MV-AGUSTA F4 1000 (2013 - 2019) Review

Highlights

  • Stunning to look at
  • Exciting to ride
  • Fantastic engine note

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £400
Power: 195 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.7 in / 830 mm)
Weight: Medium (421 lbs / 191 kg)

Prices

New N/A
Used £12,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The MV Agusta F4 1000 is the top-of-the-range four-cylinder superbike offering from revived Italian exotica specialists.

It was first introduced as a 750 in 1999 after being designed by the legendary Massimo Tamburini (who famously also designed the Ducati 916) when the historic brand was revived by ex-Ducati owner Claudio Castiglioni.

Although winning plaudits for its gorgeous styling, exquisite specification and thrilling, howling performance, it was also heavy, slightly down on power, cramped and unrefined and expensive compared to the best from Japan and elsewhere.

It was enlarged into a 1000cc machine in 2004 which improved things but, although still alluringly tempting, it was never a mass market success, although a series of even more exotic limited editions maintained its poster bike appeal. A further major update came in 2010.

Never quite competitive with the best from Japan (and even Italian rivals Ducati) in terms of sheer performance, refinement and sophistication and also characterised by raw, uncompromising exhilaration it nevertheless remains a dream ‘poster bike’ and has been revised repeatedly since.

With its new short-stroke engine, ride-by-wire throttle, frame and a host of clever electronic upgrades, the 2013 update was the MV Agusta F4 1000’s biggest overhaul since it changed back to a litre-bike from 1078cc in 2010.

The F4 1000 carves through corners with the minimal effort of a well set-up race bike and has been a fixture on race circuits since it was introduced, both as a trackday weapon and in many race series.

But while it handles superbly and dishes up searing acceleration and mind-jangling top speed, the power delivery has too many flat spots and the throttle connection isn’t as predictable as its rivals.

Will there be a new MV Agusta F4 1000?

MCN have been told by MV Agusta CEO Timur Sardarov that we shouldn't expect a new F4 1000 model from MV for "at least another five years" in this interview from June 2020.

MV Augsta F4 video review by Michael Neeves

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Among the updates for this version, the F4 1000 gained bigger ride-by-wire throttle bodies which in turn meant that its tubular steel trellis frame had to be made wider to accommodate them.

At the same time it gained new, lighter cast aluminium wheels (which are even lighter forged alloy on the F4R and F4RR versions) are now shod with Pirelli’s latest 200-section Diablo Super Corsa SP tyres, all of which helps improve handling.

As a result this latest MV Agusta F4 1000 steers and grips like a racer – it’s a piece of cake to place wherever you want to on a track, regardless of your speed.

In addition, its ride quality is superb (and even plusher on the Ohlins-suspended RR version), its top-notch Brembo brakes with big discs and radial four-piston calipers are powerful and full of feel and the bars are nicely spaced out (but are too narrow on the RR version).

Overall, the latest F4 1000 carves through corners with the minimal effort of a well set-up race bike and it’s no surprise that it’s been a fixture on race circuits since it was introduced, both as a track day weapon and even as a racer in many race series.

But the F4 1000’s riding position is still very cramped and you can really feel the MV’s still slightly porky 191kg dry weight when you’re braking for tight corners from high speed. Overall, if the weight was cut, the power delivery was as good as the handling and the riding position better, the F4 1000 would be a class-leader. As it is, it just misses out – again.

Watch: MV Agusta F4 1000 vs F4 1078

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The base-model MV Agusta F4 1000 now comes with the short-stroke motor from the old F4R and F4RR and produces 195bhp at 13,600rpm as a result. It now also features a lighter crankshaft, forged titanium conrods, revised cylinder head porting and the valves now use a single spring instead of two.

Meanwhile, new electronics include a ride-by-wire system along with new 50mm Mikuni throttle bodies, an anti-wheelie system, eight-stage traction control, four riding modes, electronic engine braking control, a quickshifter and auto-blipper.

All of this ensures that the MV F4 1000 is seriously rapid with a hunger for screaming high revs, which makes it exciting and intoxicating at the top end. But it’s also hard to meter out precise amounts of throttle when you’re riding fast due to an imperfect connection through the ride-by-wire system.

The overall result is its weak power at the bottom end of the rev range is followed by a muscular midrange, then a flat spot appears around 10,000rpm where the inlet trumpets lift clear of the throttle bodies. Finally, after that it’s a turbocharged, madcap surge all the way to the redline. Complex and manic? Just a bit.

On the road, at lower revs, this slightly unpredictable power delivery shouldn’t be too much of a problem, plus the fantastic engine note always makes up for any of the F4’s quirks.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

High-end exotica ownership, and by historic reputation, particularly that from Italy, can come fraught with concerns about quality and reliability but in more recent years it’s a myth.

Ducati quality, reliability and service intervals are now impeccable; Aprilia’s are much better, too, as now are revived MV Agusta’s – particularly since the F4 1000’s reinvention under Harley-Davidson’s brief ownership and significant investment in 2010.

As a result, the F4 1000’s build quality and attention to detail are second to none. Its gorgeous new underseat tailpipes are now sculpted to form a beautiful undertray section.

There are little aerofoils underneath the belly pan for high speed stability and new LED running lights are fitted to the front and rear. What’s more, it’s styling, by British designer Adrian Morton, is to die for and the paint finish is deep and luscious.

MVs have had some reliability issues in the past and spares have been hard to get hold of, but these problems are becoming less and less of an issue nowadays.

Our MV Agusta F4 1000 owners' reviews show very positive comments. There aren't any specific problems reported other than a delay in obtaining parts. 

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

As with any bike of this sort of performance, insurance for the MV Agusta F4 1000 won't be the cheapest, and parts and servicing can be a little fruity too. 

But when you’re buying true Italian exotica, what do you expect? In addition, being a high performance superbike means the F4 1000’s consumption of consumables such as tyres, fuel, brake pads, chains etc, is greater than  most as well.

Used buyers need to check condition, service history and status carefully, of course, even more fastidiously as this is a premium machine with more to lose in terms of valiue.

That all said, MV Agustas used to be at the top end of the price scale, but in recent years that’s no longer the case. It’s not what you’d call cheap and it’s more expensive than its Japanese superbike rivals, but this base F4 1000 costs less than the current BMW S1000RR Sport, Aprilia RSV4R and Ducati Panigale

Even the top spec RR version is cheaper than the current Ducati Panigale V4 S and BMW HP4 Carbon.

Equipment

5 out of 5 (5/5)

As you’d expect, you get lots of toys for your money with the MV Agusta F4 1000. These include a full electronic rider aid package as well as fully-adjustable Marzocchi and Sachs suspension, Brembo monobloc brakes, a multi-function dash and steering damper. Higher spec variants such as the F4 R have even more goodies fitted as standard, too.

Specs

Engine size 998cc
Engine type 16v, inline four-cylinder
Frame type Steel trellis/cast ali mix frame and ali single-sided swingarm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 191kg
Front suspension Fully adjustable 50mm Marzocchi forks
Rear suspension Fully-adjustable single rear Sachs shock
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston Brembo monobloc calipers
Rear brake 210mm single disc with single-piston Nissin caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 200/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 31 mpg
Annual road tax £96
Annual service cost £400
New price -
Used price £12,500
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 195 bhp
Max torque 81 ft-lb
Top speed 185 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 120 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2010 – F4 introduced, replacing the old F4 1000, F4 1000 312.
  • 2013 – F4 revised with new short-stroke engine, ride-by-wire, frame, wheels, exhaust, LED running lights and new electronic riding aids.
  • 2017 - LH44 special model revealed in collaboration with F1 star Lewis Hamilton.
  • 2018 - Claudio limited-run version announced as run-out model.
  • 2019 - F4 goes off sale.

Other versions

As with many MV models, there are also a number of limited and special editions of the F4 and you can find reviews for some of them here…

F4 R – As F4, fitted with an Ohlins TTX rear shock, lightweight forged aluminium wheels and bodywork featuring ‘R’ logo.

F4 RR – Flagship F4 with 201bhp and a raised 14,000rpm rev-limit. Ohlins electronic 43mm NIX forks and TTX rear shock, Ohlins electronic steering damper, lightweight forged aluminium wheels, carbon fibre panels, racing clip-ons, Brembo radial monobloc M50 front brake calipers, raised swingarm pivot, adjustable steering angle and bodywork featuring the ‘RR’ logo.

F4 RC - Limited edition homologation special to be used as the basis of MV’s World Superbike machine.

MV Agusta F4 special editions: LH44 and Claudio

MV Agusta F4 LH44 is a limited edition in collaboration with Lewis Hamilton. The F1 world champion is pictured here with the bike

In September 2017 a special edition version of the F4 was launched to celebrate the F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton's relationship with MV Agusta.

There were just 44 units available finished in the same Candy Apple Red colour as the previous Dragster RR LH44. Öhlins also agreed to create black suspension components instead of the usual gold.

The fairings were made from carbon fibre and there was also a racing-style fuel cap, forged wheels and a CNC-machine rear wheel nut. Even the tyres on the bike were exclusively designed Pirelli Supercorsa SPs with red sidewalls and the LH44 logo.

Then, in October 2018, MV Agusta revealed the last ever F4 bike - the special edition Claudio (seen below), in honour of Claudio Castiglioni, father of then-MV boss Giovanni. The firm is now run by CEO Timur Sardarov.

MV Agusta F4 1000 Claudio is the final version of the F4 1000 available

Put together by MV’s special projects department, the level of detail and finishing is astonishingly high. There’s MotoGP-style switchgear and GPS datalogging, while the bike is held together with titanium fasteners. It also boasts full carbon-fibre bodywork with unique paintwork set off by bare, lacquered carbon. There are also unique, lightweight BST carbon wheels with a golden hue.

The chassis is typically high-end, featuring Brembo Stylema brakes, Öhlins NIX 30 43mm forks and a TTX36 shock.

Power is boosted for trackday use with a titanium SC Project exhaust, which boosts power from the stock bike’s 203bhp, while also reducing weight by 10kg. All of that adds to a whopping price tag, too: £64,000.

Other MV Agusta F4 models

Owners' reviews for the MV-AGUSTA F4 1000 (2013 - 2019)

4 owners have reviewed their MV-AGUSTA F4 1000 (2013 - 2019) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your MV-AGUSTA F4 1000 (2013 - 2019)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Equipment: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £400
4 out of 5 Still a Diva...
24 April 2019 by flexnow36

Version: EAS ABS

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £400

The bike is fantastic and highly emotional. The company still has room for improvement when it comes to after sales.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

It feels like a proper race bike. The competition might have upped the ante meanwhile, but the F4 still does not feel anything like outdated. Brakes are superb and the chassis is rock-solid.

Engine 5 out of 5

With the latest mappings, the engine runs smoothly, is confidence inspiring and has given up its overly snappy character without losing any of its character. The engine sound is very unique for an inline four and it is quite impressive, but not unpleasant. A decent level of tolerance from your neighbours is required.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Build quality is extremely good. There is so much attention to detail. The overall package of the F4 is robust and reliable. Minor things may happen a little more often than on the Japanese competition. The problem is not so much that it cannot be fixed. You just need to be aware that even a simple spare screw might take a week or two to be shipped. But the disastrous lead times of several months seem to be a relic of the past.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Definitely not cheap, but surprisingly fair for an exotic bike.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The bike had all the latest gizmos for the time. Of course, a new Aprilia or BMW will have more sophisticated traction controls and ABS systems on board now, but everything works just fine. And compared to new bikes, the lighting is full Xenon/LED also on the indicators. The quick release fasteners of the fairing provide a little extra sport appearance.

Buying experience: Buying an MV in my opinion and getting happy with it is much more dependent on the dealership than with more common bikes. They need to know the product and maintain a solid relationship to the factory.

5 out of 5 It's like dating a supermodel without the high maintenance
18 January 2017 by sste

Version: MY13

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £400

As you walk up to her no other bike will make your heart skip a beat like the F4. She is stunning in real life. How her lines flow, the unique exhaust note, her character, everything is perfect. She is as fast as any other 1L super bike on the market today as 99% of day to day riders can't even get close to her full potential. She may not have the most superior tech wizardry but who cares unless you are Rossi or a seasoned club member. She still has traction control and ABS to protect those who dear try and take her over the edge.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I've done +400km journeys on her and I am 6'3". I have dropped the pegs slightly using rear set adaptors (only a $200 mod) and comfort level is very good. General around the town ride quality for a super bike is good. Pillion seat is ok (from a sports bike perspective) and good for short trip commutes with the girlfriend or mistress.

Engine 5 out of 5

Strong engine - very impressive. When you wonna play harder she screams faster. No dead spots, power curve is predictable but the bite is so good it never gets boring. You mainly spend time worrying about lighting up the rear (if you have TC on 0), that's how good it is.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Unlike its peers none of the parts/fittings haven experienced a major recall or had to undergo a factory change. Build quality is extremely good compared to other brands. Paint work is a work of art, brackets, pegs, stems etc all top notch.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

You always make sure you put the best oil and do regular service checks. It's not a very high running cost for a 1L super bike as one might think from an exotic. You actually don't care what the running cost is.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The whole package is top notch. Tyres are Pirelli SC's, quickshifter is decent (up shifts only), front brembo brakes. The seat - peg distance is narrow. Despite the higher seat it is a very aggressive riding position. Recommend adjusting toe pegs and rear sets.

5 out of 5 F4RR
27 January 2014 by fergymax

Fantastic bike

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 F4
19 December 2013 by Garypf4

Having only recently purchased the F4 I have to say I love it's looks but not really had chance to put it through it paces

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
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