MV-AGUSTA SUPERVELOCE 800 (2020 - on) Review
- Fast but not overpowering
- Easy to manage
- Tasty styling
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Style, speed and Chainsaw Massacre soundtracks have always been MV trademarks. The new Superveloce 800 is all those things and more because underneath the 1970s-meets-21st century curves is a rather good road-going sportsbike.
It might be just an F3 800 in a posh frock, but the Superveloce 800 is the most unlikely of useable road-going sportsbikes. Its riding position isn’t too extreme and there’s lots of midrange grunt surging from its raucous three-cylinder motor.
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It’s the kind of money you’d expect to pay for a posh 1000 but the 800 triple is beautifully equipped, finished and packed with tech and tasty equipment, but you’d expect higher quality or even electronic suspension for the price.
There’s no question the new Superveloce 800 is all about style and sound and if that floats your boat and the price doesn’t faze you, it won’t disappoint. But for the first time in years an MV is more than just a shouty Italian in an expensive suit, it’s a very capable machine in its own right. They’ve really turned a corner (once you’ve adjusted the shock).
Watch our in-depth Superveloce 800 video review here:
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
In basic terms it’s an F3 800 in fancy clothes – a machine designed to dissect backroads and glide around racetracks, but MV have made the Superveloce 800 roomier. Its wide clip-ons are slightly raised and the pegs are lower, which is good news for the road, especially for taller riders. Its short, thin and firm suede-covered old school racing seat isn’t the last word in comfort, but it’s padded enough to get you from one coffee shop to the next.
Spend a bit of time on the Superveloce 800 and you quickly realise it’s actually a sportsbike that’s halfway practical and one you can joyfully spend time with. Even the bar end mirrors give a better view than stalks and wind protection isn’t too bad, although the screen could do with being taller. A big bubble screen to match its '70s snout would look great.
Chassis-wise it’s all-F3 800, too, from its tubular steel frame and aluminium single-sided swingarm, to the fully adjustable Marzocchi forks, Sachs shock, Brembo monoblocs and Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II rubber.
Strangely there’s minimal rear shock damping out of the box, so it’s easy to get the Superveloce 800 out of shape, bouncing off bumps like a Zebedee on the sauce with bars wagging in your hands. Happily, a couple of turns of compression and a turn of rebound slows the damping down enough to give the MV back its poise, but it’s rare you need to go anywhere near a suspension adjuster on a new bike nowadays.
Those damping screws (they’re not even clickers) give the shock a cheap feel that’s at odds with the rest of the bike. You’d expect higher quality suspension and even semi-active for the price.
Once set up with a more controlled back end, the ride quality suffers slightly, but you’re rewarded with crisper handling. The MV isn’t a fast-steerer, but it’s nimble enough in the slow stuff and what it really loves is fast sweepers, where the harder you push, the more it digs in and makes you smile.
Tyres never lack feel or grip. Brembos are never short of power, but the ABS eventually intrudes under extreme braking and robs them of the feel you’d expect. That’s more to do with the way ABS has to act for Euro5 now than any failing on MV’s part.
EngineNext up: Reliability
MV hasn’t dumbed its F3 800 motor down to create the Superveloce 800. The 798cc inline three-cylinder (which has been around since 2013) is a 'stroked' 675 supersport unit with titanium valves and a counter rotating crank, making 146bhp. Best of all, it’s finally been given the throttle manners it’s always deserved.
The Varese boffins have smoothed-off most of its niggly, rough edges and honed its ride-by-wire for more fluid power, especially at low revs. But it’s still an MV and still slightly raw, spikey and aggressive.
It’s also the perfect capacity for a sportsbike. It loves to rev like a supersport racer, so it never lacks excitement, but there’s a nice dollop of midrange grunt, so you don’t have to go around banging the engine up against the redline the whole time. Cut from the same cloth as the Suzuki GSX-R750, Ducati Panigale V2 and Triumph Daytona 765 the Superveloce is powerful, manageable and never intimidating, especially when the added safety net of lean-tastic electronic rider aids.
MV Agustas have always sounded sensational and the Superveloce 800 sails along the same sonic ear canal. Admittedly it sounds pretty rough low down, but as the revs sour its pure mechanical anger, punctuated by savage electronic shifter stabs.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Paint finishes and attention to design and detail are textbook exotica. Fairing screws are hidden, the satin finished magnesium coloured wheels look fantastic and the Superveloce 800 is so posh it even wears a tiara. Even more usefully, the MV comes with a three-year warranty and two years roadside assistance.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
You’re getting a lot of speed, character tech, design and all-round handsomeness for the money, but whichever way you slice it the Superveloce 800 isn’t cheap for sub-litre sportsbike that doesn’t have top drawer suspension.
The single LED headlight and slim seat unit all tip a nod to the Ago years, the tail unit has a hint of Stoner Desmosedici to it and the colour dash is pure 21st century, as are its rider modes, launch, wheelie, cruise and traction control, ABS and up/down shifter.
Purely for show, the Superveloce 800’s decorative leather fuel tank and nattily designed fuel cap 'buckle' mimics those found on old racing bikes and while those 70s racers had to make do with just a tacho, but the MV has a 5" multifunction TFT dash with colour graphics, but its warning lights are too dull to see in bright light.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 12v, inline triple|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||16.5 litres|
|Front suspension||Marzocchi 43mm forks, fully adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Single Sachs shock, fully adjustable|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm front discs with four-piston Brembo radial calipers. ABS|
|Rear brake||220mm rear disc with twin-piston Brembo caliper ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||41 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||-|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Three years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||146 bhp|
|Max torque||65 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||149 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2020: MV Agusta Superveloce 800 released.
- Superveloce 800 Serie Oro: Limited edition version with carbon fibre panels and styling tweaks including machined ali components (including headlight and taillight surrounds), dual race exhaust and tracker.
Owners' reviews for the MV-AGUSTA SUPERVELOCE 800 (2020 - on)
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