Despite cash-strapped parent company Harley-Davidson looking to sell it off in order to raise much-needed capital (this after recently purchasing ownership rights late last year), MV Agusta looks to be back at full strength with a flurry of new models for 2010, the latest of which is the all-new F4 1000 R that was unveiled at the Milan EICMA show. In an apparent move toward future World Superbike aspirations, MV Agusta has returned the F4 to its previous-generation 998cc displacement with an all-new engine that is much lighter and compact, yet nearly as powerful as its 80cc-larger predecessor.
While the inline-four-cylinder engine architecture utilizes the same 76 x 55mm bore x stroke configuration, virtually everything else has been examined and redesigned in the quest for less weight and more power. The crankshaft inertia has been increased by 50 percent to smooth throttle response (one of our major gripes with the F4 engine), with lighter and stronger connecting rods. The cylinder head's signature radial four-valve combustion chamber setup returns with lighter titanium intake valves and shorter intake tracts working with the TSS variable intake setup (from the F4 Tamburini model) breathing through new 49mm Mikuni throttle bodies sporting two injectors per cylinder. All of this, plus the Mark II traction control system, is manipulated by the first production use of the Marelli 7BM ECU. Both the oil and coolant pumps have been redesigned for better efficiency, with numerous additional changes to the engine cutting bulk and/or adding power.
The original four separate "organ pipe" under-seat exhaust penned by original designer Massimo Tamburini has been retained, with an electronically-controlled valve helping cut down on noise.
Although outwardly similar, the hybrid chromoly steel tube lattice/cast aluminum sideplate chassis has changes to the thickness and diameter of the steel tubing coupled with a redesign of the aluminum swingarm pivot plates for less weight and better torsional rigidity. The swingarm pivot plates have also been moved forward, increasing front-end weight bias while allowing the single-sided swingarm (now 2.65 pounds lighter) to be 20mm longer without affecting the wheelbase. Even the 50mm Marzocchi inverted fork and rear wheel hub went under the engineering CAD knife to drop weight.
The end result is a motorcycle that cranks out a claimed 186.3 horsepower at 12,900 rpm, while weighing in at a claimed 424 pounds dry. Surely a recipe for serious performance, and one that we'll be reporting on as soon as we're able to swing a leg over one.