MV Agusta F3 first ride: "Unusual but intuitive" says designer Adrian Morton

The designer of MV’s new F3 Adrian Morton has told MCN what the bike is like to ride. Naturally he thinks it’s good, but given it’s his first ever ride on the machine he styled, and he’s a regular rider just like the rest of us rather than a superhero Stig-style tester, his observation the handling feels ‘unusual but intuitive’ is worth listening to. The easy turning of the reverse-rotating-cranked F3 certainly seems anecdotally confirmed by the latest video to emerge, which shows Giacomo Agostini parading the bike in Italy:

Of his first ride Morton said: “My first impression is that it fits me like a glove; I can comfortably reach the floor with both feet (I’m 5’7”) whilst retaining a reasonably high seat height. This bike is so slim; you have to move to make contact with the fuel tank, clenching your legs to feel the sides of the fuel tank or physically moving back to make contact with the seat pad. This physical ‘freedom’ adds to the physical ‘lightness’ of the motorcycle and is a far cry from the long reach ‘tank in your stomach’ of 90s sportsbikes. You can tell the designer rides motorcycles!

“It’s got a unique sound. It revs up like a four cylinder but with a wave of torque that initially takes you pleasantly by surprise. One clutchless change after another builds speed fast and then I’m into the first set of corners. I’m relieved – the bike already feels like mine. There’s something unusual about how it corners… unusual but intuitive. I’m a layman when it comes to understanding the subtleties of weight placement and counter crank rotation, but in that respect I’m a normal rider and the innovations seem to work in reality incredibly well.

“It reminds me how I felt when I rode the GSX-R750 Suzuki for the first time; not in terms of physical size or power but in how much confidence you have instantly. The difference is how special it all feels, easy but precise andthen there’s that induction noise….. you can’t help but chase up and down the gearbox downshifting and blipping the throttle into every corner. Into the next set of corners in a higher gear to see how this bike handles. I won’t go into detail but the phrase ‘handling as if it’s on rails’ come to mind. My adrenalin is racing as I remind myself that I’m still on one of the 120,000 euro development test mules.

I turn back and wind up the mountain roads back to the CRC base. And ride blindly past the turning. Shame! That gets me another few kms… and I just wish I had a bit longer to explore the bike!” 

Guy Procter

By Guy Procter