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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I’ve been lurking n reading for a while.

I’ve been looking at F3 800 RCs for quite some time, and it’s the 2015 AMG liveried version that seems to have me most hooked.

Like any forum surfer, I’ve come across the stories of issues and like most, I’m most concerned with the valve dropping stories.

I have read all I can find and can’t find a concise summary of the actual root cause (or causes).

Similarly, although I gather that many (seemingly small when looked at individually) modifications have been carried out by the factory, I’m not very clear on which the main ones were, and if there is a clear ‘cut off date’ after which the issue is resolved.

Please forgive me if I’ve simply missed this, but is it possible for a knowledgable member or two to list out the precise root causes and the countermeasures and the dates at which they were introduced please?

Also, I’ve read about a ‘kit’ being available, which I believe contains springs, guides, cam. Is a kit available to retro fit to 2015 bikes? And is there a trusted U.K. based MV specialist I can discuss this with? The dealers and specialists I’ve spoken to so far have been pleasant, but vague.

My intent is to buy a F3 800 RC that will be used primarily for track days and ‘spirited‘ sunny day road rides only. So it won’t do vast mileage, but will get used as intended. As an ex racer I’m not phased by having to have the head removed and fettled if that’s what required.
 

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Hello & welcome

Good luck with your purchase. I am afraid that I am unable to answer your questions, but I am sure that someone will be along shortly to assist.
 

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Welcome to the family @Stressed Eddie ....you have been lurking a while now. Where are you within the UK?
There are multiple things related to the valve dropping on the early triples. Valve guides, Cam profile. valve springs, and more.
There is also the matter of proper maintenance (or lack of it) and users who over-rev their engines.
Regardless...not all 3 cylinder MVs have had a failure. There are quite a few out there with high mileage and no problems. But you only read about problems when you go to the internet.
@sleiper1 here in the USA has the answers you seek. He builds race engines and has expertise in the triples and rebuild services available.
Good luck with your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the family @Stressed Eddie ....you have been lurking a while now. Where are you within the UK?
There are multiple things related to the valve dropping on the early triples. Valve guides, Cam profile. valve springs, and more.
There is also the matter of proper maintenance (or lack of it) and users who over-rev their engines.
Regardless...not all 3 cylinder MVs have had a failure. There are quite a few out there with high mileage and no problems. But you only read about problems when you go to the internet.
@sleiper1 here in the USA has the answers you seek. He builds race engines and has expertise in the triples and rebuild services available.
Good luck with your search.
Thanks! Yes I’m familiar with Bruce’s posts and will more than likely reach out to him. But first i wanted to try and see if I could find a U.K. based version of Bruce. If one exists…
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Dunno if supertech beehive springs and Ti valves are available specifically for the thripples but might make a good talking point.
Dunno either, I looked at Kibblewhite and they have nothing listed either.

But this is why I want to discuss with someone who‘s been there / done that, and knows their stuff with these bikes. I’ve no desire to re invent the wheel !
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I won’t mention any names of those I’ve spoken to as it’s up to them what opinions they choose to post.

But I have now spoken to quite a few knowledgable folk and here’s what I’ve learnt so far, please note my questions were only about 800s:

As to the risk associated with this problem, without exception, every U.K. based expert I’ve spoken to has played down the risk immensely. Some saying they’ve never seen a dropped valve at all and perhaps the biggest U.K. MV dealers tech guy telling me he’s seen one Since 2012. Without exception they all said ‘buy the bike you want and enjoy it’ !

In fact, I wonder if climate plays a part here? The MV runs very thin oil as standard, a day on the track in a hot climate will likely turn the oil into little more than WD40! I wonder if this then causes cam chain tensioner issues (with the hydraulic tensioner models) which in turn further exacerbates valve train control, resonance, etc? A few I spoke to advised thicker oil, and regaular changes especially if used on the track. Maybe this is why?

As to the topic of exactly what countermeasures were introduced by MV and when, that is still a grey area, with the consensus being that MV are constantly improving so, basically, the later the bike the better.

As to the root causes of the issue: Short valve guides allowing the valve to flex and resonate is an issue. The weak valve design? That seems more like effect than cause to me. The valve springs? I’m still not quite sure exactly what the issue is with those. And the cam itself? That is definitely seen as the primary root cause by more than one very knowledgable person.

As to fitting improved parts inc the kit from MV as a preventative measure, every U.K. based tech I’ve spoken to has advised against this, it’s such a big job (I didn’t realise the frame had to be split to remove the head) that it’s something that should only be considered if a failure ever occurred.

So there, that’s the results of my findings at least.

Hope this helps folks searching for info in the future.
 

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I won’t mention any names of those I’ve spoken to as it’s up to them what opinions they choose to post.

But I have now spoken to quite a few knowledgable folk and here’s what I’ve learnt so far, please note my questions were only about 800s:
As to the risk associated with this problem, without exception, every U.K. based expert I’ve spoken to has played down the risk immensely. Some saying they’ve never seen a dropped valve at all and perhaps the biggest U.K. MV dealers tech guy telling me he’s seen one Since 2012. Without exception they all said ‘buy the bike you want and enjoy it’ !
Thank you for sharing your research with us Eddie, I had that same conversation with someone who is most experienced and authoritative, and apart from a few race engines, they had no experience of self-destructing MVs. Quote ‘very well engineered’. I subsequently became aware of someone selling an F3 800 that had the motor replaced under warranty, but I don't know what the issue was.

If I makes you feel any better, and it does me, a few years ago I met a fellow who was the senior service manager for a large BMW dealer. He regaled me with tales of unreliable BMWs, warranty claims and neurotic owners. I vaguely recall hearing somewhere that the much-vaunted BMW S 1000 RR was breaking rods? Don’t quote me.

I know a fella with one of those obese station wagon BMWs who broke the crank, quite common with that motor apparently. Given that MV has a significantly smaller budget than BMW, and BMWs reputation, I think they are doing very well indeed.

I had heard a few horror stories before I bought my TV, it made no difference to me and in fact, I bought an F4 as well, and I am waiting for a red and silver F3 to show up at the right price.

Sometimes I think that statistical coincidences play a part in all of this, much exacerbated by the internet. You meet 15 Aussies who play very good cricket, they are the only Aussies that you have ever met, and it is easy to assume that therefore all Aussies are good cricketers. Perhaps that wasn't the best analogy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, as others have often said on this forum, any forum is going to be skewed towards those who’ve had problems. It’s only natural that those who have had problems, will speak up for help, or just to vent. If you are unfortunate enough to drop a valves etc, being told it’s a statistically rare event isn’t really much help!

Even though the odds do appear low, I’m still (currently) thinking to do my best to stack them in my favour.

My favourite F3 RC is the 2015 (and 16?) AMG liveried version, that’s what the heart desires. But my head is saying to go for a later Euro 4 version in which the known weaknesses seem to have been addressed by the factory.

There are two fabulous low mileage AMG RCs for sale here in the U.K. presently, I do,wish they’d sell so that the temptation is taken away !!
 
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