Commuting on the F4 - MVAgusta.net
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
Smile Commuting on the F4

Whenever someone mentions this subject, I usually say I wouldn't use my F4 for commuting, I say I'd use my Ducati or even buy a smaller bike depending on the distance and type of roads to be travelled over. Well today I went to work on the F4!

I should explain, my work is now based in sunny Scarbados on the Costa del Yorkshire (well OK, it's cold and damp most of the time). Until I sell up and relocate, the distance door to door is a tad over 50 miles and the roads are all nice twisty 'A' roads with a few long straights thrown in for good measure. It's not unlike the mountain course on the TT to be honest. So why, you may ask, aren't I commuting on the F4 daily?

First thing; relating to something Gotojoe mentioned; the visibility through the F4 mirrors is crap and at ...errr higher speeds I'm not inclined to bend my 50 plus year old neck too far round to look back to see if Plod is in persuit. So the decently rapid ST4s with its large Plod-vision mirrrors usually takes on the role of commuting tool.

Second as many of you know, my F4 is mollycoddled and rarely sees rain, which means ironically in this climate, it rarely comes out of the garage at all.

Anyways, back to todays ride. A 6am start at work means a 5am departure from home, I can do it quicker than 60 minutes, but I always allow for a hold up or two on the way. Setting off a tad before 5 this morning, the weather was brilliant, the sun was just rising and there were only small fleecy clouds in an otherwise blue sky. I should add at this point that I've put the silencer restrictors in place on the Ti Riding House organ pipes, more to avoid waking slumbering neighbours than to avoid getting a ticket! but they are in situ, so I wend my way out of the small village where I live, keeping the revs down until I get out onto the main road.

The first thing I've noticed about my early morning commute is the vast quantities of Wood Pigeons whom, whilst normally quite adept at observing a rapidly approaching vehicle and flying off into an adjacent field, are (at that time of day) wandering around the road like last night's drunks trying to stagger their way home. I've had a few hit my shoulder at high-ish speed on the Duke and whilst I had a few more close encounters today with our feathered friends, thankfully none adorn the air intakes on the F4.

As the water temperature readout changes from cool (flashing) to numbers on the instrument readout, I give the throttle wires a bit more tension and we gather momentum. After the first 5 miles or so I feel the tyres are getting warmed up so we can approach the turns with a little less caution and I can sense both the bike and myself are settling in for a nice trip. Ten miles covered and I hit the first straight of any significant length, the taps are twisted some more and I suprise myself with the amount of braking I have to do as the next set of bends approaches. Perhaps I'm doing 20 or 30 mph more than I would have been doing on the Duke and also the big twin's engine braking helps arrest the Ducati's progress significantly before needing to brake whereas the MV needs to be pulled down by the brakes or I'm going to end up in a field along with Jethro's heifers at the end of the straight! There have been many threads on here about the Nissins on the 1000S and earlier F4's compared to the radial set up on later bikes. Personally I don't have too many issues with them, I renewed the fluid this Spring and the pads are EBC race spec. They aren't as good as radials, thats for sure but for me they are OK.

After 10 miles the land topography changes from the flat vale of York up onto the Yorkshire wolds and on this particular road there are some superb long sweeping bends which at that time of day are thankfully free from the mobile chicanes otherwise known as 'White van man' or 'Victor Volvo' with his Caravan in tow. Good bye chicken strips, the tyres are getting really nice and sticky now and as the next straight is gulped up I approach the first reasonably sized village en route so progress slows as I burble past the cottages with the curtains still drawn tight. An early riser is walking his dog along the main street and he turns to watch me pass and gives an enthusiastic thumbs up, a biker himself perhaps? His dog is less impressed and I can see it jumping up and down as I pass and he bends down to calm the animal. The last of the houses is past and the tempo rises once again. The first obstacle of the day is spied as I rapidly gain ground on a large bread delivery van, the driver is thankfully awake and pulls in slightly as I pass, so a small wave of thanks from me is reciprocated by a flash of his headlights and then I am over the next rise and gone. The halfway point of the journey is marked by a nice roundabout. I say nice because the tarmac is in excellent order and as I have to go 3/4 round it there arises another excuse to check out the Pirellis I still like Michelins on the F4 but I'm warming to the Corsas (if you'll excuse the pun)

At this time of year in the UK it's pea harvesting time and as this is generally done at night, there is quite a bit of farm traffic on the roads, even this early on a morning. I approach a couple of these slow moving vehicles just as I reach the next set of twisties. Turning out of a damp field they have also deposited a fair amount of soil on the road, so the pace slows as I negotiate the road crud and then tiptoe past the tractors before accelerating once again. 30 miles covered and now I get to what I regard as the best 15 or 16 miles of the trip. A wonderful section of road incorporating straights (where you could just about max out the F4) but of course that would be breaking the speed limit which I never do! Also uphill and downhill hairpins and sweepers, the final part is a steep downhill bank, which even on fully warm tyres is a little like the corkscrew at Laguna Seca and has to be treated with the utmost respect.

Once down the bank I've only got about 5 or 6 miles to run and as I approach the outskirts of the town the fun is over as the build up of early morning traffic curbs my progress. I pull into the car park at work with an air of exillaration that I have to say I never get with the Duke, perhaps like shagging the girl next door as opposed to the super model you lust after?? The Duke is very good, the MV is exceptional!

I switch off the engine and listen to the fans and then when they stop, the ticking noise as the engine slowly cools.

8 Hours later I'm back on the bike heading home, the ride home isn't quite as much fun as of course it's now mid afternoon, the traffic is much heavier and sadly due to several biker fatalities in the county recently, Plod is much more in evidence. I should add I don't condone anyone using public roads as a racetrack, perhaps that might sound contradictory after you've read this post but I never push the boat out beyond my comfort zone which I feel is what many of the guys (and girls) who have lost their lives in biking accidents around here appear to have done.

There are camera vans and patrol cars that seem to be constantly up and down the roads I have just described. It is a mini bikers heaven so I guess they are justified in their actions but I can't help feeling they've gone a little OTT. Anyways I digress, the weather report looks promising for tomorrow, the F4 is fuelled up and waiting in the garage!


Some notes on the vernacular for our overseas chums:


White van man - Small delivery truck driver, often unaware there are other road users of any description

Victor Volvo - Myopic gentleman fond of driving Swedish vehicles from the aforementioned manufacturer

Plod - Policeman - Cop

Jethro - Our good old farmer boy/s


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If you can't fix it with a hammer you've got an electrical problem!


No MV's in the garage anymore
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but I pop in here from time to time
. Come to think of it I don't have a garage since the old one burnt down!
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But...…..a new one is currently rising from the ashes......watch this space!
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Last edited by john; 06-30-2011 at 01:53 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 02:02 PM
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I know how you feel I leave home South of Scarborough for a fifty mile ride to Sunny Scunny. I alternate between the 2 MV's as the Duke dropped a valve at the beginning of the year and I still haven't got it back together
If you travel through the Humberside area to get to Scarborough be aware of a Silver grey Hyabusa.
It spends a lot of time around Fridaythorpe Wetwang and Octon Roundabout. Its based at the traffic office in Driffield.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 04:50 PM
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I read it all John and it's a very nice and detailed description that shows how much the ride on the F4 inspired you
Take advantage of the nice weather there and go to work on the F4 more often
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 07:11 PM
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Wow you need to cut that out John

You may actually enjoy going to work

looking forward to reading day two and three

let the saga continue



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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 07:54 PM
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Wink commuting?

nice read John;
around town.....consistent speeds under 80mph/130kph, the Brutale hands down..... F4 or Aprilia are 2nd choices

distance at speed, more than 80mi/130km....F4 or Aprilia

far 200mi+/320km+ the F4 or the Aprilia with a tank bag then a back pack

hauling junk around.....like big boxes to the Post....or cylinder heads to the shop or camping......the BMW 1150GS

going to check out a bike for Dave, the_castle round trip ~400mi without detours.....
i'll go the coast route, take the Brutale, to San Luis Obispo , check the bike out, then head up the road another 30mi to Paso Robles to see my buddy Stuart Toomey......gas it back to Nipomo for barbecue at Jocko's http://www.yelp.com/biz/jockos-steak-house-nipomo

then stop and see all the cousins in Santa Barbara, stay there, hit the Malibu Canyons in the morning on the way home.......

maybe i'll do a canyon or 2 on the way up or the 33 to the 58 to the 101......

http://maps.google.com/maps?client=o...N&hl=en&tab=wl

its tough living in SoCal


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 05:57 AM
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Great write up John, im glad you commuted on it and enjoyed it. My commute is a similiar distance, but I could only wish for those sorts of roads. I ride 40 miles of possibly the busiest roads in the UK - and i still love her!! Now you just need to try touring on it and you will realise that its pretty damn good at doing that too. The Ducati will be on biketrader in no time!!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by trickydicky View Post
If you travel through the Humberside area to get to Scarborough be aware of a Silver grey Hyabusa.
It spends a lot of time around Fridaythorpe Wetwang and Octon Roundabout. Its based at the traffic office in Driffield.
I heard the filth had got a lardabusa. Have they replaced the VFR with that donkey?

On a different note you will probably know, those idiots in road maintenance have showered part of the road I commute over with a half inch of chippings, it's bloody legalised homicide for anyone on a bike, the tw**s have no regard for anyone on two wheels. I was fishtailing all over the place at 15 MPH!! It's just like riding your bike on a pebble beach. A couple of kids on mopeds skidded and crashed on a similar patch of road near Goole a couple of weeks ago. They call it a way of making economical road repairs, but if you were to slide off and hit a car approaching in the opposite direction it would be goodnight Vienna! Sorry for the rant, those arseholes will be getting a snotty letter on Monday.


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Keep one wheel down!

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If you can't fix it with a hammer you've got an electrical problem!


No MV's in the garage anymore
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but I pop in here from time to time
. Come to think of it I don't have a garage since the old one burnt down!
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But...…..a new one is currently rising from the ashes......watch this space!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 01:13 AM
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WOW...can't believe I just read all that....lol

Great write up...

I come home from my Grave Yard 3rd shift around 5am (just around sun rise)...and this read just makes me want to hop onto my F4 and take off :P

I might just do that today!!

~Serge~
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 08:23 AM
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Nice write up john, I have to go to Norfolk for the best roads, lets hope you are safe from the law that early in the morn. If I win the lottery I will find a country where the law is less ominous, or build by own track.

It's odd talking to the police motorcyclists my way, under the right circumstances I get the idea they don't mind some excess speed, they even seem to sympathise, but are guarded in what they say as they still officially represent the law. I would not want to be a Police motorcyclist and nick other motorcyclists for what I may well be doing myself, I would hate it.

All Police motorcyclists now have to be keen bikers and own their own private machines according to what I was told on a Police motorcycling training course I attended.
I was warned that Police car drivers do seem to have it in for us, and of course cameras have no empathy at all, although I was told a chap with hand held radar should be able to show descretion if you are using appropiate speed to safely overtake.

The real crux of the matter for any of us with sporty machines, or a sporty attitude, is there ay point in riding/owning a machine completely within the confines of the law, is there still fun to be had?
What is going through the mind of the average sports bike rider when only doing 60mph on a really fast looking country B road with no junctions onto it? On the MV it seems like I could get off and walk, still don't think I'll try though!

Amongst are world wide forum members, do any of us come from a country where they don't ban you from the road for speeding, either for a build up of points or doing 85mph+ in a 60mph limit etc.
In Germany back in the 80's I did 150mph legally on the auto barns, in this country that would of been a jail sentance, and yes I am talking about Britain in the 80's when there was alot less traffic.

Last edited by MVBERT; 07-07-2011 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Another point.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MVBERT View Post
although I was told a chap with hand held radar should be able to show descretion if you are using appropiate speed to safely overtake.
I wish the chap who busted me doing 47 in a 40 whilst ovetaking showed some discretion. 3 points and 60 sheets i got, although to be fair, after that particular journey I was quite happy to take that, they caught me at possibly the lowest speed i had done for the whole journey That was on the way out to Norfolk as it happens. Lovely roads round there though.
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