The MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800

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A review by Diana Jenkins

SEXY, SPORTY, COMFORTABLE TOURER

It is clear after riding it for long periods of time the bike is a serious contender for someone looking for a sport touring motorcycle.

The MV Agusta’s Turismo Veloce 800 is an adventure-inspired sport touring bike and I love it!  If you are in the market for a sportyish bike that can take you on long trips with comfort you should take a closer look.

The bike is similar to the BMW XR, Ducati Multistrada DVT and others at the higher end of the adventure inspired sport touring segment.  It is packed with the latest riding technology and it is put together to deliver ergonomics for comfortable travel, and has the luggage capacity for long distance travel.

I’m going to be very biased and say that the Turismo Veloce is the best looking and sexiest motorcycle in this segment, so for me it’s welcome to the motorcycle touring world in comfort!

Reading a few articles the Turismo Veloce’s motor is a variation on the F3 motor, where the 800 cc three-cylinder motor has been re-worked to prioritise torque over horse power and ride-ability over race-ability. The result is a very docile machine when on touring mode (the bike has four pre-set engine performance maps you can choose from: rain, touring, sport and custom).  The touring map is perfect for a relaxed ride and works great for city riding as well and the fuel economy is spot on! (not shy of 200 miles per tank, which takes around £21 to fill).

Now for the techy stuff

The Turismo Veloce 800 comes in two models, Turismo Veloce and Turismo Veloce Lusso.  The main difference between the two is in the suspension.  The Lusso comes with a Sachs semi-active suspension, while the Veloce has Marzochi fronts and Sachs rear, but fully adjustable.  Other differences between the standard and the Lusso versions are accessories, such as grip warmers, GPS, centre stand and a data logger which are standard equipment on the Lusso.

  • Displacement:798 cc
  • Power:110 hp at 10,000 rpm
  • Torque: 61.2 lb-ft at 8,000 rpm
  • Electronic quick-shift: Up and down
  • Wheelbase: 57.48 inches
  • Maximum speed: 143 mph (230kmh)
  • Dry weight: 421 pounds (191 kg)
  • Fuel tank capacity:8 gallons (22 litres)
  • Front Suspension: Marzocchi “upside down” telescopic hydraulic fork with rebound-compression damping and spring preload external and separate adjustment. Fork travel: 6.3 inches.
  • Rear Suspension: Progressive Sachs, single shock, absorber with rebound and compression, damping and spring preload adjustment. Wheel travel: 6.5 inches.
  • ABS System: Bosch 9 Plus with RLM (Rear wheel Lift-up Mitigation) Whatever that means!

Base model comes with Marzochi front forks and Sachs shock on the rear, fully adjustable.

Up Close and Personal

When I arrived at Cupar Motorcycles, the bike was sitting outside on the forecourt. First impression, gosh it looks pretty sexy compared to the BMW’s and Ducati’s. Second impression, without the luggage is it has a slim tight ass, and third, even being lowered it still looks on the tall side.

It has a colour TFT display with operation information and several settings to choose from.

From a switch on the left side of the handlebars you control the settings.  On the bottom of the display, from left to right you have:

  • Settings menu: This is where you work on general settings. Among them you will find the quick shift settings, which has an “off” or “on” position, and when “on” you can select active when changing gears up only or active for both up and down.
  • Grip warmer(Lusso model only) which I don’t have.
  • Suspension settings: Operates semi-active suspension, available on the Lusso model only – looking at the bikes manual, it is similar to other bikes with Sachs semi-active suspension.
  • ABS: Two positions, on or off (1 for on, o for off).  It can also be operated from a switch on the right side of the handle bars.
  • Traction control: Eight levels of intervention.
  • Trip information:Trip counter 1 and 2, odometer from start, odometer with reserve fuel, average speed, duration of the ride.  Comment: It is interesting to note this bike does not show miles to empty or any fuel consumption data – perhaps something that is only available on the Lusso model’s data logger – the bike does have a fuel level gauge the amber light for reserve, and a trip meter starting from zero when the reserve light comes on.
  • Map: Selection of engine map.  Rain, Touring, Sport or Custom.  Custom being the one map you customise for your riding style.  Custom includes gas sensitivity (normal low high), engine torque (full power or low power), engine brake (normal or low), engine response (fast or slow), and RPM limiter (soft or hard). Maps operate independently of ABS and Traction Control levels.  Comment: I do not know what levels of each of these variables are pre-set for the rain, touring and sport maps.  I assume sport modes has all the goodies on (high gas sensitivity, fast engine response, full power, normal engine braking, hard RPM limiter).
  • Speed Limiter: Tried it but didn’t like it!
  • Cruise Control:  It’s operation is very intuitive, with levels of speed +/- settings, or it is also operated by a button on the right side of the handlebars which is basically a one touch operation, adjusting it for the speed you are riding at the time of engagement. Great piece of kit.  I use it all the time as I can’t afford to get any more points on my licence!!
  • Bluetooth: Still don’t know what this is for, maybe if I read the instructions it would help!
  • Data Logger:  This is a GPS data logging, Lusso only.

On top is the button that operates the bike’s settings and information display (press and left/right movement).

When pressing the button on the top, you can manoeuvre left and right the items on the bottom part of the menu.  For example, I set traction control to level 4,  but it goes from “off” on the left to level 8 (most interference). Most of the settings can be done on the fly, so no need to stop.

On the right side you will find the other controls.  It is great that this bike has a handlebar on/off switch for ABS.  Same for cruise control, which is also very easy to operate.

Right side of the handlebars: cruise control and ABS

The mirrors are small and took a little getting used to as they are position on the handle bars unlike my previous bike where they were on the fairing.

The seat is very comfortable, and have no complaints about it, unlike the MV Brutale I sat on, it was like razor blades between your legs

The seat is very comfortable – I didn’t try the passenger seat!

Apparently MV says that the capacity to carry bags for touring was an intricate element of the bike’s design.  The rear of the bike is tall and has a unique, and good looking sub frame which accommodates the bags. (MV’s words not mine).  The bags are large (30 litres each) but a portion of them sit under this tall sub frame, to where they attach via two insertion points each bag (check the four plastic caps which hide the two insertion points for each bag). The other attachment area for each bag is at the passenger foot peg.

The sub-frame looks like a sculpture.

The width of the bike with the bags is narrower than the width at the handlebars which is good if you are filtering.  The bags are symmetrical (no cut out for exhaust) and apparently MV Agusta claims each bag will fit a full face helmet, I have yet to try mine.

2018 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce – narrow profile of bags – narrower than bar ends.

And what about those beautiful 12-spoke wheels!

The bike has four sources of power for accessories.  It includes two USB plugs below the dashboard.

Two USB plugs close to the dashboard.

The other two connectors are SAE style plugs, one for the rider, the other for the passenger.

Passenger’s 12V SAE plug.

The lights! It has LED lights, and the frame of the diamond shaped lights are the running lights.

LED running lights.

How let’s take it for a ride!

The triple motor sounds quiet, unlike the Benelli (EU regulations – boring) but it has an edge to it, a bit raw.

The touring mode delivers very linear acceleration, it is perfect for riding in town and it works well on the open road as well.  It can be a bugger to ride in slow traffic you need the rev’s up and feather the throttle, but once you have mastered that, it’s a joy.

I haven’t tried on sport mode yet as I’m still breaking it in, but I will keep you all updated.  If it’s anything like the MV Agusta Dragstar RR sport mode then I’m in for a huge surprise!

It is clear after riding it for long periods of time the bike is a serious contender for someone looking for a sport touring motorcycle. This could be people who are looking to move to a more comfortable sports bike, or people who want to downsize from their heavy adventure motorcycles after they realised they mostly ride on roads anyway.

The bike feels very light on several aspects.  The throttle and clutch action feel very light. It feels very light when in motion, very responsive to minor counter steering input, it likes to lean into curves, not sure if this has something to do with the counter rotating crankshaft technology.

Now for the techy stuff

In a conventional piston-crank arrangement in an engine or compressor, a piston is connected to a crankshaft by a connecting rod. As the piston moves through its stroke, the connecting rod varies its angle to the direction of motion of the piston and as the connecting rod is free to rotate at its connection to both the piston and crankshaft, no torque is transmitted by the connecting rod and forces transmitted by the connecting rod are transmitted along the longitudinal axis of the connecting rod. The force exerted by the piston on the connecting rod results in a reaction force exerted by the connecting rod back on the piston. When the connecting rod makes an angle to the direction of motion of the piston, the reaction force exerted by the connecting rod on the piston has a lateral component. This lateral force pushes the piston sideways against the cylinder wall. As the piston moves within the cylinder, this lateral force causes additional friction between the piston and cylinder wall. Friction accounts for approximately 20% of all losses in an internal combustion engine, of which approximately 50% is due to piston cylinder friction.

In a paired counter-rotating crankshaft arrangement, each piston is connected to two crankshafts so lateral forces due to the angle of the connecting rods cancel each other out. This reduces piston-cylinder friction and therefore fuel consumption. The symmetrical arrangement reduces the requirement for counterweights, reducing overall mass and making it easier for the engine to accelerate and decelerate. It also eliminates engine rocking and torque effects.

Enough of that

The acceleration is great, and to me it sounds phenomenal, the quick-shift works great and has a quick turn in.  This bike delivers plenty of fun at faster speeds.

I haven’t adjusted the suspension, the bike’s default setting seems okay to me just what I’m used to.

The distance seat-to-pegs felt good and the handlebars came right up for a perfect sit up position, they felt right where they should be.

The windshield / fairing (is that what we call it?) has various setting which is just about useful.

I have had 196 miles out of the fuel tank, which is what you want from a touring bike.

The Turismo Veloce will not substitute a Tiger 800XC in its adventure riding, as I see them as completely different bikes.  Nonetheless I could see me taking the Turismo Veloce to Europe and doing hundreds of miles with comfort and ease.

Don’t take my word for it, if you are lucky to have an MV Agusta dealer near you, call them and take one of these bikes for a test ride.  If you can’t resist the purchase after the test ride, don’t blame me.

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