I wondered if someone knows more about new MV models (F4, Brutale and also 3 cylinders). As motorcycles shows will start soon after summer, perhaps some good spied pics or news could be read already on the net ?
With Harley's funding and management, I heard a new bike may show up at Milan and be in showrooms in 2010. Right now, the focus (at least for the U.S.) was to clear out left over F4R and 312R on dealer's floors which I think their doing.
I stopped by Pro Italia on Sunday and they said there's been a huge spike for demand on the F4S. They've sold 2 F4S (including my old one) within 30 days.
Just from a design and manufacturing standpoint, I can't see anything new coming in 2010. Not to mention the global crunch which is far, far from over. I know they've been working on stuff based on the chatter from journalists as well as MV staff but restructuring under Harley is going to take a year at best and will seriously slow development of any future models this year for next. I can see them bringing something to Milan for an 2011 launch as a teaser but that would depend on their marketing strategy. We saw the new RSV4 and BMW seemingly decades before they were officially released and we're STILL waiting for both in this country. It hasn't been fun to say the least. And waiting for a new MV, leaked a year early, wouldn't be a walk in the park either!
I guess my question would be how MV should tackle a new flagship model. I think most will concur the bike needs to be a bit more user friendly (wider performance envelope, component reliability, rider comfort) and loose weight. A lot of it. I would say their "halo" bike is of more importance than bringing in an all-new middleweight strictly from a prestige point. If they can do both at once, fantastic.
To really simplify the discussion, I could see them doing one of two things. First, eliminating some of the aesthetic but heavy traits of the current MV (single sided swinger as an example but not limited to) or go seriously upmarket and keep those parts light by using more exotic materials over a larger portion of the bike. I'm talking a possibility of a $10K increase in the price. Maybe even a $39K MV, similar to Bimota's offerings. The redesign, theoretically, would use more magnesium, carbon fiber and titanium than the current bike to achieve the weight loss. It'd definitely keep it special but out of reach for a larger portion of the motorcycling community.
But let's say they go the other route, eliminate some of the key but heavy traits of the current bike, keep the price nearly the same but drastically increase the bike's performance envelope. No single sided swinger but still a pinnacle of aesthetics on two wheels. Would you buy it? Where is the line drawn in the sand?
Now I know they could, and probably should, integrate new manufacturing techniques to make components such as engine castings and frame components lighter. That technology has been used by the JDM's for years and Ducati is using it now as well. And the ll98, minus two cylinders, is very, very light for a streetbike. Despite it's larger pistons, rods and cranks, the L-twin isn't as heavy as it's 4-cylinder counterparts, especially compared to say the new R1 engine and it's beefed up cases.
I would hope the HD buyout would bring some manufacturing power (probably not expertise given HD's motorcycle lineup) and $$$ to integrate new manufacturing processes. It has to open doors somewhere. I'm just not sure where.
So what would you be willing to loose, if anything, to gain in performance? Would it be looks? Your hard-earned dollars? Just a discussion. I want to see MV succeed with a new model. Keeps the competition honest and all of us drooling.
When I laid eyes on my first MV (Brute), some of the first things I fell in love with were the single sided swingarm, slash-cut exhaust, and gorgeous star wheels. I can't wait for the new models, but some things should stand the test of time. You can't always improve on perfection. Just my .02
A couple of years ago, before the financial woes and buy-out by Harley, the reports of the new MV products (F3 and super-Mono) was announced, including Tamburini's finished plans for next generation F4. Everything got put on hold, but maybe now is the time.
Probably can't see the Cycle news article by Alan Cathcart anymore in this link, but he confirmed these things in his interviews with MV Headquarters: