The MV Agusta F4 750 is regarded by many as the most beautiful motorcycle ever to roll off a production line. At the moment these gorgeous motorcycles are still an affordable classic.
Here I look at MV Agusta and make the case for why the Agusta F4 750 should be top of your list if you are looking for a sports bike classic.
Massimo Tamburini & The MV Agusta F4 750
Legendary motorcycle designer Massimo Tamburini was at the peak of his career with the release of the Ducati 916 in 1994.
Ducati were owned by Cagiva who had also purchased the MV Agusta name. In 1996 Cagiva sold Ducati but Massimo Tamburini decided to continue to work at the Cagiva Research Centre in San Marino.
Tamburini was given the task of designing a new motorcycle that would resurrect the MV brand and he immediately set to work on the MV Agusta F4 750.
While working on the design Tamburini was diagnosed with prostrate cancer.
His Son would later say that his Father was determined to survive long enough to complete the F4 750 design and see the MV Agusta name rise from the ashes.
Before going into hospital for an operation which Tamburini feared he would not survive he filled several sketch pads with his ideas for the Agusta F4 750, going into minute detail.
Thankfully he did survive. He would later say that the MV Agusta F4 750 was his most satisfying achievement because Cagiva had given him complete freedom and control over the design.
In 1997 the MV Agusta F4 750 Oro was unveiled at the Milan Motorcycle Show and the motorcycling world’s jaw collectively dropped.
The F4 750 Engine
The 749.5cc inline 4 cylinder DOHC 16 valve F4 engine was derived from a Ferrari formula 1 engine used in the 1990, 91 and 92 season. Apart from being a Ferrari, its other claim to fame was that at the time it was the only motorcycle in production with radial valves.
MV Agusta F4 750 Oro
As the first of the F4 series as well as being limited to just 300, the MV Agusta F4 750 Oro is the most collectable of the F4 series and therefore the most expensive should you want to add one to your collection.
This fantastic as new Augusta F4 750 Serie Oro is number 152 of 300 made. It has 0 miles on the clock and is for sale at Craigs Honda at Shipley, Yorkshire. Having scoured the web looking at all the F4 750 Oro’s for sale I can confirm that at the time of writing this is the best Oro available world wide and comes with an eye watering £32,995 price tag. Click here for more info.
The Augusta F4 750 Serie Oro was supposedly sold out before their release date and so were never actually available to your average punter. In a big PR stunt it’s believed many were given to celebs, royalty and stars of the motorsport world such as Barry Sheene, Agostini and the King of Spain.
Each came with a 24 carat gold badge with the unique series number engraved.
The MV Agusta F4 750 S
Released in October 1999 the F4 750 S was the production version of the Oro. Aluminium was used instead of Magnesium but the engine was the same. The extra 20lb weight dropped the top speed to 162mph.
The MV Agusta F4 750 S is what I like to call a rideable classic. They are currently being picked up at a price that means you can buy to ride rather than want to wrap it up in cotton wool and hang it above the fireplace like you might do the Oro or the Senna shown lower down the page.
A 9 out of 10 rated MV Agusta F4 750 S with 20k plus miles on the clock can be had for around £7k. A low mileage mint condition 10/10 will set you back something in the region of £10k.
You could argue the F4 750 S was the first of the F4’s. With the crazy price tag and limited availability of the Oro, reports of handling, reliability issues etc. were few and far between. Lets face it, most of the F4 750 Oro motorcycles never touched the road.
It was no surprise then that with the release of the MV Agusta F4 750 S some problems came to light for the first time.
What to look for if you are purchasing an early model:
- Check rear wheel bearings for play
- Check heat shield behind the fairing and if loose check fairing closely for signs of cracked paintwork
- Has it had the upgraded water pump fitted by MV? If not, you should factor this into the price
Generally, the later models of the F4 had the early problems sorted.
It’s also worth noting that valve clearance needs checking every 7500 miles so you will want to see an invoice or a stamp in the service book if its got more than that on the clock.
In 2003 the MV Agusta F4 750 S had its wheel colour changed to silver making it an easy spot as a late 750 S model.
There was also a 1+1 model released which allowed for a pillion.
MV Agusta F4 750 S Evo 2
In 2002 the 750 S came with the additional EVO2 added to the name letting you know the year it came out and that it had the upgraded Evolution engine. The various engine upgrades tweaked another 11bhp for a total of 137bhp at 10,500rpm
MV Agusta F4 750 Evo 3
In 2003 the Evo 3 model was released with a mostly cosmetic facelift.
MV Agusta F4 750 Senna
The F4 750 Senna Limited Edition was produced as a fund raiser for the Senna Foundation, a charity set up by Ayrton Senna before he died.
The MV Agusta President Claudio Castiglioni had been a close friend of Ayrton’s and all profits from the sales went to the Senna Foundation.
Only 300 of these stunners were ever released and each is numbered on a tank mounted plaque. They were released in 2001 and were rolled out during 2001/2002.
The F4 750 Senna was basically the Evo 2 model but with a tweaked engine and a black and red livery.
With only a possible 300 in existence these are a much sought after F4 model.
The cheapest I found for sale today in the UK was number 289 which had an asking price of £14,495. It has 3196 miles on the clock and looks a 10/10. It’s had 4 owners but 2 of those had it on display in their private collections and between them added zero miles to the clock.
I also found an earlier model – number 92 of 300 – which had only 1 owner from new, complete with the original stand and cover that came with the bike when new and had just 176 miles on the clock.
Asking price was £19,995
MV Agusta F4 750 SPR Evo
The SPR version of the F4 750 was available from 2003. The SPR had an updated Evolution engine from the Senna model and a modified chassis to improve performance.
The F4 750 SPR was aimed directly at the track day riders and together with the SR model (which has the SPR engine) is the fastest of all the F4 750 models.
A new fuel injection system improved throttle response while a lighter crankshaft and hand polished inlet/outlet valves pushed the rev counter to 13,900rpm, producing 144bhp. The chassis had several metal parts replaced with carbon fibre to reduce the weight by 4kg.
It was only ever available in opaque black so if you are looking at one and it is any other colour it is not the SPR model. The R3G open exhaust was an optional extra which increased track day performance further.
This was supposed to be the last of the F4 750’s before they moved to the bigger 998cc engine.
The F4 750 SPR was a limited edition with only 300 being built. As such when one comes up for sale they tend to be in demand.
MV Agusta F4 750 SR
After the success of the SPR release the plan was to put out one more, a tribute to motorcycle legend Agostini using the F4 750 SPR engine.
Late in the planning it was decided the AGO would be the ideal model to launch the new F4 1000 in 2005. Agostini had won most of his world championships on board an MV Agusta so it made sense.
This left 300 750 SPR engines without a frame so they were fitted into the original 750 S chassis and called the F4 750 SR.
The F4 750 SR is easily identified as it has the white rev counter clock with Agostini’s autograph in red. This was the same rev counter that would be used on the F4 1000 AGO.
Again, these were strictly limited to just 300 motorcycles. The F4 750 SR was the last of the 750’s.
With the SPR engine, the MV racing livery of red and silver, the Ago clocks, limited availability and the fact it was the last of the F4 750’s, the F4 750 SR is a highly desirable motorcycle.
There is currently an F4 750 SR for sale on UK Ebay with the seller wanting offers in the region of £16,000. It has just 594 miles on the clock and comes complete with the factory paddock stand and OEM MV F4 cover.
Why The F4 750 Is The Ideal Classic Sports Bike
Massimo Tamburini truly created a piece of artwork when he designed the F4 750. Those fabulous looks come at a price though, the F4 750 is not a comfortable motorcycle. This means even the standard models that were purchased to ride come up for sale today with very low mileage. They can still be found not yet run in.
Dependent on the model an MV Agusta F4 750 can be had from anywhere from £7000 to £35,000 and that’s in excellent condition. This means there’s something for both the serious classic motorcycle investor and someone dipping their toe in the water for the first time.
I’ve heard classic motorcycle dealers say purchase the earliest model you can as an investment, buy as late a model as you can to ride. I’m not sure if that would hold true with the MV Agusta F4 750.
If you are buying to ride then £7,500 for an F4 750 S even with some miles under its belt is still a lot of bike for your money. We’re talking about one of the true iconic motorcycles of the 2000’s and one of the greatest looking sports bikes of all time.
And you can ride it in the knowledge that as long as you look after it for a few years, you will almost certainly get more than what you paid.
MV Agusta History – The Racing Years
Count Domenico Agusta together with his brother Vincenzo created the company MV Agusta at the end of WW2 as a means of finding work for their mechanics who had worked for the parent company Agusta Aviation Company.
Both Domenico and Vincenzo had a passion for motorcycles and racing so it proved a good fit. The more motorcycles they sold, the more they piled into their racing team.
MV Agusta racing peaked in 1952 when Cecil Sandford won the Isle of Man TT on an MV125. He was crowned world champion at the end of the season and the MV Agusta motorcycle was suddenly the in demand bike for privateer teams.
In 1957 all the Italian manufacturers agreed to withdraw their teams from the world championship in protest to the rising costs of racing. Count Agusta had agreed to the protest but then changed his mind at the last moment and went on to controversially win the title.
When Count Domenico died in February 1971 MV Agusta went into decline. The by now famous racing colours of red and silver were no more by the end of 1976.
Without a racing team promoting the MV Agusta brand sales plummeted and they had to be rescued from bankruptcy. The last original MV Agusta rolled off the production line in 1980.
It would be 11 years before the MV Agusta name was purchased and resurrected by Cagiva.