MV Agusta news and 999 in the flesh.greenspun.com : LUSENET : MV Agusta F4 : One Thread
I contacted my local MV dealer in Tucson today to see what the status would be of the F5 or SPRs and here's what he said. This may be old new and if you've heard something else, please let us know:
1) Brutales may be coming in toward the end of the year (US) or early 2003.
2) SPRs are next in Cagiva's project lineup. They'll probably be arriving sometime in 2003. Sorry. No specific month given.
3) He mentioned the deal with Piaggio fell through, so MV's are being produced in less numbers. I think this will make resale values go up.
4) He also mentioned that there may not be a Senna model for 2003, as it's a limited production. Call me ignorant, but I thought they would only make 300 a year, ever year! He mentioned the AGO would be the next limited production MV.
5) As for the F5, he mentioned that it may be another year (2004) till we see it, because Cagiva has its hands full with the Brutale Oro/Strada and the SPR, plus sorting out its funding problem.
Lastly, I stopped by my local Ducati (not an MV dealer) to see the 999 in the flesh, since several people on Ducatinfopop mentioned it was much better looking in the flesh. My impressions were...well:
1) It's a nice looking motorcycle from certain angles. It appear to have good quality and attention to details. The front looks pretty nice and little agressive. From a top view, it also has a nice shape with a triangular motif. From the back the exhaust holes were smaller than I thought. Quality of the exhaust look pretty good.
2) It has a really weird min-head light mounted on the windscreen. It's reminiscent of a flush mounted turn signal. Dealer told me it was a European safety regulation. A new windscreen could take care of it.
3) It look relatively comfortable. Seat height looked very look. Maybe the 999's really designed to be a sports tourer!
4) If you like seeing engine and frame parts, the 999 is for you. The section underneath the seat and then towards the engine should alot of the bike. Personally, I don't like it. It looks a bit clutter and looks like it's really a half-fairing bike and the second half of the fairing is an option. Think of the old Kawasaki EX500s.
I wanted to take a look at it because sometime in 2003, I'd like to add another bike to the stable again. Overall, it would be a very nice bike for $10,000. And if it cost $10,000, I'd probably really want one. However, for a $18K bike, I'm not sure. Had I not had an MV, perhaps I'd be more receptive to the 999 and there is NO WAY, I'd every trade a MV for a 999.
Performance-wise, I'm sure it's all the 996/998 ever was and more. I mean....well, it's a nice bike. However, parts of it look like its not finished. Like a work in progress. Someone mentioned that the look will grow on you. But for a $18K, Italian motorcycle, it should not have to grown on you. I'll take another look at it on Saturday.
-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (Agibbs996@aol.com), November 12, 2002
Just a quick confirmation on what you mentioned on the Senna. They have only made 300 and will only every make 300.... limited edition usually means one off/one of a kind.
-- Robert McCaskie (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 13, 2002.
Re. the Senna, note that on the top yoke plaque, mine says "026/300" not just "026" - this means that they can't produce any more, unlike Ducati who seemed to use the excuse of slightly changing the paint to produce another batch. This fact encouraged me (as if I needed any) to take the plunge.
The 999? - I agree that from the front and top it looks interesting, but that the profile is hideous; all that exposed untidy chassis tubing is a mess, the quality of welding is nothing to brag about, and the short firing makes the bike look too long. I think the exhaust looks like it's made of plastic, but I don't suppose many will stay standard for long. They must REALLY miss Tamburini!
-- Ralph Goldstein (email@example.com), November 13, 2002.
I understand now. Becuase Ducati has produced several model years of Sennas, I had thought MV would product about 300 F4 Sennas every year.
-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (Agibbs996@aol.com), November 13, 2002.
I saw a 999 over the weekend I wasn't any more impressed with the look of the bike in person then I was with it in print. I HATE the tail section and exhaust. I'm not crazy about the stacked headlights on the front either. It may perform but it doesn't move me at all.
When I first saw a picture of the Yamaha R7 I decided I wanted to ride bikes and knew I wanted one without a doubt. When I first saw the MV while I wasn't initially found of it I still thought it was a very beautiful bike, just not my tastes (obviously that changed). The 999 just leaves me empty. I don't get any vibes from it. Its like they didn't know if they wanted to evolve from the 916 or go completely different (which IMHO would have been better) so the bike looks like it has a personality crisis. Like its trying to prove something yet not sure how to do it. Maybe they didn't want to many comparisons to the F4 which a lot of people (myself included) think was the natural successor to the 916/996/998
-- TP (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 13, 2002.
Here's my take on the whole deal. I'm not really sure that I like the way the 999 looks, but I have to ride it to make a decision. If I had cash in hand, I'd be at my local MV dealer (the one Allan called) and I'd be looking hard at the current year Mille R before the 999. The dealer has one on sale for $17k. I know that the Ducatis are making more power out of the box right now, but how can you compete with Ohlins suspension? Come on. It's no mystery why Aprilia is one of the fastest growing bike companies in existence.
I make no secret of the fact that I haven't warmed up to twins yet either. They are nice, they have lots of torque, etc etc. BUT, I happen to like a high strung bike with a good top end rush. It's fun. It's challenging. The MV would only really keep up with other bikes when I had it above 10 grand, which is fun for me. And I let a guy ride it (who let me race his bike so you gotta respect that) and listened to it going down the straightaway from behind. You could definitely pick it out from the generic Japanese inline fours easily. That 4 into 2 (into 4 but that's really irrelevant) wail is very distinctive. I like that. I think the only other bike I'd consider at this point (exotic one anyway) is the Benelli. But I haven't ridden a triple yet so I'm not sure. Or if Triumph pulled their finger out...
Now, with all that said, if I rode a 999 and decided it was the right bike after the ride, I'd buy it. Looks be damned. Looks can be damned on the MV too, I didn't buy it for looks but it sure is a plus that it is pretty... I'm with Allan. I wouldn't trade it for much of anything at this point.
Here's my wish list to MV: Keep building the bike. The 750 engine size is legendary, and makes a great compromise. It's fast, but it still screams. Take 20 pounds off the bike by using forged wheels (or magnesium), aluminum disc carriers, magnesium engine covers, etc. Make some more engine updates to smooth out the injection a little, add power to shut up the journalists (the Senna seems to have done this), fix all the annoying quirks (water pump, brakes, skimpy looking sidestand), and there you have it. This chassis should be able to last as long as the 916's has. I'd probably buy another one.
-- Andy Ruhl (email@example.com), November 13, 2002.
I actually went back again today to look at the 999 again. I have no intention of buying anything till atleast next year. Arizona's budget problems puts a big question mark on my employment in January. Anyways.
This time, I actually sat on the 999 this time. You lean as far forward as you do on the MV. However, the seat height (and the bike itself) is amazingly low. I think its like 28 or 29 inches. I had a chance to see the instrument panel, which is pretty "neat." There's a small display that lights up and says "999" for a few seconds. Gauges, asides from the regular items, include a lap-timer and ambient temperature. The display set up is simple and effective. It's all line-of-sight. Mirrors are useful but awkwardly shaped.
Overall, I'd give the 999 a B+. I like liter class v-twins because the low end torque makes it easy for around town commuting. And there is the issue. $18K for a commuter bike? The 999 is no match for the MV's emotional appeal. Performance per dollar, its still no match for any of the more powerful and more economical Japanese bikes. So, I still can't really see a place for the 999. BTW, the Milles is just too big/wide for me.
As Andy mentioned, the Tornado is also another heartthrob. However, after my experiences with the first year production MV, I think I'd wait a year or two for Benelli to workout the growing pains.
Another interesting bike, which I've never considered before is the new Honda CBR600RR. I like what Honda has done with the underseat exhaust and for $8K, it's a more appropriate sport-commuting bike. It would be cheaper in insurance too. I spent about an hour in the show room looking at the 999....trying to "get to know the bike." What I've realize is that a bike in a showroom is like a woman wearing makeup. In it's environment and in the right lights, it looks very appealing. I'm not sure would happen when I take it home. I was starting to get found of the 999, until I saw the older 998s and 996s and nostalgia hit! :) Now I know why the dealer didn't put them side by side.
BTW, I mentioned the 999 had a small, tack-on third head light, which looks like a flushed turn signal mounted on the windscreen. The dealer showed me a modified windscreen that sunk the 3rd head light lower. IT LOOKED LIKE A 3rd EYE IN THE FOREHEAD FREAK!!!!!!!!!!! The do have a windscreen that deletes the third eye, though.
-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (Agibbs996@aol.com), November 14, 2002.
I agree with your assessment of the 999. From certain angles it appears agressive and purposeful, but I would by no means call it "pretty". To me many of the design details were changed from the 916/996/998 just for sake of being different, like Ducati wanted to distance themselves from the 916! The muffler looks like it could be on a lawnmower! Like it or not for Ducati, the 916 family is what most people think of when they think of Ducati, I do not forsee the 999 replacing it as the "face" of Ducati. Why not continue making the 998 with a slightly softer sporting focus (such as having a real seat, slightly higher bars, etc)? Ducati probably already knows the answer: that it would outsell the 999 and ST4s. I have had an 851 for seven years, and I love it. For years I was a hardcore Ducati fan, but for the last couple of years I've wondered about their product line. They now have the ST family (blah), SS family (overstyled), monster (looking older every year), multistrada (?!), and now finally they replaced their superbikes with something MUCH less attractive. Maybe I just bought into the "image" thing more when I was younger, but I think their line has kept pace. My 2 cents. Since this is the MV board and not the Ducati rant post, let me add that the MV is still, now four years on, the best looking bike available. Unfortunately I don't have $19k to spend though, so my future red/silver 1+1 will have to depreciate down to my budget. I do think they will depreciate if MV goes belly up, just look at Bimota prices.
-- Steve Burns (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 15, 2002.
Thanks for your post, Steve. Good luck with your search for an MV. I would recommend cautiously approaching the 2000 models, as it is the first year model.
In regards to the MV, I don't believe they will go belly up...at least for long. The MV's design, its prescense in the motorcycle world, and "legacy" is too strong to let it fade away to oblivion...again.
My prediction is that, should Cagiva go belly up, another motorcycle manufacturer or investors will pickup MV Agusta. The question is, how cheap can they pick it up? If MV Agusta goes bankrupt under Cagiva, then investors can pickup for cheap and revive it. Perhaps we should start saving now and make a group purchase for MV Agusta. Like Harley, it will be a company owned by enthusiast for enthusiast.
I thought I heard rumors somewhere that Ducati was considering pickup up MV Agusta. In that case, the current F4S will triple if not quadruple in value!!! Why because when Terrablache redesigns the F4S, it will look like a Multi-strada with quad exhaust!!! :D
-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (Agibbs996@aol.com), November 15, 2002.
This Senna thing,don`t forget who owned Ducati when they made the Senna,--------and then the Senna`2`
-- Mike Tilston (email@example.com), November 16, 2002.