MV F4 1000 AGO Track Review (sorta) - MVAgusta.net
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2006, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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MV F4 1000 AGO Track Review (sorta)

So I had a chance to take my F4 AGO to the track on Sunday. And I say had a chance because I have done about ten track days/nights this year, for about 2000 km on the track so far. But my trailer holds just one bike, and it is normally a 06 GSXR 750. However, this being a Sunday, my wife graciously drove the track bike on the trailer, and I rode the AGO.

I took it out for just one session, and to be honest, my review will be tainted by the reason I don't normally take it at all, and why I just rode it for one session: I just can't get past the thought of dropping it. Not just the expense, but the wait for parts, with the nearest dealer 10 hours away. So I rode like a dork who had never been on the track before. But mentally I just couldn't wrap my head around really flogging it. This wasn't helped by the fact that I run Pirelli SC1/2 slicks on my track bike, and I just had Michelin PPs on the AGO.

So, to put this in perspective, at Race City--the track in Calgary--a really good race time on a 600 would be 1:22. Amateur racers tend to be 1:24 to 1:26. On the GSXR I do 1:29s, with maybe an occasional 1:28. On the MV I am sure I was 1:45 plus.

Bleh, so, impressions: 1) the power is unreal. And it is not all that smooth on the track at the low end. I have no complaints on the street, but the throttle would definitely need sorting with a PC for regular track use. But coming out of the last turn 30+ km/hr slower than the fast guys, and I could still pass them on the front straight with ease. That is vs. a race prepped R1, a 1000RR, etc. So the power was pretty unnerving, because until the throttle is smoothed out, I think it would be real easy to high side out of a turn, especially with street tires.

2) The suspension is equally unreal. All the bumps disappeared. Vanished. And this is just stock Marzochi and Sachs. I say "just" because everybody thinks Ohlins is the final word in suspension, and knocks the MV for not having it. Well I have Ohlins on the rear of my GSXR, and I have tried other bikes with race prepped and tuned suspensions dialed in specifically for this track. The MV, stock, left them all behind. It is just that good. It feels super stiff, but it just performs.

3) Brakes were fine. Lacking in initial bite (even with the upgraded 6 pots on the AGO) but more than enough power to haul me down from 250 km/hr at the end of the straight. Just as good as the Brembo/Tokico radial combo on my Gixxer.

4) The lack of engine braking is pretty bizarre. With the electronic slipper there is basically no engine braking. I never really noticed not riding the two bikes back to back, but when I did so, the difference was amazing. The AGO has much less engine braking than the GSXR, and the slipper is much smoother than the mechanical one on the GSXR.

5) The ride height is definitely greater than the gixxer, and I definitely felt like I sat much higher, and the clip ons were lower. That made it harder for me to just hop on and drag a knee with confidence. But minding the comments above, I only touched my knee at a couple points, whereas I do it with confidence on the gixxer in any corner at that track.

Overall, the bike is much more precise, the power much more raw and ferocious. In the hands of a good rider, the AGO would be *much* faster than the gixxer. In my hands, not so much so.

Having said that, my current plan is still to get a F4 1000R for the track in another year. Assuming that MVs make it to Canada in some more or less legal way. The only thing I would change is rearsets (I love the rock solid Vortex units I put on the gixxer--the MV and every other foldable ones I have been on just suck by comparison) and put on some track bodywork and slicks. I understand the new MM 5SM engine control smooths out the throttle a lot, so I would wait and see on that.

2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO
2006 Suzuki GSXR750
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2006, 07:47 PM
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Glad you got to get it out on the track. Good luck on that F4R.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2006, 07:57 PM
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2006, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparitionAGO
So I had a chance to take my F4 AGO to the track on Sunday. And I say had a chance because I have done about ten track days/nights this year, for about 2000 km on the track so far. But my trailer holds just one bike, and it is normally a 06 GSXR 750. However, this being a Sunday, my wife graciously drove the track bike on the trailer, and I rode the AGO.

I took it out for just one session, and to be honest, my review will be tainted by the reason I don't normally take it at all, and why I just rode it for one session: I just can't get past the thought of dropping it. Not just the expense, but the wait for parts, with the nearest dealer 10 hours away. So I rode like a dork who had never been on the track before. But mentally I just couldn't wrap my head around really flogging it. This wasn't helped by the fact that I run Pirelli SC1/2 slicks on my track bike, and I just had Michelin PPs on the AGO.

So, to put this in perspective, at Race City--the track in Calgary--a really good race time on a 600 would be 1:22. Amateur racers tend to be 1:24 to 1:26. On the GSXR I do 1:29s, with maybe an occasional 1:28. On the MV I am sure I was 1:45 plus.

Bleh, so, impressions: 1) the power is unreal. And it is not all that smooth on the track at the low end. I have no complaints on the street, but the throttle would definitely need sorting with a PC for regular track use. But coming out of the last turn 30+ km/hr slower than the fast guys, and I could still pass them on the front straight with ease. That is vs. a race prepped R1, a 1000RR, etc. So the power was pretty unnerving, because until the throttle is smoothed out, I think it would be real easy to high side out of a turn, especially with street tires.

2) The suspension is equally unreal. All the bumps disappeared. Vanished. And this is just stock Marzochi and Sachs. I say "just" because everybody thinks Ohlins is the final word in suspension, and knocks the MV for not having it. Well I have Ohlins on the rear of my GSXR, and I have tried other bikes with race prepped and tuned suspensions dialed in specifically for this track. The MV, stock, left them all behind. It is just that good. It feels super stiff, but it just performs.

3) Brakes were fine. Lacking in initial bite (even with the upgraded 6 pots on the AGO) but more than enough power to haul me down from 250 km/hr at the end of the straight. Just as good as the Brembo/Tokico radial combo on my Gixxer.

4) The lack of engine braking is pretty bizarre. With the electronic slipper there is basically no engine braking. I never really noticed not riding the two bikes back to back, but when I did so, the difference was amazing. The AGO has much less engine braking than the GSXR, and the slipper is much smoother than the mechanical one on the GSXR.

5) The ride height is definitely greater than the gixxer, and I definitely felt like I sat much higher, and the clip ons were lower. That made it harder for me to just hop on and drag a knee with confidence. But minding the comments above, I only touched my knee at a couple points, whereas I do it with confidence on the gixxer in any corner at that track.

Overall, the bike is much more precise, the power much more raw and ferocious. In the hands of a good rider, the AGO would be *much* faster than the gixxer. In my hands, not so much so.

Having said that, my current plan is still to get a F4 1000R for the track in another year. Assuming that MVs make it to Canada in some more or less legal way. The only thing I would change is rearsets (I love the rock solid Vortex units I put on the gixxer--the MV and every other foldable ones I have been on just suck by comparison) and put on some track bodywork and slicks. I understand the new MM 5SM engine control smooths out the throttle a lot, so I would wait and see on that.
Okay now get some photo's of the beast up in your profile so we can see the beauty!!!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2006, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparitionAGO
So I had a chance to take my F4 AGO to the track on Sunday. And I say had a chance because I have done about ten track days/nights this year, for about 2000 km on the track so far. But my trailer holds just one bike, and it is normally a 06 GSXR 750. However, this being a Sunday, my wife graciously drove the track bike on the trailer, and I rode the AGO.

I took it out for just one session, and to be honest, my review will be tainted by the reason I don't normally take it at all, and why I just rode it for one session: I just can't get past the thought of dropping it. Not just the expense, but the wait for parts, with the nearest dealer 10 hours away. So I rode like a dork who had never been on the track before. But mentally I just couldn't wrap my head around really flogging it. This wasn't helped by the fact that I run Pirelli SC1/2 slicks on my track bike, and I just had Michelin PPs on the AGO.

So, to put this in perspective, at Race City--the track in Calgary--a really good race time on a 600 would be 1:22. Amateur racers tend to be 1:24 to 1:26. On the GSXR I do 1:29s, with maybe an occasional 1:28. On the MV I am sure I was 1:45 plus.

Bleh, so, impressions: 1) the power is unreal. And it is not all that smooth on the track at the low end. I have no complaints on the street, but the throttle would definitely need sorting with a PC for regular track use. But coming out of the last turn 30+ km/hr slower than the fast guys, and I could still pass them on the front straight with ease. That is vs. a race prepped R1, a 1000RR, etc. So the power was pretty unnerving, because until the throttle is smoothed out, I think it would be real easy to high side out of a turn, especially with street tires.

2) The suspension is equally unreal. All the bumps disappeared. Vanished. And this is just stock Marzochi and Sachs. I say "just" because everybody thinks Ohlins is the final word in suspension, and knocks the MV for not having it. Well I have Ohlins on the rear of my GSXR, and I have tried other bikes with race prepped and tuned suspensions dialed in specifically for this track. The MV, stock, left them all behind. It is just that good. It feels super stiff, but it just performs.

3) Brakes were fine. Lacking in initial bite (even with the upgraded 6 pots on the AGO) but more than enough power to haul me down from 250 km/hr at the end of the straight. Just as good as the Brembo/Tokico radial combo on my Gixxer.

4) The lack of engine braking is pretty bizarre. With the electronic slipper there is basically no engine braking. I never really noticed not riding the two bikes back to back, but when I did so, the difference was amazing. The AGO has much less engine braking than the GSXR, and the slipper is much smoother than the mechanical one on the GSXR.

5) The ride height is definitely greater than the gixxer, and I definitely felt like I sat much higher, and the clip ons were lower. That made it harder for me to just hop on and drag a knee with confidence. But minding the comments above, I only touched my knee at a couple points, whereas I do it with confidence on the gixxer in any corner at that track.

Overall, the bike is much more precise, the power much more raw and ferocious. In the hands of a good rider, the AGO would be *much* faster than the gixxer. In my hands, not so much so.

Having said that, my current plan is still to get a F4 1000R for the track in another year. Assuming that MVs make it to Canada in some more or less legal way. The only thing I would change is rearsets (I love the rock solid Vortex units I put on the gixxer--the MV and every other foldable ones I have been on just suck by comparison) and put on some track bodywork and slicks. I understand the new MM 5SM engine control smooths out the throttle a lot, so I would wait and see on that.
Nice write up, thanks

A power commander will help the fuelling, but having said that you still need to remember that the MV has ONE set of butterflies in the throttle block that YOU control with the twistgrip, all the jap bikes have a second set of butterflies that are either vacuum or computer controlled to smooth out the power delivery.

The engine brake is not really a clutch slipper system as such, it still fuels and admits air into cylinder two (if the conditions are right) on the overrun, this one cylinder making power opposes the engine braking of the remaining three cylinders, clever eh! I believe with the new ecu on the "R" it is adjustable as well for more or less engine braking effect, it's proper name is EBS, which I think is "electronic braking system"
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2006, 06:43 AM
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Thanks for the input.

And yeah, i agree that the raw, on/off, power delivery is possibly the major complain about the MV for track use.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2006, 03:15 PM
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2006, 03:26 PM
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If you aren't a "crasher", I think you would do yourself good to flog it a little harder. It will reward you for it.

I raced a 600 for 3 years, and it was a pretty good handling one. But with your average Japanese bike, you flog the thing, you find a limit, and try to adjust.

With the MV, the limit keeps moving farther and farther out in front of you until you're really flying. I will say that suspension setup really helped me ('01 750), but other than that I just keep going faster every time. I'm not quite to race pace because I don't want to wad it up like you say, but I'm close.

Nice writeup though. I think you'll come to a point where you're only a few seconds slower, if that, on the MV than the GSX-R.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2006, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acruhl
If you aren't a "crasher", I think you would do yourself good to flog it a little harder. It will reward you for it.

I raced a 600 for 3 years, and it was a pretty good handling one. But with your average Japanese bike, you flog the thing, you find a limit, and try to adjust.

With the MV, the limit keeps moving farther and farther out in front of you until you're really flying. I will say that suspension setup really helped me ('01 750), but other than that I just keep going faster every time. I'm not quite to race pace because I don't want to wad it up like you say, but I'm close.

Nice writeup though. I think you'll come to a point where you're only a few seconds slower, if that, on the MV than the GSX-R.
Well, I would like to think that I can be just as quick--and I am not prone to crashing or finding my limit by exceeding it and then backing off! . I honestly despair of ever getting the GSXR suspension to work as well as the MV, not matter how much I spend on it, so I think it alone would let me go as fast--it would make up for being a somewhat harder bike to go fast on. But, I will, at some point, have to wrap my head around going fast on the MV. On the gixxer, I know that the power is low enough and the tires good enough that I can't do anything too horribly stupid, and any crash is likely to be a lowside. On the MV...

And it will be interesting to see how much further I can push the gixxer. I think another 5 seconds is realistic next year, but a) I don't have the talent, and b) the suspension is just not there to hit a decent race pace. One of the things that I do like about it is that it actually gives reasonable front end feedback. I have been on the verge of losing the front 4-5 times, and it has let me know in time each one of those times. A minor adjustment to throttle or position was all it took to calm things down.

Right at the moment I am fighting the temptation to say fsck it and put on some slicks and see what happens...

2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 AGO
2006 Suzuki GSXR750
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 01:18 AM
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Good writeup! the MV gives confidence in the frontend that I've never felt even close to on any other bike, and this truly shows at the track. I'm still using powers on mine but then again my abilities are short of the tyres and the definately the bike.

Absolutely agree on the throttle issues, I think if constant trackwork is what you intend doing the PC is a must to smooth out the abruptness.

Cheers
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