Writer: Karim Munib
As with all MVs, the powerful F3 is synonymous with brilliance, technology and bravura. Applying its distinctive touch to a totally new market segment, the brand emerges in pole position. Yet again.
The times are once again a-changing at MV Agusta. Bought by Harley-Davidson just before the financial crisis, only to be sold back to its former owners the Castiglioni family, the company’s in the best shape it’s been in for a long time. With zero debt, a good working capital, plenty of cash in the bank, and an array of sexy new bikes, including the F3, MV’s fortunes are definitely on the up.
In an exclusive interview, Giovanni Castiglioni, MV Agusta’s 30-year-old ceo reveals that the company is deeply influenced by what he calls the ‘Porsche philosophy’. “What we have in our four-cylinder range is the 911 Gamma. The F4RR is our 911 GT3, the F4 is our 911 Turbo and the Brutales are our Carreras. The F3 completes our sports product range because it represents our Cayman, while the F3 Brutale is our Boxter.”
This doesn’t mean the brand’s pedigree is being diluted in any way. Beyond its high-revving 675cc 3-cylinder engine, the F3 is endowed with an abundance of premium features such as a counter-rotating crankshaft, fully adjustable Marzocchi and Sachs suspension, as well as radially-mounted Brembo brakes.
“The F3 is a revolutionary product at a very competitive price. It’s the most technologically advanced 600 on the market. It has a full drive-by-wire system that makes the bike intelligent, with unique mapping, special traction control and an electronic engine management system. In fact, the F3 is comparable to top level 1,000cc superbikes.”
And that’s the key. Large displacement bikes obviously appeal to speed demons and the biking press but most riders don’t really need a bike that can push 150 km/h in first gear. The F3 has everything most sports riders need. Proof of this is the demand the bike has generated.
“We are now seeing three F3 orders for every F4,” Castiglioni says, adding that in 2012, MV Agusta expects to sell between 8,000 and 9,000 bikes. “The only manufacturer in Italy that is bigger than this is Ducati, so we are in a good position.”