MV Agusta F3 800 Review
Bike Tested: MV Agusta F3 800; Road Test No. 938
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 19.39 lakhs
The F3 800 commands a slight price premium over the Brutale 800 and it's completely worth it!
My first ever stint with MV Agusta was in 2016 when I swung a leg over the F4R. Italian motorcycles, besides their aesthetic brilliance, are so mean-spirited and communicative that other machines find it really hard to replicate such ride experience. Though not a sale model, that one had the maddening genes of the base F4 with a sleeve of hardware borrowed from the F4RR. Fast forward to now, Faisal and me had another Italian day out with entry-level scorchers from MV Agusta - the Brutale 800 and the F3 800. Born up catching glimpses of the latter on the covers of my books, it was a no-brainer for me to grab the keys of the sweet F3 800. The second superbike of the year, and the first one for me to review, had to be unique! While many refer to it as the baby F4, the F3 800 is for sure not a baby in the way it performs, handles and behaves.
Motor Quest: In simple words, MV Agusta F3 800 is a more powerful version of the F3 675 which was showcased at EICMA 2010. The 675 entered into production a couple of years later while the F3 800 joined in 2013. India launch of MV Agusta motorcycles materialised in 2016 through their partnership with Kinetic. With the inception of BS-4 emission norms, the F3 800 was taken off the market for a spell and relaunched shortly after as a more polished piece of machinery.
According to MV Agusta, the F3 800 and 675 were designed at the same time
Styling - The F3 800 is an absolute eye-candy on our roads and doesn't have to work hard to grab eyeballs, more so in the Red and Ago Silver shade our test bike came dipped in. Similarities with the fire-breathing F4 are so prominent that a regular joe won't be able to differentiate between the two at first. However, an enthusiast worth his salt will easily be able to notice the missing DRLs and revised exhaust pipe placement on the F3. The fairing is inspired from the F4 whereas the tail section resembles that of the Brutale 800. That being said, every single design element on the bike blends together in harmony and there is no quirkiness caused by this amalgamation. Attention to detail is of high order which is evident in the minimalist branding this bike gets along with clever accentuation of mechanical bits such as the single-sided swingarm, Brembo brakes and slashed three-pipe exhaust. Leave aside the footpeg mounts, even the side stand on this one is a work of art!
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear - The instrument cluster on the F3 800 consists of an all-digital display that, akin to most products from the brand's stable, adopts a skewed outline. Apart from a shift light on top and numerous tell-tale lights stacked one atop the other, this console puts out a good amount of data from basics such as the speedometer, tachometer and time to elaborate information such as gear position, best as well as current lap times and the selected engine map. The console misses out on a fuel counter though. All information is presented neatly and is fairly readable. However, there is a lot of glare under direct sunlight that makes it difficult to comprehend data. Switchgear quality is good and one can toggle between different menus on the display through buttons on the left side of the handlebar whereas the other side holds the starter, kill switch and engine map controls.
Ergonomics - First up, the F3 800 measures 2060 mm x 725 mm (length x width) in outer dimensions and weighs 173 kgs dry. These two attributes make it compact, nimble and controllable - pretty much like the KTM RC range of the quarter-litre segment. Through its aggressive riding position, the F3 promises the experience of a litre-class in spite of not being one. The low-set clip-ons and rear-set footpegs, coupled with a saddle height of 805 mm, result in a leaned-in posture typical of a supersport. On the positive side, overall ergonomics are definitely more bearable than MV's F4 range. Given enough time on the saddle, one can get used to the dedicated ergonomics rather quickly. The seats, though seem to be well-cushioned, aren't very comfortable or spacious for the rider as well as the pillion. Thanks to the aerodynamic fairing and sizeable visor, windblast is very well-contained even at high speeds.
Performance - Feeding power to the chain-driven rear wheel of the F3 800 is a 798cc, 12 valve, in-line three-cylinder engine that comes with separate radiators for liquid and oil-cooling. MV Agusta has increased the stroke of F3 675's powerhouse to develop this motor. As a result, the rev limiter now kicks in at 13,500 RPM (from 15,000 RPM of the 675) and the engine now dishes out 145.97 BHP of power and 88 Nm of torque. Unlike the Brutale 800, the F3's engine is very free-revving and power delivery is smooth and linear. While the low-end is nothing to talk about, the motor carries a lot of punch in the mid-range and comes to its own in the top-end. Controlled by MVICS, throttle response is sharp and throttle on-off transitions are seamless. In spite of tall gearing, the F3 accelerates at a swift pace. From halt, 100 km/hr mark is crossed in 3.5 seconds and the motor feels completely at home even at higher triple-digit speeds.
Once you hit 6000 RPM, the F3 800 leaps ahead with the ferocity of a tiger!
Refinement and NVH are two areas where MV engineers have left a vast room for improvement. The F3's engine sounds really harsh and vocal in the top-end. Add to that, there are numerous vibrations originating from the fairing as you approach the redline. The Brutale's 800cc motor, in comparison, was not as high-revving but felt relatively smooth. While the gearbox feels inert to shift at low RPMs, it performs brilliantly at high speeds when operated via the EAS 2.0 bi-directional quick shifter. In stop-go traffic, the engine heats up a lot, making it uncomfortable to ride the bike in hot weather. The company claims a fuel economy of 15.62 km/litre for the F3 800 but the motorcycle was a complete fuel guzzler during our test run which included a lot of high speed dashes.
The F3 tackles road undulations much better than the Brutale
Riding Dynamics - Underpinned by a steel trellis frame, the F3 800 is suspended on Marzocchi USD forks up front and Sachs monoshock at the back. At 173 kgs, the motorcycle is fairly light as well as agile. However, flickability is not its forte and the F3 800 shines when going through fast sweepers partly because of the stupendous levels of grip offered by Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa rubber. Even though the suspension is superbike-stiff, the F3 stays composed and absorbs road undulations surprisingly well. However, the attacking riding posture is real hard on the rider's back over bad roads. The bike's front-heavy nature ensures that unintentional front wheel lifts are corrected without much effort. On smooth tarmac, high-speed stability is amazing as the bike remains unaffected by crosswinds. Disc brakes on the F3 have enormous stopping power and are up to their job of shedding speeds.
Verdict - Considering our road conditions, the MV Agusta F3 800 makes for a great option for supersport fans who are on the lookout for something that looks the part. Provided that the F4 is an overkill in most aspects including ergonomics and power delivery, the F3 800 feels more easy to live with on a regular basis. However, the motorcycle is still a power-packed proposition for India and needs seasoned hands to tame. This one is certainly not the best when it comes to touring, or even weekend jaunts for that matter, but instead works well for occasional track days and short joyrides! The F3 800 also misses out on Italian exclusivity factor as Ducati already offers the 959 Panigale at a much more attractive price. We would advice the F3 only if you've zeroed in on the Brutale 800 because when viewed as a solitary product, the F3 makes little sense for that asking price.
* Design is absolutely flawless
* Powerful engine with a strong but linear power delivery
* EAS 2.0 quick shifter is seamless to operate
* Great high-speed manners, coupled with excellent brakes
What's Not So Cool
* Engine lacks refinement, sounds harsh at high RPMs
* Not city-friendly, engine heats up a lot
* Premium pricing and thin dealership network
MV Agusta F3 800 Specifications
* Engine: 798cc, Liquid & Oil-Cooled, Three-Cylinder, 12 Valve
* Power: 145.97 BHP @ 13,000 RPM
* Torque: 88 Nm @ 10,600 RPM
* Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
* 0-100 km/hr: 3.5 seconds
* Top Speed: 235 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 15.62 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: Trellis
* Suspension: 43 mm USD Forks (Front), Monoshock (Rear)
* Tyres: 120/70/17 (Front), 180/55/17 (Rear), Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa
* Brakes: 320 mm Dual Disc (Front), 220 mm Disc (Rear)
MV Agusta F3 800 Dimensions
* Wheelbase: 1380 mm
* Ground Clearance: 125 mm
* Seat Height: 805 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.5-litres
* Weight: 173 kgs (Dry)
MV Agusta F3 800
MV Agusta F3 800 Review
The MV Agusta F3 800 has all the characteristics of a good superbike – it looks great, goes fast, handles well and is loaded with electronics. Well, then this one makes good sense for enthusiasts because there are no real shortcomings if you know what you’re getting into. The MV Agusta F3 800 stays true to the brand’s identity and offers a splendid experience on board. It is the price which comes across as a major downer though, because the Ducati 959 Panigale has a lot more to offer at a better price.