MV Agusta F4 1000 – Improving on Perfection

In late 2004 the world was introduced to the MV Agusta F4 1000, five years after the hugely successful F4 750S.

The man behind the original MV Agusta 750 S was none other than Massimo Tamburini, the designer previously credited with the iconic Ducati 916

With pressure on to build bigger and faster bikes regardless of competitive racing rules. It was only a matter of time before the F4 range expanded with the release of the F4 1000S. 

The F4 1000 had a major overhaul for 2010, when the second generation of the F4 range took over. 

Let’s dig into this Italian special and see what it has to offer.

Table of Contents

F4 1000 1st generation review (F4 1000S)

MV Agusta F4 1000
“MV Agusta F4 1000 S 1+1” photo by KlausNahr kindly licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The F4 750 from MV Agusta was at the time and still is regarded as one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever produced, with Massimo Tamburini behind the project that was destiny at its finest.

However, the F4 range lacked one thing and that was in the engine capacity department. It was a stunning motorcycle and quick, but the fact was it couldn’t compete with the likes of the Suzuki GSXR or other models from Japanese manufacturers that were meeting and exceeding 1000 cc’s. 

What this meant was that fans of MV were eagerly anticipating a bigger brother to the F4 750. 

Complications with the company’s finances and production delays meant that the 1000cc version took a long time to come to market. As with anything that people are excited for, the longer things take, the more patience wears thin and the higher the expectations become. 

MV were under a lot of pressure to ensure the F4 1000 S was something truly special. Individual opinion will be divided on whether they achieved such a thing; however, myself and it seems many reviewers from the time think that they did just that. 

Let’s start with the obvious upgrade from the 750, the engine and increase in power. 

Engine and Power

“We developed the 1000cc engine without enormous investment,” says Andrea Goggi, the engineer who has been involved with the project for more than a decade (and who tested an 864cc prototype as long ago as 1994). “But we have worked very hard to find performance and save weight. Almost 70% of the internals are new.” Visordown

The crankshaft alone was 1.2kg less than the 750, the clutch and gearbox was also made lighter. 

There is a huge 32% increase in power over and above the 750 which is derived from the original F4 engine with increased bore and stroke. 

On top of the increase in power which MV claims 166 horsepower from the crankshaft; the new model saw a nearly 50% increase in torque. 

The power delivery is smooth, seamless and linear, the mid-range is impressive with plenty of punch. 

With all this power and torque on tap and the smooth delivery, the F4 1000 is not only fast but deceptively so. 

The gearing will get you up to the factory-stated top speed of 180mph with no issues, providing you are confident enough to hold on for your life. 

What surprised many when the F4 1000 was released was the ease of everyday riding in real-world road conditions. 

The engine is consistently smooth at all rev points, so in traffic, the MV is quite easy to ride, not constantly fighting you to go faster which is the down side of many top end 1000cc sports bikes. 

The clutch is notably stiffer than the 750 so your hand will feel the fatigue if city riding, but the gear changes are significantly smoother. 

When compared to something that a ZX-10R the MV is notably more docile and suitable for the street, which is unexpected. 

Chassis – Handling – Comfort – Braking

The F4 1000 was upgraded in terms of rider comfort too; while the chassis largely remained identical and putting the two bikes next to each other it isn’t easy to spot the differences. The subtle changes though made a world of difference. 

Raised and re-angles clip-on bars, adjustable footpegs put the rider in a more upright position, and the potential problems from wind have been countered by a taller screen. 

The screen was developed in a wind tunnel and was produced with an unswept lip, so the screen offers the best protection possible for cruising at those higher speeds available. 

Heat radiating from the fairing is more noticeable compared to the 750, so you are best wearing your leathers for protection in that department and avoid town driving on a hot day – nobody wants to be doing that anyway.

The frame is the same as the 750, however the fork has been swapped to a fully adjustable 50mm Marzocci fork. The bike has an excellent steering angle which makes the handling awesome in the twisties but just as capable in town riding, street corners. 

It is safe to say you would be hard-pressed to find an equal sportsbike of this calibre when it comes to rider comfort and ease of handling. 

While MV went out of their way to make the F4 1000 as lightweight as possible it still came in at around 192kg dry, in comparison to Japanese sportsbikes of the same class, it outweighed them by around 20kg.

The Sachs rear shock is fully adjustable and does the job perfectly well, especially with the braking system that MV put in place, which I will look at shortly. 

The Ohlins steering damper is a nice touch, making sure everything is at it should be when at speed and in bends no matter the road surface. 

MCN sums up the handling on the F4 perfectly: “F4 tracks as true a line as any train. It will lean for Italy, with only your courage and ability the true limiting factors.”

The engine-braking system (EBS) equipped on the 1000 is the most tech forward feature of the bike, it works in a similar way to the Yamaha MotoGP bikes of the time and wasn’t really a regular thing on street bikes.

Essentially the EBS is a way of reducing the engine braking when the throttle is closed. The most advantage this gives riders is in corners at speed. However, arguably unless on the track it is a feature that you won’t get much use out of with everyday road riding. 

In Visordown’s interview with Andrea Goggi, he explains “ “We began by developing a mechanical system but they added weight and were not very durable,” says Goggi. “So instead we decided to limit negative torque by generating torque in the opposite direction.” When the rider closes the throttle, an air inlet is opened in cylinder two, which continues burning a limited amount.””

The 6-piston Nissin calipers control 310mm discs the same as the 750 and prove themselves to be more than adequate on the bigger sibling. The Sachs shock is great for controlling the rear wheel under hard-braking, it won’t lift up on you. 

Lastly the swingarm has a 3-way pivot for adjustability, the bike leaves plenty of room for the rider to make adjustments to get the perfect set up for themselves on an individual basis. 

F4 1000 Styling

The bike is simply stunning, like its predecessor. Great care had been taken to deliver a quality designed product with Tamburini’s DNA throughout the whole machine. 

The curvy front fairing and angular lines throughout display an incredibly muscular machine  that backs up the impressive performance features.

Downsides

You would be hard pressed to find any motorcycle from any marque that doesn’t have a down side. 

With the F4 1000 S it had its high price tag upon its release. 

Although, MV’s factory was limited in its production power and therefore the number of units in comparison to bikes coming out of Yamaha and Suzuki factories for example were much lower; this made them more coveted and premium. 

It is an exotic masterpiece after all, not just another Yamaha R1. 

Unfortunately when paying over and above bikes in the same class, customers expect a reliable machine and impeccable build quality. The F4 1000 was built from top shelf components however, issues by owners were brought to light over the build quality. 

Lastly, as much as the F4 1000 was ergonomically improved over the F4 750, it still isn’t deemed a particularly comfortable machine. My argument to that is are you really buying one of the prettiest bikes in the world for it to be comfortable? Surely, you can’t have it all?

Let’s have a look at some of the leading reviews from magazines at the time of the F4 1000 release.

F4 1000 Variations

As with the F4 750 beforehand the bigger sibling would see some pretty cool variations throughout its lifespan, let’s take a quick look at some of these. 

MV Agusta F4 1000 Ago

Giacomo Agostini is the rider with the most wins in motorcycling history with many of those won throughout Agostini’s relationship with MV Agusta. 

300 limited edition models of the F4 1000 Ago were produced and they sold very quickly. Agostini has become a legend in the world of motorcycle racing and the Ago edition motorcycle is a fantastic and worthy tribute to an icon.

Agostini’s signature is visible on the dash and an 18K gold plate displays the bike’s serial number. The frame is painted red as a tribute to grand prix motorcycles of days gone by 

Each owner of the Agostini received a certificate of authentication signed by the man himself along with an owner’s kit. 

MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini

It was 2003 when the F4 1000 Tamburini was released in honor of the brilliant designer; these were priced from £30,000 in the UK and $42,695 in the US. They were not intended to be a true production motorcycle, only 300 units of this limited edition bike were produced, 59 of which were sent to the US.

In the MV Agusta brochure at the time Tamburini referred to the model as “My dream, my bike!”

Carbon fibre bodywork, gold anodised wheels and gold features throughout, does make for an absolutely stunning machine, that remains to be very sought after. 

F4 CC

In 2006 MV released a new version of the F4 1000 called the F4 CC – named after MV boss and designer Claudio Castiglioni. It went on sale for 100,000 euros. 

The bike was upgraded significantly and had changes to the engine which saw it exceed 195 horsepower and the speed was limited electronically to 195mph.

100 of these machines were produced and each came with an owners package which included a Giraud Perregaux watch specially designed for MV.

F4 Veltro Strada and F4 Veltro Pista

Upon its release in 2006 the Veltro Pista went on sale for $90,000 and was only ever intended for track use. Only 23 units were ever produced of this non-street legal motorcycle. 

The Veltro Strada was the street-legal version and only 99 of these were produced, this had a price point of $72.000. 

Both of these machines therefore are incredibly rare and were hand-built in San Marino at the Cagiva Research Centre. 

Carbon Fiber was used for the Pistas bodywork with many components made up of titanium and magnesium including the titanium exhaust. It shared the same engine from the F4 Tamburini and had a maximum power output of 185 horsepower at 12,000 rpm.

The Strada weighed a bit more and the street-legal exhaust system kept power down somewhat to 176 horsepower. Although the titanium exhaust came with the Strada in a box with the note that it should only be fitted for track use. 

Both of these machines were absolute monsters, but the Pista was like nothing anyone had ever experienced before on the track, with sheer speed, acceleration and power that was simply jaw-dropping.

MV Agusta F4 1000 Senna

Ayrton Senna was another racing icon that MV deemed fit to name an F4 version after. 

Senna had won three world titles but was also a man of the people, hailing from Brazil his passion was working for the under-pridledged youth and providing hope in hopeless situations. 

The Senna featured a 174 horsepower, a new injection system and the most top of the line Brembo braking system. Carbon fibre heat shield and fenders were extra additions upgrading from the F4 1000S.

Senna logos replaced the traditional F4 ones and elegance was the aim of the game with the details and styling. The livery was black and grey over a silver foundation with red highlights. 

Silver Marchesini wheels were worn on the Senna the same as those used in the Grand Prix races. 

The Senna was the limited edition version of the F4 1000R. 

MV Agusta F4 1000 R

The F4 1000 R was the second mass-produced F4 1000 which came in 2007.

The engine on the 1000 R was extensively upgraded; since the original release it featured 174 horsepower which was up from the S model. 

New frame, upgraded brakes (Brembo Monobloc Radial brakes), and new wheels were used on the R. The aim of the R was to be a step up from the S model but to sit just below the Senna edition. 

“The 2007 MV Agusta F4-1000R raced across the salt flats during the 58th Annual Bonneville National Speedweek land speed trials (August 12-18, 2006) and into the Southern California Timing Association record books as the fastest production class 1000cc motorcycle in the world with an average combined speed of 185.882 MPH (299.148 KPH) and a highest single speed of 187.726 MPH (302.116 KPH).”  Road Racing World

F4 R 312

Following on from the F4 1000R the R312 was released and it was named after MV’s claims that it had a top speed of 193mph/312km/h.

It was up in power from previous models and was deemed the ultimate track bike, well at least for those who wanted something a bit different and more expensive than other options out there. 

MV Agusta F4 1000 specs for 1st generation F4 1000 S

Engine and Transmission

  • Four Stroke, Transverse, Four Cylinder, DOHC, 4 Valves per Cylinder
  • 998cc
  • Bore x Stroke – 76 x 55mm
  • Liquid Cooled
  • Compression Ration – 12.0:1
  • Induction – Weber Marelli 1.6M ignition injection integrated system
  • Ignition – Multipoint electronic injection
  • Starting – Electric
  • Max Power – 166 horsepower
  • Max Torque – 109Nm
  • Clutch – Wet, multi-disc, cable operated
  • Transmission – 6 Speed
  • Final Drive – Chain

Chassis and Dimensions

  • Frame – Aluminium Trellis Frame
  • Front Suspension – Inverted telescopic fork with rebound-compression damping, spring preload adjustment, Titanium Nitride anti-friction treatment
  • Rear Suspension – Progressive, single shock absorber with rebound and compression damping and spring preload
  • Front Brakes – 2 x 310mm discs, 6 piston calipers
  • Rear Brakes – Single 210mm disc, 4 piston caliper
  • Length – 2007mm
  • Width – 685mm
  • Wheelbase – 1408mm
  • Dry Weight – 190kg
  • Fuel Capacity – 21 litres

MV Agusta F4 1000 top speed?

The top speed varied from model-model, and as each continued to evolve the machines just kept getting faster.

F4 1000S – 184mph

F4 1000R – 187mph

F4 Tamburini – 190mph

F4 Veltro Pista – 190mph

F4 Veltro Strada – 190mph

F4-R312 – 193mph

0-60 time

F4 1000S – 3.3 seconds

F4 1000R – 2.9 seconds

F4 Tamburini – 2.8 seconds

F4 Senna – 3.5 seconds

MV Agusta F4 1000 current second hand prices?

Prices vary for all the different variations quite significantly in the UK for a base 1000 you can expect to pay £8,000. 

In the US the base models seem to be around the same at $8,000 like this one on MotoHunt. It is advertised for $8,595 with 3,000 miles on the clock. 

If you want a really truly special motorcycle I would honestly suggest that $8,000 isn’t all that bad especially as the MV can quite easily hold its own with modern sportsbikes today; and stylistically it will for sure turn more heads. 

If you are thinking of picking up one of the limited edition models you will be pleased to know that they are on the market, however, they remain rather pricey. 

Model number 151 of 300 is available on Autotrader of the Tamburini F4 and the asking price is £45,000.

There is also an absolutely stunning F4 CC advertised for £54,995 that has done 235 miles. Even if it is out of your price range it might be worth going to check out the work of art if you are anywhere near Rochdale. 

On raresportsbikesforsale there is a Veltro Strada with an asking price of $80,000, With only 99 of these ever produced and you have the money in the bank I would suggest snapping it up. Hell, I’m tempted to rob a bank to buy one.

While there is no price listed there is an F4 AGO listed for sale which is number 211 of 300 produced, you can take a look at that here.

An F4 Senna sold for $15,200 and that is one of my favourite versions of the F4, you can see the advert here

If you are in the US and looking for a limited edition model of the F4 you stand more of a chance looking towards Europe to get hold of one, as less numbers will have been shipped to the US comparably. 

Will the 998cc version be as collectable as the F4 750?

The bigger brother will always be as collectable as the F4 750 especially with the limited edition models. 

All of the F4 range had relatively small numbers and as such they are more collectable than other sportsbikes of that time. 

Not only this but they were a premium product, motorcycles that were special, even the base variation. While the F4 750 may have been the original, the follow up was the evolution of that foundation and through the years it continued to evolve getting better and better. 

2nd Generation

By 2010 it was time to re-group and reinvent the F4 1000 with a second generation machine that could continue the line. 

Let’s get into it and see what the second generation of the F4 1000 had to offer.

F4 1000 2nd generation review

The idea was to keep the original Tamburini design and key lines while providing a new fresh approach, adding nothing that didn’t add value to the bike in style or performance. 

As with the original, the F4 was built to be the ultimate street and track going sportsbike, the leader of the pack and the role model carving the way for everything else to come. 

Lighter, faster, stronger was the aim of the game with the new F4 while maintaining impeccable design. The engine, chassis and swingarm were all new.

In the way MV described the F4 you can see the passion and love they had for the project:

“The new F4 is not representing an evolution of the previous motorcycle, but it is a new project that has been studied down to the last nut and bolt, from the first to the last curve of the bodywork. No mass -produced street motorcycle can boast many acknowledgements as MV Agusta F4, daughter of the Italian genius which has been the absolute reference over the years for performance, speed and incomparable beauty.” Top Speed

So, did it live up to the high expectations?

Engine, Power

The 998cc engine was completely overhauled and reengineered with the addition of twin shower fuel injectors assisting each cylinder. 

A completely new electronic injection system was implemented that had a Torque Shift System which allowed variable lift intake. 

Power was up from the previous generation to 186 horsepower and it weighed in 22 lbs lighter. The power-weight ratio therefore was more optimal. 

Airflow around the engine has been significantly improved and the bi-product of this means that heat is diverted away from the rider. 

While the engine is considered an evolution of the previous model it could safely be considered a completely new engine due to the new components and technology that went into it. 

The crankshaft was redesigned as were the connecting rods which were both lighter and stronger. Intake tracts were shortened to ensure that they work more efficiently.

The gearbox, crankcase were all new as was the oil pump and water cooling system and the bike now came with a mechanical slipper clutch. 

What all this meant was that the engine was dramatically improved in performance displayed by the extra maximum power and just as importantly in reliability. 

Chassis, Handling, Comfort, Brakes

As with the engine the chassis was all new and everything that was added or re-looked at was nothing but beneficial for the F4. 

It was developed to be narrower, lighter, stiffer, and to therefore have an increased level of precise handling.

The rear subframe is more compact and lighter and the swingarm has been extended among other changes. 

Essentially the handling of the new F4 compared to the first generation handled more precisely, felt more nimble, and was even more keen to be thrown from side to side battling corners. 

Extreme leans on the new bike were easy to achieve which can largely be contributed to the weight loss. 

The bars were raised which made steering even easier than beforehand. The fuel tank was also made a little smaller and more compact, which meant the seat was able to be extended for added room and comfort. 

The front and rear suspension was produced to MV’s specific requirements and as such gave great feedback and the adjustability factor meant the bike could be set up for varying road surfaces. 

As with the F4 first gen, the new model was equipped with top of the line Brembo braking systems that were simply the best on the market. Stopping power was never in doubt combined with the new tech laden engine and traction control etc. the F4 was ready to take on anything.

Styling

The new F4 was presented in three different colorways:

Pastel Red and Metallic Silver

Gloss Black and Matt Black

Titanium Grey and Admiral Grey

The instrument panel was also revised and it now came with different settings for day and night. Previously there had been some notes that the display was difficult to see in bright sunlight or at night. 

Aerodynamically the front fairing was focused on to make it superior over the previous editions and it was also revised to be even sleeker than before. 

What MV did with the styling was to improve on a design that was already incredibly beautiful, and the result was even more of a masterpiece than what had already been achieved. 

It was quite a feat and something not many thought possible, but you only have to spend a few minutes looking at the later F4 before you are mesmerized. 

Downsides

Universally the only real downside to the new F4 like the first generation was its price. In the US the base model was priced from $18,000 at its release.

Other than that reviewers, press and public on its release had nothing but praise for the latest bike in the line. 

Fundamentally the new F4 was an all new bike, it might have looked like the old bike and it doesn’t step away from it so much to be unrecognisable. However, each component, every inch of the motorcycle had been studied, corrected, upgraded and analysed. 

No detail was overlooked and as a result the bike was on another level from its predecessor, somewhat more suitable for the road but ultimately the best track weapon out there. 

2nd Generation Variations

Just like the first generation there were to be several variants of the F4 1000 from 2010 onwards including some incredible limited edition units. Let’s have a look at some of them.

F4 2010

The F4 2010 was the base model and the first of the second generation of F4 1000s.

F4 Frecce Tricolori

For 2011 MV released a limited edition model called the Frecce Tricolori which was a tribute bike to the Italian Air Force display team. It was painted in blue/white and red. 

Only 11 of these models were produced. 

F4 RR and F4 R

The F4 R was the more racy version of the base machine and the F4 RR went even further to improve on that foundation and was the flagship model. 

The F4 RR claimed 201 horsepower and was 2011’s most powerful sportsbike beating the ZX-10R.

The F4 R had upgraded Ohlins shocks, and lightweight aluminium wheels. 

The F4 RR received upgraded Ohlins fork, TTX rear shock, carbon fibre panels, Ohlins steering damper, improved brakes and an adjustable steering angle among other modifications. 

F4 RC

The RC was built as the bike for MV’s World Superbike offering with only 250 ‘homologation special editions’ built. 

It used the top-spec RR as its basis but cost $10,000 more, made more horsepower (215hp) and weighed significantly less. 

It was built for the track only and is widely considered the best F4 ever built. 

F4 LH44

The LH44 was another tribute motorcycle but this time was built as a tribute to F1 racing icon Lewis Hamilton. As a keen supporter of MV Agusta, Hamilton was honored with his own model in 2017.

“There were just 44 units available finished in the same Candy Apple Red colour as the previous Dragster RR LH44. Öhlins also agreed to create black suspension components instead of the usual gold.

The fairings were made from carbon fibre and there was also a racing-style fuel cap, forged wheels and a CNC-machine rear wheel nut. Even the tyres on the bike were exclusively designed Pirelli Supercorsa SPs with red sidewalls and the LH44 logo.” MCN

F4 Claudio

The F4 Claudio was to be the last ever F4. Named after Claudio Castiglioni, it was to be another limited edition model.

As with the first generation F4 CC, this model was extremely high-end and was built for the absolute best track performance possible with no expense spared.

The bike went on sale in the UK for £64,000. 

F4 2010 2nd generation specs

Engine and Transmission

Engine – Four Stroke, Transverse Four Cylinder, DOHC, 4 Radial Valves per Cylinder

Capacity – 998cc

Bore x Stroke – 76 x 55mm

Cooling System – Liquid Cooled

Compression Ratio – 13.1:1

Induction – Magneti Marelli IAW 7NM ignition – injection integrated system with Mikuni throttle body; induction discharge electronic ignition; Variable height intake ducts with Torque Shift System (TSS)

Ignition – Multipoint electronic injection

Max Power – 186 horsepower at 12,900rpm

Max Torque – 114Nm at 9,200rpm

Clutch – Wet, Multi-Disc

Transmission – 6 Speed Gearbox

Final Drive – Chain

Chassis and Dimensions

Frame – CrMo Steel Tubular Trellis, Aluminium alloy

Front Suspension – 50mm Upside Down telescopic hydraulic fork with rebound compression damping and spring preload external and separate adjustment

Rear Suspension – Progressive, single shock with rebound and compression damping. Aluminium alloy single-sided swingarm. 

Front Brakes – 2 x 320mm discs with 4 piston calipers

Rear Brakes – Single 210mm disc 4 piston caliper

Length – 2100mm

Width – 750mm

Wheelbase – 1430mm

Seat Height – 860mm

Dry-Weight – 192kg

Fuel Capacity – 17 litres

2010 F4 top speed?

As with all modern sportsbikes, the MV Agusta was limited to 186mph

The second generation F4 0-60 time is said to be 3.3 seconds.

The F4 RR (and models derived from this spec) has a 0-60 time of 2.7 seconds. 

2nd generation current second hand prices

Around £10,000 in the UK will get you a base F4 in great condition. 

£20,995 will get you this flagship F4 RC that has only done 56 miles from new. It is number 46 of 250 produced. 

If you really want to go for the best of the best then there is an F4 Claudio available for just short of £65,000. 

2040-Motos have this stunning F4 for sale at $14,999, it has done under 3,500 miles and is well worth checking out.

In the US this F4 R is advertised for $13,995.

Raresportsbikes are showing an advert for a 2018 F4 LH44. It is a brand new bike that is still in its crate. There is no price shown but with only 44 of these units having been produced it is definitely a special bike that undoubtedly will have a steep price tag.

Is the F4 1000 second generation likely to be a future classic?

I think as with every F4 prior the second generation F4 line will develop into a classic bike down the line. 

There is no way a bike of such magnitude with its limited production numbers and then even more limited numbers of special editions will not just appreciate as time goes on. 

If you are one of the lucky ones to have got your hands on any of the F4 models from the base model to the LH44, my best recommendation is to keep hold of it and it is more than likely in a few years time you will see a good return from your investment.

You could of course just keep the MV and ride it like the good lord intended it to be used. 

Verdict

The new MV Agusta F4 1000 exceeded expectations at the time and continued to do so with the second generation. They were amazing machines crafted with the highest quality components. 

Even the 1st generations make for an excellent track bike even when put up against more modern machines. For the asking prices they are brilliant and will be worth every penny. 

If you want to take it a step further and get a limited edition special version, it will likely always hold its value, so they make for a great investment. 

It is safe to say I have my heart set on the earlier F4 Tamburini but unless my heist plan comes off, I may look towards the second generation F4 because let’s face it I wouldn’t be shortchanged. 

It is a broad feeling across the motorcycle press that MV Agusta did the impossible and improved on perfection, I have to admit I also have that feeling.

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