First Ride

MV Agusta F4 review, test ride

We get astride the iconic F4 to see if it lives up to its legendary reputation.

  • Make  MV Agusta
  • Model  F4

MV Agusta’s F4 is the closest you get to royalty in the world of motorcycling. It is a soul-stirring amalgamation of thermoplastic, fibreglass, chromium-molybdenum, aluminium and carbonfibre. It feels all the more incredible when you consider that it was designed by the masterful Massimo Tamburini, nearly 20 years ago. Yes, look at it again. And underneath that fairing is an in-line four-cylinder motor. Sounds ordinary? But, it just so happens that it traces some of its DNA to Ferrari’s F1 engines. But, that was a long time ago. And in that time, the F4’s status as an icon and a valuable collectible that most people will enclose in glass has only grown. So, does it even matter how this motorcycle rides? Maybe it doesn’t, but, we had to know. And, we are glad we did.

In the flesh, the F4 is as stunning as I expected it to be. There’s a poetic beauty in its lines that will have you marvelling for a long time to come. How planes like the flattish fairing design, the geometric headlamp design, the lacy lines on the wind deflector and hard edges of the fairing combine to make a timeless package is spell-binding.

Connections to the world of racing are hard to miss. The quick-release fasteners for the fairing remind you of the race track. As do the little winglets under the headlamp. Although the LED-encrusted leading edge is a modern-day indulgence. The slots on the rear-view mirror housing suggest aerodynamic efficiency too was critical to the design. And, the single-sided swingers will prove very handy if you ever need to change tyres in a hurry. And, it’ll look gorgeous rest of the time.

There were only a couple of bits that to my eye stood out a bit. The blue backlight for the LCD console looks a bit dated and the resolution of the display felt a bit outdated in a world where colour displays are becoming common on top-end motorcycles. In terms of design, the tail section bloats a bit around the rider's seat. But the generous width of the rider’s seat explained that quirk convincingly. However, comfort clearly isn’t the top priority here, as the seating position is properly racy. It isn’t down to the low-set, clip-on handlebars, rather because of the high seat and the rear-set footpegs. Yes, getting your feet down at stop lights requires a bit of planning.

Our test bike was the F4 R, which uses Ohlins rear damper and forged wheels. However, the R variant is no longer on sale and so, the base F4 will come with cast alloy wheels and a Sachs rear damper instead. But, you will have little reason to complain as the F4 comes equipped with plenty of modern-day tech. A lean angle sensing IMU, Bosch’s 9 Plus ABS with a Race Mode, eight-stage traction control, three-stage engine brake control, throttle sensitivity, engine torque and all of this is available on three preset rider modes – Normal, Sport and Rain. A fourth mode, Custom, allows the rider to set-up the electronic controls as per his or her preference.

We were glad for all the electronic help we could get as our time on the F4 was on a day when rain was belting down. With the rider mode set to Rain, we wound our way through the streets of Pune. It was clear that the throttle response was soft and torque remained well capped for commuting in the city. I found that I needed to give wider throttle inputs than I would have expected on a 195hp superbike, to get it whizzing past traffic. So, job done. The seating position though was very aggressive and caused some amount of wrist ache at these slow speeds. The suspension, slightly softened for street duties, was surprisingly pliant and let us roll over speed breakers and bumpy tarmac with ease.

See more about:  mv agusta f4, f4 test ride, f4 mv, agusta f4
comments powered by Disqus


Our reviews of the Tata Tigor, the Honda WR-V, the Audi A5 Cabriolet, comparison of the Audi A4 diesel and its rivals and plenty more await you inside.
What's in this issue?

Trending Now
Find a car review

Latest Car Reviews

2017 Tata Hexa review, road test

2017 Tata Hexa review, road test

17 hours ago
Tata throws everything it can at its new flagship in the quest to go upmarket.
Hyundai Tucson long term review, first report

Hyundai Tucson long term review, first report

1 day 17 hours ago
The soft-roader gets initiated into our fleet with two trips to Mahabaleshwar.
2016 Renault Kwid long term review, final report

2016 Renault Kwid long term review, final report

6 days ago
The Kwid’s job here is done. We look at what impressed us and what...
2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive review, test drive

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive review, test drive

Mar 22, 2017
Porsche has jumped on the long-wheelbase bandwagon in India with the...
2017 BMW 5-series India review, test drive

2017 BMW 5-series India review, test drive

Mar 21, 2017
BMW gives us an early taste of the all-new 5-series on Indian roads. Shapur...
Latest News
Petronas launches Sprinta motorcycle lubricant in India
Equipped with UltraFlex technology, the lubricant aims to reduce the rattle...
6 hours ago   1 picture
BMW Chennai plant completes 10 years
The plant started operations on March 29, 2007, and has assembled 57,000...
6 hours ago   1 picture
Maruti Ciaz moves to Nexa from April 1, 2017
Ciaz will lose existing trim level nomenclature and follow Nexa naming...
7 hours ago   1 picture
BS-III ban deadline brings in big discounts
Manufacturers rush to clear stock of non-BSIV vehicles before March 31....
9 hours ago   1 picture
Isuzu MU-X India launch on May 11, 2017
The Isuzu MU-X will rival the Endeavour and the Fortuner; Likely to be...
10 hours ago   1 picture

Autocar Magazine

Issue: 212 | Autocar India: April 2017

Our reviews of the Tata Tigor, the Honda WR-V, the Audi A5 Cabriolet, comparison of the Audi A4 diesel and its rivals and plenty more await you inside.
Autocar Magazine
Latest Poll
What should Peugeot do with the Ambassador brand it acquired recently?

or View results
Revive the old car
Launch a new car with Amby's retro styling
Use the name for a low-cost brand
Nothing, Ambassador should have been left to the history books

Vote now
View previous Polls »