euro (£67,450).
The CC was very different from the existing F4 with massive changes in the engine which helped to give the bike 195bhp and a speed electronically limited to 195mph.
Only 100 bikes were made and each came with Trussardi leather jacket and £15,000 Girard Perregaux watch made exclusively for MV.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
With the MV Agusta F41000S's beefy 50mm Marzocchi forks and Sachs shock (fully adjustable of course and the shock comes with high and low-speed compression damping for added finessing) the F4 tracks as true a line as any train. It will lean for Italy, with only your courage and ability the true limiting factors. The six-piston Nissin brakes aren’t radial, but they’re brilliant.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The MV Agusta F41000S's fuelling isn’t perfect at the bottom end, with a fluffy response that needs to be balanced with more gas and the heavy clutch around town. On the open road nothing short of a six-figure supercar or the Red Arrows will even come close. Think on this - it’ll hit 184 miles an hour in the time it takes to read this paragraph.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The MV Agusta F41000S's componentry is top draw stuff, but the build standards remains somewhat suspect, despite new quality controls brought in by Proton, the Malaysian car giant. Keep it well away from salty roads and preferably rain, too.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Lined-up against Suzuki’s equally fast and much, much cheaper GSX-R1000 K5/K6 and the MV Agusta F41000S seems like poor value. It redeems itself with a desirability the Japanese bike can never meet and it will hold its value better. But if you can afford an F4 you’re not really going to be worrying about that too much, are you?
Build quality and reliability seem to have improved over the years, as our MV Agusta owners' reviews show.
Should Sir or Madam MV Agusta F41000S owner’s pockets be deep enough there are race exhausts, MV leathers, carbon-fibre bodywork, covers and even (shudder) luggage available from the factory. An Ohlins steering damper is standard.
|Engine type||16v in-line four, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||21 litres|
|Front suspension||Preload, rebound, compression|
|Rear suspension||Preload, rebound, high and low speed compression|
|Front brake||Twin 310mm discs|
|Rear brake||210mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/65 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||40 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£250|
|Used price||£8,000 - £8,500|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||155 bhp|
|Max torque||76 ft-lb|
|Top speed||184 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11.4 secs|
|Tank range||180 miles|
Model history & versions
October 1999: MV Agusta F4 750S introduced. Designed by the legendary Massimo Tamburini, of Ducati 916 fame, it boasts a 750cc engine.
2004: MV launch the F41000S and sell it alongside the 750.
MV Agusta F4 1000S Tamburini: Named after the bike’s designer the Tamburini differs from stock with carbon-fibre bodywork, optional race exhaust and special engine internals that lift power to 170bhp and top speed to 190mph. Very special.
MV Agusta F4 1000R: The new-for-2006 bike gets radial Brembo brakes and some engine modifications to give 166bhp.
Owners' reviews for the MV-AGUSTA F4 1000 (2004 - 2012)
7 owners have reviewed their MV-AGUSTA F4 1000 (2004 - 2012) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
A real joy to own! The engine is super smooth and powerful all through the rev range, the sound is excellent (but still a bit quiet for my taste), the handling is super steady and stable but somehow still fairly flickable, and the brakes are good too. But above all, it's beautiful. Amazing design and amazing details all over the bike.
Great handling, ride quality is good - the forks give the best feeling of any bike I've ridden. Brakes work well enough too but modern bikes do have better brakes.
Heaps of power, super smooth and lovely sound. My bike has the famous RG3 Arrow exhausts and to be honest I hoped there would be more sound, there's only just enough. This bike doesn't seem to gulp the fuel either, which was a nice surprise. This bike has some kind of engine braking management system which takes a little to get used to but does make a lovely noise as it does its thing.
These bikes are typically very reliable, but you'll need deep pockets if they do brake. Parts cost a fortune, and many mechanics aren't all that interested in working on them, even though they're fairly simple machines and you don't really need much specialist knowledge.
Great value for money because (fingers crossed) they should hold their value fairly well now.
Brilliant forks, underseat organ pipe exhaust, beautiful single sided swingarm, unique star pattern wheels, steel and alloy plate frame, and gorgeous parts and details everywhere you look. The shape around the nose area and headlight is probably my favourite view of the bike. The clocks are fairly comprehensive for its day with lap timer and two trip meters, but that's about all you'd expect from something like this in the early 00s!
Version: F4 1000s with R forks and brakes.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Difficult to rate overall if best and worst taken in conjunction rather than separately. However 5 out 5 for achieving an ownership dream, outrageous performance, speaking as a 66 year old, fabulous quality build, great handling, looks to die for. Bloody uncomfortable though and a scorching bum after 20minutes and an extremely hot running engine, but what a bike, you'll need a season ticket at your chiropractors but what the hell you're only 'young' once, I really must change it back from rearsets to standard!!
The bike is at its best, where it was clearly intended to be ridden, on fast undulating A and B roads, an absolute nightmare in town but it was never intended to be anything else. Numb knees and a super heated bum after half an hour, perhaps down to 66 years and rearsets, but I can manage an hour. Its a mono posto so no pillions, why would you want to!!!
Outrageous and addictive power delivery, I also ride a BMW R1100s boxer Cup and an Nc30, so not a lot to compare really. Does run quite hot though, but I find it reasonably torquey low down, but once up around the 7000 rpm mark it's fantastic.
Very well built in my view, no problems in 3years, some stories about regarding certain unreliability but I've never encountered any. The bike has done 23000 miles.
That's parts, oils etc. as I do my own maintenance in the main.
My favourite features are the performance, brakes (although non standard) appearance and exclusivity. I wouldn't recommend fitting panniers but a venturer rack and tail pack and small tank bag is fine. With regard to tyres I run Pirelli Diablos, good grip and fair longevity. Can't comment on any bad tyres as I've only run these.
Buying experience: I bought the bike privately and paid £4600.From memory the asking price was £4950.
Version: F4 1000 312R
Love the looks, the engine, the sound and the way it makes me feel when I ride it. It is one of 4 streetbikes that I own and it is special.
Suprisingly torquey and the noise is intoxicating. I find myself accelerating/changing gears just to hear it.
It is beautiful. Sometimes I just stand in the garage looking at it. Some quality issues are a disappointment but nothing that can't be sorted..
Buying experience: private sale
Annual servicing cost: £350
Steering is smooth, but you need to work it a bit yourself on winding dikes like in Holland . Engine is great, sound is sensational as soon as you rev it. On the Assen track it`s a fantastic ride, high speed stability is perfect. Worst: 2500 km further and 6 months, gas-leakkage because of a broken inlet rubber. Components supplie from Italy could improve, it took 6 weeks in total.
The MV is a track-oriented bike, i like that because i make short rides or track days.
Power delivery is nice, it`s got a smooth release, of course because of the traction control also.
gas-leakkage because of a broken inlet rubber. Components supplie from Italy could improve, it took 6 weeks in total (incl. repair). It`s a beautiful built machine, the first owner even spent some money on some carbon-fiber parts, hugger, front fender, protection near the foot pegs. Detail is gorgeous, you can watch for hours and still see new details.
not known yet, estimation. servicing at 6000 and 15000. fuel economy is average, but acceptable.
Very good built, with lots of detail. Finish is excellent. The carbonfibre hugger/front fender are really good-looking. If any money left (right) ......
Buying experience: Dealer, price was 13950, i paid 13250. Bike had ran 6000 km, excellent condition, some extras like carbon, solo-seat, original parts also. Tires 50 %.
Version: 2010 F4
Overall - Extremely entertaining to ride in comparison to Japanese 1000's. The bike gets lots of attention and is a very capable performer all round. Feels more track orientated than other bikes and becomes uncomfortable on rides over 1.5 hours but isn't too stiff as it still handles on bumpy UK roads great. For shorter blasts I don't have any problem with the ergonomics or comfort and wouldn't change a thing as this bike is designed to be sporty.
Ride quality is very good considering the bike is clearly more track orientated than its competitors set-up wise. The bike is stiff in general but the suspension and braking components can't be faulted. The brakes are by far the best on any bike I've ridden, you will never need more than 2 fingers on the lever and 95% of the time one finger is enough. Also, the bike is very spacious, I'm 6'2" and my bike has rear sets which lower the pegs - with this modification I find the bike comfier than most others ergonomically. The bike is tall but this suits me. The bars are fairly low but this is to be expected from a sporty bike and feels perfect on anything under 1+ hour rides.
Feels the fastest bike I've ever ridden. Lots of power all the way through the rev range and surprisingly torquey too. The throttle is very smooth and predictable all the way from idle to red line. It took me a few rides to really open it up as the power at high revs is almost frightening until you get used to it. The exhaust note is very nice for a factory fitted system. Also the gearbox and clutch feels perfect.
So far I've not had any faults with my bike, although I had to install a new battery recently which was much harder than it should have been. This was due to the recall on the subframe which placed a large bracket in the way of the battery. It took about an hour of fairly fiddly work to replace the battery which should really only take 10 minutes at most. Besides this problem I think the engineering on the bike looks generally well thought out, also the components are all very high quality and the general fit and finish of metals and paint looks superior to Japanese bikes.
My bike hasn't been in for a service yet, but I think the purchase price is reasonable when you consider that these bikes hold their resale value very well, and to me they are much more interesting than Japanese equivalent while still maintaining exceptional performance and reliability. I had to score slightly low in this department as fuel economy isn't the best and things like tyres, brake pads etc. on this class of bike are never going to be cheap.
Seems to have a lot of equipment for a sports bike, everything you'd expect with the exception perhaps of ABS brakes which would be comforting when riding in wet weather. The traction control and other features seem to work faultlessly and I really like the clear and large digital display. There are also many small details such as the Mv Agusta specific Nissin master cylinder reservoirs and other such details that make the bike feel very special. This bike doesn't feel like is has had any corners cut during design and build.
Buying experience: I bought my 2010 MV F4 for £8,000 privately with around 6,000 miles on the clock. This included a few carbon fibre parts, double bubble screen, and some rearsets that the previous owner had added. As well as all original parts included and service history.
Always had jap superbikes. Actually has a Concours 14 right now and that really is an outstanding bike. This bike however, is really a class above in sexiness, coolness but suffers from reliability and the niggling pains like reserve lamp not on, is a pain which jap reliability seems to always outshine the italians. But engines wise n handling is a class act. Go buy one
The F4 1000s is not in reality any better to ride than any of the leading Japanese 1000cc machines but where it scores is the quality of finish, the engineering detail and the sheer beauty of its design.