Holy fuckeroni. This new MV Agusta F4 RC is stunning: a pure racing homologation special with little regard for road etiquette, allowing MV Agusta to compete in World Superbikes with a rolling melange of exotic materials to showcase technology. Sadly, only 250 RCs will make production. And it’ll cost €36,900 – if you can find one.
The F4’s biggest problem (apart from making you feel like a flea riding a dog’s ball bag) has always been its weight. At 183kg in dry form, the RC (Reparto Corsa) has undergone some serious dieting to ensure it’ll be competitive against 2015’s onslaught of new metal. There’s the obvious feast of carbon fibre and 1.1kg is saved just by using titanium bolts and screws. MV has also gone balls-deep with a magnesium cylinder head and other crankcase covers, plus a Li-Po battery to confirm the RC weighs 7kg less than last year’s F4 RR. Fitting the race kit sheds another 6kg.
2015 World Superbike rules require more standard engine components and favour fast stock bikes, hence this year’s manic rush from manufacturers in releasing new models. The RC’s ‘Corsa Corta’ hand-built motor features all-new pistons, con-rods and crank in the quest to save weight and ensure Leon Camier can keep up with the Aprilias, and you can evade the police helicopter. Using a 79mm x 50.9mm bore and stroke, MV’s patented radial valves are also present and the head features new intake and exhaust ducts.
In ‘standard’ guise – with the race kit left to one side – the RC makes 205bhp at 13,450rpm. Fit the Termi’ exhaust and race ECU, and you can revel in a sweet soundtrack and the full-fat 212bhp at 13,600rpm. 50mm throttle bodies features twin bank injectors (interestingly, Magneti Marelli uppers and Mikuni lowers) and variable intake funnels to maximise power. There are even silicone hoses to aid cooling – another one of MV’s fabled flaws.
The F4 RC comes with MV’s much improved MVICS ride-by-wire electronics suite, with the capability to change throttle sensitivity, engine braking, engine response, torque settings and the rev limiter, along with 8-level traction control and four riding modes. All-new for the RC is the ‘inertial platform’ and lean angle sensor, which uses three gyros and three accelerometers. Like the new R1, 1299 and BMW, this box of tricks gathers data and dictates how to deliver traction control among other aids.
All this goodness is wrapped in the tubular steel trellis frame, with geometry to match the F4 RR – head angle is 23.5° and wheelbase is 1,430mm, although the swingarm pivot can be altered in height. Öhlins NIX30 forks sort the front-end and a TTX36 shock looks after the rear. The steering damper is mechanically adjusted, rather then the RR’s electronic variation.
As well as the titanium Termignoni exhaust and ECU, the race kit includes a carbon single-seat unit, quick-release fuel cap and Ergal mirror plugs, plus a personalised bike cover.
Is this a celebratory farewell to the F4 as we know it? As packed with gizmos as she is, as beautiful as it is, and as if 212bhp isn’t enough, much of the original F4 has remained over the years. Whatever, it’s doing naughty things to me already…