MV-AGUSTA F4 1078RR 312 (2008 - 2013) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
This is the ultimate evolution of MV Agusta’s famous F4 model, which has been with us in one form or another since 1999. The in-line-four-cylinder MV Agusta 1078cc F4 1078 RR 312 replaces last year’s 998cc F4 R 312. The ‘312’ bit of the name refers to the top speed achieved by the bike on MV’s test track: 312km/h (193mph).
The beautiful RR 312 comes with a fearsome reputation for hyper acceleration, which only relents when it hits the rev-limiter in top gear. Thanks to its killer engine the MV Agusta is blisteringly fast wherever you ride it; it’s as happy to demolish track tarmac as it is Autobahn concrete, but its age is starting to show now and is relatively clumsy and heavy to muscle around compared to more modern stuff like a Blade. But thanks to a new slipper clutch, Brembo Mononbloc brakes and top-level Marzocchi suspension it’s still able to hold its own. Stick this engine in a modern day chassis and it would be phenomenal. Reliability can be iffy, though.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
If you’re jumping on to the MV Agusta from a Japanese sportsbike you’ll get a shock to the system. The F4 is cramped, tall and has super stiff suspension, so it takes some getting used to, compared to a soft, plush Japanese bike. As the miles or laps pass by, it’s something you get used to and at flat out speeds the extreme riding position does make sense. Ride at normal speeds, or any distance, and the MV will punish your body, especially wrists and knees, if you’re tall. On a smooth surface the MV flies, but on the bumps it struggles slightly. It’s not necessarily down to hard suspension, which can be adjusted to suit conditions, it’s more like the chassis is super-stiff and unforgiving until you push hard. The F4’s forte is high speed three-figure speed sweepers, rather than tight twisty B-roads.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Enlarged for 2008, the MV Agusta’s 1078cc radial valve four-cylinder engine is a rabid powerhouse of a thing. Its basic architecture was designed by Ferrari back in the late 90s (hence the ‘F’ in F4) when it started life as a 750. Now it comes with monstrous power and torque splilling from every bit of the rev range. The motor has a very hard edge and transmits lots of its vibes to the rider. The throttle response at low rpm is very snatchy, which makes tackling slow corners and town riding tricky. That’s why we’ve only given it a four out of five. Although the new slipper clutch makes entering corners much smoother, this still is no super-smooth Honda FireBlade. But it has a howling engine note to die for and 190 thoroughbred horses to play with, if you’re brave enough.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The MV Agusta is a class act and made to the highest standard, but reliability can be hit and miss. Over the past few years we’ve had F4 test bikes come with niggling problems from minor electrical problems, to full-on engine and gearbox faults. Now that Harley Davidson owns MV Agusta, things like this will hopefully change in the future.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
You can a lot of power, handling and beauty for your money, but things have moved on a lot in the world of superbikes lately, making the MV seem like less value for money than it once was. For ten grand you can have a Yamaha R1 with a MotoGP derived engine, a Ducati 1198S with traction control for under £15,000 or even the beautiful new Aprilia RSV4, which should be cheaper than the MV when prices are announced. Find an MV Agusta F4 1078RR 312 for sale.
For your money you get one of the most beautifully designed motorcycles ever built, right up there with the Ducati 916. It’s no coincidence that both machines were designed by the same person: Massimo Tamburini. Build quality is exquisite and you get a slipper clutch, Brembo Monobloc calipers, 50mm Marzocchi fully adjustable forks and a Sachs rear shock as standard. Now, though, compared to the latest competition from Ducati, Aprilia and the Japanese, the MV doesn’t come with the latest bells and whistles.
|Engine type||16-valve, in-line-four|
|Frame type||Steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||21 litres|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm discs|
|Rear brake||210mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 17 in|
|Rear tyre size||190/55 17 in|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||37 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||-|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||190 bhp|
|Max torque||91.5 ft-lb|
|Top speed||190 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||10.08 secs|
|Tank range||132 miles|
Model history & versions
2008 – Model launched
Other MV Agusta F4 models
Owners' reviews for the MV-AGUSTA F4 1078RR 312 (2008 - 2013)
5 owners have reviewed their MV-AGUSTA F4 1078RR 312 (2008 - 2013) 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:|
Amazing pure raw riding experience
Immense performance - balanced with brakes and suspension to cope
Stomp by the bucket full
Build quality is exquisite - very fine engineering
No traction control or quick shifter. Not that a competent rider needs them
MCN review is a little biased, have to agree. I have an F4 312R, it isn't my favorite bike I've ever owned, but it's right up there :-) I did have one of the first F4 750's in the country years ago and this incarnation is so far superior, yet it has let me down with overheating problems and poor dealer backup, although Moto GB have been great. The MV takes a long time to get used to unlike Japanese bikes which feel easy the minute you get on them, hence why I think the reviews suffer. But I think the MV does reward eventually in bucket loads and right now (early 2010)they are relatively cheap so pretty good value because of the new MV due out soon. Not an all rounder and absolutely not for town use for sure, but on the track and smoooth twisties it is great.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to a test ride of the 1078RR and was blown away by the bike. I'm 6'2" and although intially found the riding position a bit awkward, once on the move it made a helluva lot of sense. Engine is brilliant, matched by brakes, ride and handling. The induction noise is tremendous and once you get high up in the rev range the hard edge snarl is amazing. I also agree that MCN reviews seem very much biased to the big 4 manufacturers, with anything else being overly criticised. "bout time MCN broadened its horizons and accepted that there are exciting alternatives to the run-of-the-mill japanese manufacturers offerings. If I had 15 grand to spend I'd go for the MV over the Ducati anyday!
MCN i have riden the 1078 312 o a good few times and from your report im not to sure you were im 6.2 and didnt feel any more cramped up than if on an R1 or blade . as for dated no way it makes most other bikes look cheep and chucked together. as for equipment at 312kph what do you want its a race bike ffs begining to find your reports a bit biased if it aint one of the big 4 or dont have a bit of a cult following it never gets a good revue
I own a 312 Corse and it is scary fast. I love the bike and when there is a Euro Sunday and I park beside any other bike, it makes everything else look cheap. Performance Bike tested the standard 312 at the N-ring and it beat everything else. I don't know how they can say it's not up to the Jap standards. In the real world it will eat their lunch if your man enough to pull the trigger (which I'm not). I'm not ashamed to say that it is so fast that I've never had the nerve to hold it WFO. It is a thing of beauty that I never get tierd of.