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First ride: MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso's new 'Smart Clutch System' isn't daft

Published: 13 June 2018

MV Agusta's new £17,590 Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS has everything from sultry looks, to electronic suspension, sharp handling, barking Brembos, comfort and the most evocative exhaust note in motorcycling.

It also has a clutch lever...but you don't need to use it. Welcome to MV’s new Smart Clutch System.

1. Clever clutch

This isn’t a Honda-style DCT, or a scooter-type CVT set-up. The MV has a normal manual gearbox with an automatic Rekluse clutch. 

Think of it as a reverse slipper clutch. Its default position is always neutral and it only engages with the increase in engine revs. You can select first without touching the clutch lever and even if you come to a stop in sixth, the MV won’t stall, because it’s back in neutral. Clever electronics automatically balances revs with clutch slip as you pull away, no matter how quickly and a clear clutch cover lets you see its dark secret. 

2 – Rasping triple

Cleaner and quieter, to keep the Euro 4 suits happy, MV have managed to keep the F3 800-derived motor singing at 110bhp, thanks to a new cylinder head and electronic settings. Like the new Panigale V4 it has a MotoGP style counter-rotating crank, so the harder you spin the engine, the more it cancels out the gyroscopic force of the forward-spinning wheels and the sweeter it turns.

It still feels every inch a frantic, hard-edged race engine when you work it, but making 90% of its torque between 3500-10,300rpm, it’s flexible for cruising and town work.

3 – RBW improvements

Even MV admits there are drawbacks to being innovators and maybe it’s better in the future to let others refine new technology first. Their ride-by-wire, first seen on the 2012 F3 675, wasn’t even as good as the worse fuel-injection systems of the time, but things have changed thanks to constant refinement (using the lessons learnt in racing) and a new electronic twistgrip. The 2018 Turismo Veloce now fuels consistently and has a smooth throttle pick-up. It still has a slightly ‘thin’ synthetic feel, compared to the best systems (and holding a wheelie is still unpredictable), but it doesn’t spoil the everyday riding experience.

4 – Slicker cogs

Not only does the new Turismo Veloce have new starter clutch system, it has new transmission, primary and oil pump gears, too. A smoother, pleasant, more accurate shift is evident on the non-SCS version, together with a lighter clutch action. With the auto clutch it’s not quite as sweet and the gear lever needs a slightly bigger tap to slot the cogs home. The clutch lever is heavier and although you never actually have to use it, sometimes you need to give it a nudge to smooth things out around town in the lower gears.

5 – Snazzy dash

MV’s MVICS (Motor and Vehicle Integrated Control System) colour dash graphics cleverly detail everything you need to know about your ride and lets you adjust everything from customisable riding modes to traction control, electronic suspension set-up, power delivery, cruise control and everything in between. It’ll take time to instinctively find your way around the functions without taking your eyes off the road for too long and packed with so much information it’s not easy to read at a glance. It also has Bluetooth connectively and an app with a full datalogging function.

Save a packet!

A £15,990 non-SCS version will also be available in dealers next month, which is identical except for the automatic clutch and its associated electronic settings. Not only will you save £1600, it offers a more involving, purer ride.

MV Agusta Turismo specifications

Power:110hp@10,150rpm

Torque: 59tlb@7100rpm

Engine: 798cc 12v inline triple

Frame: Tubular steel trellis

Front suspension: Sachs 43mm with preload and semi-active electronic damping

Rear suspension: Single Sachs rear shock with preload and semi-active electronic damping

Front brakes: 2 x 320mm discs with Brembo four-piston radial calipers

Rear brake: 220mm rear disc with Brembo twin piston caliper

Dry weight: 192kg

Tank: 21.5-litres

Seat height: 850mm

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