MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Review
Bike Tested: 2015 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 22 lakhs (est.)
The MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 looks the part and comes loaded with electronics and gizmos
Very much like the car industry, the world of motorcycles also has specialized segments. And the success in a particular segment by any innovative manufacturer can also lead to healthy competition. The business segment comprising of dual purpose off-road/on-road motorcycles is doing very well worldwide and it’s a segment that has attracted many a player. Typically, these machines can be instantly identified by their longer travel suspension, an upright riding position, and usually come with asymmetric wheels with larger diameter wheels up front. We ride the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 which falls in this segment to find out what is it all about.
Motor Quest: Milan-based MV Agusta Motor SpA is now on a new level and a new high. It plans to have at least 18-19 models in its line-up based on its three-cylinder and four-cylinder powertrains. The last model using the current three-cylinder architecture is the Turismo Veloce 800 and its variants Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso and limited production Edition 1.
Styling – The Turismo Veloce 800 was designed ground-up as a luxury touring model and each and every component has been meticulously crafted with form and functionality in mind. The chassis structure is a mix of trellis, with bolt on forged aluminium castings as subframe which houses the seats. Plastic composites have been used in the body, panels, mudguards and other trim. The fairing is well profiled, sharp but adequately protective and houses the distinctive LED DRLs. The hand guards have directional signals integrated, while at the rear the horn-shape LED signal cluster hangs on either side of the number plate. Fit and finish levels are excellent.
The styling elements are very striking and immediately grab attention of everyone around
The compactness in which all the components are packaged as single unified is quite remarkable where nothing appears as being excessively done. Two colour schemes are offered – silver/red for the panniered models and silver for non-panniered versions. The frame mounted fairing for instance is offered with two different screen heights as option. The wheelbase now stands at 1424 mm and overall length is 2084 mm. The single-sided swingarm comes directly from the Stradale 800 unchanged. Front gets inverted Marzocchi cartridge shocks which can travel up to 160 mm.
Instrument cluster and Switchgear – The bike’s instrumentation and information display are all integrated into a TFT screen. Dashboard information relayed includes speed, RPM, gear, mileage, trip, fuel level, riding mode but information like travel distance to empty/reserve, consumption rate, average consumption, etc. are not available surprisingly. Most of the controls on the handlebar are familiar but there’s an extra toggle which helps the rider navigate through the extensive menu.
In terms of modcons, the bike comes with factory fitted Garmin GPS, a Bluetooth bike/rider interface, two USB charging ports up front located near the top of the fuel tank, 12V power socket for pillion and hydraulic clutch for the rider. Depending on the version of the bike, the rider can virtually dial-in parameters ranging from engine mapping, throttle response, engine braking, brake force, traction control, quickshifter (up and down), hydraulically actuated slipper clutch and in models with electronic suspension (Lusso) – soft or hard settings.
Ergonomics – As a global touring bike, several elements are bespoke and factory fitted on the Turismo Veloce 800. The handlebar is straight and the width is reduced in keeping the rear width (with panniers). The lockable panniers will accommodate 30-litres worth of cargo, which means two full face helmets plus extra gear. As a dual seater, the pillion rider benefits from stadium view. The bike is tall, as are all bikes of this niche segment, but the seat does provide a reasonable reach to the ground for tall riders. Short riders will find the reach difficult even with the softest chassis setting which allows the ride height to be lowered.
Performance – The engine is based on the Brutale’s 798cc three-cylinder DOHC four-stroke liquid-cooled unit, but has been reworked in view of the touring nature of the Turismo where torque delivery is more important than horsepower. It also gets newly designed pistons and MotoGP inspired counter-shaft arrangement for smooth running, especially at higher revs. In this set-up, it produces 110 BHP of power at 10,000 RPM (vs Brutale’s 125 BHP) and 83 Nm of torque at 8000 RPM. Power is sent through a 6-speed gearbox and final drive is chain.
The engine has dollops of power and gets various electronics to keep the rider out of tricky situations
MV Agusta claims that the engine management has been tailored to offer extremely high levels of flexibility in view of the likely working scenarios and hence incorporates a highly advanced electronics package with twin ECUs. In fact, the Eldor EM 2.0 engine-management system is part of an advanced electronics suite which is capable of comparing data and rider inputs before acting in a millionth of a second. The ignition system includes the latest pencil-type coils capable of monitoring combustion in each cylinder and at every cycle. This arrangement prevents engine knocking at low speeds. Three exhaust tips with bigger diameter tips signs off the set-up nicely. Top speed is restricted to 230 km/hr.
Fire the engine and it starts off rather noisily as there’s a lot of mechanical chatter in idling which seems to settle down when the clutch is engaged (even partly in neutral) and gear is engaged. Gear shift response even in default mode is quite responsive and so is throttle feedback. In the higher revs, the machine shows its eagerness to please and moves forward with a complementing exhaust growl. The bike’s acceleration is progressive, fast and wind protection is very good due to superb aerodynamic profiling of the front faring and screen. While output is 15 HP less than that of the Brutale, it is the flat torque delivery which makes up for that performance figure.
Riding Dynamics – The balance of this MV Agusta is one of its strongest points as the front-end is quite light and doesn’t tire the rider. Steering and turn-in are good and we encountered no issues in maneuvering the countless hairpin bends, fast corners and long stretches during our 230 kms plus sojourn in and around the country side and spectacular mountain roads of Cote Azur in southern France. At the rear, the monoshock is from Sachs and is set slightly offset. Despite of the forward re-positioning of the front wheel, the weight distribution remains correct because of the forward re-positioning of a larger battery and of the weight added by the fairing.
In terms of stopping power, the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 comes fitted with 320 mm dual floating discs with Brembo radial-type four-piston callipers at the front and smaller 220 mm single disc with two piston callipers at the rear. ABS used comes from Bosch which is a cornering ABS and the motorcycle also features rear wheel lift-up mitigation. The tyre set-up is surprising in the sense that it uses smaller 17-inch asymmetric width rim shod with 120/70/ZR17 and 190/55/ZR17 tyres front and rear respectively. In this set up, the minimum ground clearance is 140 mm which can be increased. One thing for sure which can be said about the new Turismo Veloce 800 is that despite its sophisticated software, it doesn’t appear complicated. Rather, it’s a pleasant machine to be on all day.
Verdict – The 2015 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 when compared to the stalwarts in the segment may appear slightly under kitted but when it comes to comfort and versatility, this machine does offer a lot for its price. Buyers will appreciate the larger capacity fuel tank (22-litres), range, wind protection, comfortable seat, handlebars and associated benefits. End of the day, we need to remember that the Veloce 800 has a naked sports bike’s fundamental hardware under its skin and this aspect can ensure its overall likability even as a medium to long distance tourer.
The Turismo Veloce 800 is MV’s interpretation of the ‘tall-in-the-saddle GT bike’ theme that was pioneered by BMW Motorrad with their GS machines and other Italian brands.
* Styling like no other bike
* Engine has enough poke for all needs
* Good wind protection due to excellent aerodynamics
* Comes loaded with tech
What’s Not So Cool
* Certain basic features missing in a loaded bike
* Mechanical clatter at idle