The bike is a new, more agile and lighter take on many touring rivals, and an interesting new departure for the MV Agusta company, plus it looks great. For some this will be another MV parked alongside the superbike in the garage, for others a Yamaha MT-09 Tracer is a more affordable option.
For a small company like MV this was a tough decision to make, but the resulting bike — at least from MCN’s first ride in the South of France — has shown the new direction is the right one. After nearly 150 miles of demanding switchback mountain roads the Turismo Veloce 800 proved to be fast, agile, comfortable, practical and above all much lighter and more manageable than some of the larger, more powerful bikes in the sports-touring/adventure bike sector.
MCN’s previous experience of MV launches has shown there can sometimes be significant differences between launch bikes hand-prepared at the factory and those that make it out of UK dealers, so these impressions are somewhat tempered by that knowledge. We’ve ridden perfectly set-up bikes on launches which have been excellent but when the full production bike has been sent out on UK roads they have borne little relation. When we test a UK production bike we will be able to give a full verdict, but these first impressions are almost all positive.
The Turismo Veloce’s good points certainly outweigh the bad, but there are negatives nonetheless. I’ve already mentioned a couple of tiny fuelling niggles, but the biggest issue is the fitment of the Pirelli Scorpion Trail tyres. This isn’t an off-road bike in any way, shape or form, so why these light off-road tyres have been fitted is a mystery. I would love to change them for a pair of modern sports-touring tyres to see what the bike felt like.
The most annoying aspect of the bike is actually nothing to do with the machine itself but the fitment of the accessory satnav. Not only is the metal bar running between the screen supports ugly and out of keeping with the rest of the stylish bike, but it also stops you from accessing the manually adjustable screen because it’s not wide enough to allow access for your gloved hand. Another minor grumble is the indicator switch, which doesn’t have enough positivity when pushed, making it hard to know if you’ve turned your indicators off.
But that’s all I could find wrong in over 165 miles of hardcore mountain roads, including the famous Col de Vence and Route Napoleon. The three-cylinder motor has some vibration at times, but mostly it’s smooth and more than powerful enough. The braking performance from the front Brembo set-up is strong, too. The electronics are a help not a hindrance, the seat is comfortable, the screen keeps the worst of the windblast down, and navigating the full-colour dash and the Veloce’s many settings couldn’t be simpler. The auto-blipping quickshifter works excellently both up and down the gearbox, and the clutch is only needed for setting off. It does take a little getting used to, and if you are already a habitual downshift ‘blipper’ then you have to force yourself to stop doing it or the bike leaps forward.