MV Agusta Rivale spied testing

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MV’s new 800cc inline three-cylinder Rivale has been spied testing on the roads around the Varese factory as the Italian firm gears up to launch the bike later this year.

Two versions of the new 800cc machine were spied testing last week; both are very close to the show bikes first seen at the Milan motorcycle show in Italy in November last year and clearly show how close to production that bike was.

We can see from these latest images; sourced by Italian bike website that the test bikes are completely undisguised and identical to the show bikes seen at the end of 2012.

The Rivale will use the same three-cylinder motor with 125bhp as the recently launched MV Agusta Brutale 800 which MCN loving the character and power from the motor but not the fuelling which appears to have changed from the initial launch of the bike to those made available in the UK with a more more snatchy throttle response at low revs.

While other manufacturers are taking their supermoto style bikes and trying to make them more civilised and useable (see Ducati’s Hypermotard), MV Agusta is trying to keep the loony element in as part of the essential design of the Rivale 800.

Bodywork has been desing to be as minimal as possible with small forward slanting side panels, tiny front light shroud and Ducati Diavel-style floating wing rear lights and numberplate hanger off the back wheel combined with the MV Agusta signature three stacked exhausts.

MV Agusta is tentatively promising a UK price of £9299 which is expensive for a new bike but cheaper than the £9550 Ducati has confirmed for the new Hypermotard base model.

While there were a team of designers and engineers who worked on this bike at both MV Agusta’s CRC (Castiglioni Research Centre) in San Marino and the Varese headquarters of the firm, the main design work was done between British designer Adrian Morton and Castiglioni. The pair worked side-by-side on this bike.

MV Agusta boss Giovanni Castiglioni sat down with MCN for an interview minutes after the bike was officially unveiled for the first time at the Milan show last year to explain what it was all about.

He said: “The Rivale is important to the future of MV. It’s a first step for us into an area outside the core business and it has been extremely hard to be able to do this without my father.”

Claudio Castiglioni was the man who bought the company back from Harley-Davidson in 2010 but he died in August 2011 and it was a big blow to Giovanni as the input of his father was so important to new model development.

Castiglioni added: “The last two years have been about getting investment into new product and the finances of the company right. Now we are going to focus on getting the network right so we can sell more bikes.

"In each country we sell in we need to double the number of dealers so not only can we sell more bikes but customers will have dealers closer to them."

Castiglioni added: “The main part of this bike is that it must be fun to ride so we tried to keep it as simple as possible. There is nothing on the bike that gets in the way of having fun while riding it. We are very pleased with the result and think customers will really love this bike.”

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