Class of 2010: European Sportbikes - Foreign Exchange

While Japan throttles back, Europe delivers its most serious sportbikes yet

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Joe Neric, Adam Campbell
MV Agusta F4 | Price: $18,500
Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c inline-four Front suspension: 50mm Marzocchi inverted fork with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping Seat height: 32.7 in.
Valve train: DOHC, 16v radial Rear suspension: Sachs shock with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping Wheelbase: 56.3 in.
Displacement: 998cc Front brake: Dual Brembo Monobloc four-piston radial calipers, 320mm discs Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Bore x stroke: 76.0 x 55.0mm Rear brake: Brembo four-piston caliper, 210mm disc Weight (tank full/empty): 468/441 lbs.
Compression: 13.1:1 Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP Colors: Red/silver, black/gray
Fuel system: Marelli EFI Rear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP Availability: Now
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate slipper Rake/trail: 23.5º/4.0 in. Warranty: 24 mo., unlimited mi.
Transmission: 6-speed Contact:
Measured horsepower: 157.2 bhp @ 12,250 rpm
Measured torque: 72.8 lb.-ft. @ 9250 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 10.21 sec. @ 149.38 mph
Top-gear roll-on: 2.88 sec.
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 34/25/30 mpgg
Frame: Composite tubular-steel and cast-aluminum with aluminum swingarm

The dyno chart doesn't convey how freakishly fast the F4 feels. Power is prodigious everywhere in the rev range, and once you spin the inline-four above 9000 rpm things heat up quickly. On the street that flat spot around 6000 rpm causes annoying surging.

The MV wouldn't be bad if it weren't for those ridiculously high footpegs. Previous models came with adjustable rearsets, but the 2010 model's pegs are locked in place. The legroom numbers look right, but that's a function of the 32.7-inch seat height.

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