MV Agusta to Build Sport-Adventure Bike on New In-Line Four Platform?

After a period in which MV Agusta seemed unable to find its place in the international market, it looks like the elite Italian bike manufacturer has finally found a recipe with good odds of achieving the massive success others enjoy.
With sales on the rise during the last years, MV Agusta drew enough attention from Mercedes to convince the German maker that investing is worth the effort. With a decent financing obtained for 25% of the whole business and the promise that Mercedes will not interfere with the bike-making business unless asked to, MV Agusta has all it needs to sustain the growth.

Giovanni Castiglioni's recent declarations at the official launch of the Turismo Veloce 800 machine indicate that Varese is more or less in a straight line for a new generation of in-line four engines that could be used to power the next generation of liter-class (or even bigger) machines.

It's obvious that MV Agusta will not give up its racing program, especially now that all the AMG racing expertise is at hand, and everything seems to work better and better. However, simply building only one bike sounds too much like putting all the eggs in one basket.

Some might argue that Schiranna has no less than four F bikes on offer now, F4, F4 R, F4 RR, and the most recent addition to the family, the 212 hp F4 RC. While this is true, we are looking at pretty much the same bike, as all these are track-focused machines that are also legal on the street.

MV Agusta is surely looking to take things to a new level and tap in market segments that were almost taboo until a few years ago. Turismo Veloce 800 is probably the best example of forward thinking, as the Italian maker decided to reach out to more customers by offering more than pure road sport machinery.

However, the hottest segment in the industry now is the sport-adventure niche, and seeing MV Agusta taking part in the fray will only be a small (but most welcome) surprise. Ducati Multistrada receives tough competition from BMW and KTM, in the shape of the S1000XR and 1050 Adventure, and it looks like the customer pool is extending.

People seem to like being able to benefit from the power of a liter-class superbike getting closer to the 200 hp bar, yet enjoying a more comfortable riding position, more compliant suspensions, even active ones, better weather protection, extended luggage-carrying capabilities, and a host of other handy features.

Some voices even say that this is the very reason Suzuki is not transforming the liter-class V-Strom into an enduro-adventure bike. Staying somewhere between the sport and the enduro sides of the very generous "adventure" concept might have certain advantages, some say.

However, if Suzuki wants to do battle with the rest of the sport-adventure bikes, it's the engine of the GSX-R1000 that must be tweaked and used. Oh, wait, they already have the power plant of the GSX-S1000! Do we get to see a V-Strom-inspired frame with that engine in Milan this fall? We just might, if Suzuki has real sport-adventure plans.

The same recipe might also work for MV Agusta, with the difference that the Italians have even more reasons to tap this niche. The house of Schiranna has an amazing sporting heritage that can be used in marketing the new machine. Even more, with AMD support for implementing cutting-edge racing technology for the two-wheeled segment, MV Agusta may also have the upper hand in designing a better-performing engine suitable for both WSBK, in its purest form, and touring, in a re-tuned version.

If anything, adding one more bike to the so far, lonely Turismo Veloce 800 will certainly appeal to more experienced riders who want to have both MV Agusta grunt and long-range comfort and convenience in the same package.

Far from being imperative, Mr. Castiglioni could pay a visit to Mercedes and talk about the prospect of having some of the designers who create German concepts spend some time with their new corporate colleagues... if you catch my drift.

Tamburini's design and heritage will be most likely impossible to separate from MV Agusta for years to come, but this doesn't mean that the brand language can't be revolutionized. As I wrote in the initial report on the new engine, this looks like the perfectly timed moment for MV Agusta to come forth with something completely new.

Yamaha dared to change the whole paradigm for their R1 superbike and retained the excellent crossplane engine but rebuilt everything surrounding it, loading a ton of high-tech gadgetry and software for a top-notch market impact.

MV Agusta's MVICS 2.0 is a great development platform for a future software package for both road and track, and it already integrates the semi-active suspensions (standard on the Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso) that seem to be the new fad in the industry.

A bigger, more powerful sister for the Veloce could represent a great opportunity for Schiranna, especially in the wealthier markets. Tradition is, of course, good, but at times, change is even better.
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