MV Agusta F4-R 312 1+1

   

Make Model

MV Agusta F-4 312 1-1 / F4 1000R 312 1+1

Year

2008 - 09

Capacity

998 cc / 60.9 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 76 x 55 mm
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio 13.0:1

Induction

Weber Marelli” 1,6 M ignition - injection integrated system

Ignition

Weber Marelli 5SM ignition

Starting Electric

Max Power

134 kW / 183 hp @ 12400 rpm

Max Torque

115 Nm / 84.8 lb-ft @ 10000 rpm
Clutch Wet, multiple discs, cable operated

Transmission 

6 Speed 
Final Drive Chain
Gear Ratio 1st Speed 13/38 126,5 Km/h (78.5 mph) at 13000 rpm
2nd Speed 16/34 174,1 Km/h (108.1 mph) at 13000 pm
3rd Speed 18/32 208,1 Km/h (129.2 mph) at 13000 rpm
4th Speed 20/30 246,6 Km/h (153.1 mph) at 13000 rpm
5th Speed 22/29 280,6 Km/h (174.2 mph) at 13000 rpm
6th Speed 21/25 Over 300 Km/h (186.0 mph) at 13000 rpm
Final Velocity Ratio 15x40
Frame CrMo steel tubular trellis

Front Suspension

50mm Marzocchi forks
Front Wheel Travel 130 mm / 5.1 in

Rear Suspension

Progressive, single shock absorber with rebound and compression High speed / Low speed damping and spring preload  hydraulic control.
Rear Wheel Travel 120 mm / 4.7 in

Front Brakes

2x 310mm discs 4 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 210mm disc 4 piston caliper

Front Tyre

120/70 ZR17

Rear Tyre

180/55 ZR17
Trail 104 mm / 4.1 in
Dimensions Length 2007 mm / 79.0 in
Width 685 mm / 26.9 in
Wheelbase 1408 mm / 55.4 in
Seat Height 810 mm / 31.8 in
Ground Clearance 130 mm / 5.1 in

Dry Weight

193 kg / 425 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

21 Litres / 5.5 US gal

Top Speed

312 km/h  /  194 mp/h

FAST LIKE NO OTHER

One thing that hasn't changed throughout MV Agusta's long life is the mentality. Our company is one great racing team. We are always at the ready to get involved and work hard. This is what we believe makes a motorbike a winner and is, quite simply, our mission. In 2006 we lost the Superstock Championship by a whisker and finished third thus doing Italy proud.

This "near miss" however only spurred us on and, knowing that more speed is always needed on the track, we worked closely with our teams to do just that. The principle behind the creation of the F4 R 312 was to create a machine that would immediately meet our riders' requirements and keep them one step ahead of the opposition. It is the end result that counts - the ability to get into a corner before the others and be the first to leave it.

To create a machine that is perfectly designed and engineered because each time we take to the track, our sole aim is to take pole position and win.

MV Agusta customers now have at their disposal the very best we can offer. A racing machine that is homologated for road use and that meets Euro 3 anti- pollution standards. The new items of equipment on the MV are none other than the fine-tuning of a masterpiece. There has not been a revolution, just an evolution in development that is part and parcel of the processes that take place when any racing bike returns to the pits after track tests. The new F4 R 312 Is now ready to line up on the starting line - looking to take the number 1 plate in the Superstock Championship.

THE DESIGN

As the Americans say "if it ain't bust, don't mend it". The F4 has made history in the annals of sports bikes and is today still a point of reference for the category. Its design, style and allure are its strong points. True enthusiasts will immediately be struck by the obsessive attention to detail paid to the mechanical components of the bike. No other production bike comes anywhere near it.

The machine is like some special edition model directly from MV that leaves no room for improvement. Nothing appears on the bike by chance but has been meticulously designed and tested with just one goal in mind - improved functionality not to mention incomparable looks. Yet again, the newest name from MV stands proud and sophisticated - with F4 R 312 inscribed on the tail and airbox with typical MV elegance.

There is a new color scheme and graphics kit that will introduce an appeal never before seen in the history of the F4.

This will make it even easier to recognize as it leaves the pit lane or streaks out of the Parabolica at Monza and along the straight at over 300 kph.

EQUIPMENT

The level of equipment is perfectly balanced and, like the F4 series, provides exactly what is needed for a machine like the R 312 designed for track use. For this reason, equipment fitted to the F4 1000 R has been replicated on the R 312 with only slight, but essential changes, being introduced.

The main features of the new sports bike are as follows:

1. Brembo P4/34 radial brake calipers.
2. Aluminum Ø320 mm Brembo discs with Aluminum flanges
3. Marzocchi USD Ø50 mm R.A.C. (Road Advanced Component) forks
4. Adjustable monoshock with high and low speed compression settings
5. Brembo forged Aluminum wheels with Y spokes
6. New integrated Magneti Marelli 5SM ignition-injection system
7. EBS (Engine Brake System)
8. Titanium intake valves
9. Euro 3 engine
10. 183 HP at 12,400 rpm

New items of equipment on the F4 R 312 relate to heat transfer because the 4-cylinder engine has by now reached such a level of technical sophistication that it is difficult to improve it any further. THE UPDATES TO THE ENGINE, ENGINE MANAGMENT SYSTEM (EMS), AND EXHAUST SYSTEM COMPONENTS ADD A FURTHER 9 HP AND 500 RPM.

The modifications made all relate to heat transfer. The aim was to seek absolute power and a "longer" rev band to provide better top speed on the straight. We felt that as far as cornering was concerned, we had little to learn from the competition as our bike already handles like a dream. In racing, where every last ounce of power is squeezed from the engine and even the smallest detail is examined and re-examined in the search for the slightest improvement, any increase in power can be seen as a major success. Thanks to methodical, reasoned work and by modifying only a few components, we managed to achieve 183 HP that is an improvement of 9 HP over the F4 1000 R of only one year ago. Put another way, this means cutting about a second off the time to lap a long fast track like Monza. That second will bring us ever closer to the 2007 Superstock World Championship.

The main differences between the F4 1000 R and F4 R 312 engines are as follows:

  • These new set-up parameters not only provided a generous further 9 HP to offer 183 HP at the crankshaft but also served to elongate the power band by 500 rpm. The modifications did not affect the characteristics of the cylinders, pistons or crank gear.
  • The F4 R 312 is fitted with an extractable gearbox that allows gear ratios to be quickly and easily changed. The Magneti Marelli 5SM ECU manages the widely acknowledged EBS system (Engine Brake System) that is fitted to MV Agusta engines. The concept is based on a solenoid-activated by-pass valve on cylinder N° 2 intake duct. The by-pass is situated downstream from the feed throttle that has a suitably shaped air intake. This device allows cylinder N°2 to produce torque even under deceleration (when the feed throttles are closed) thanks to a signal sent by the Marelli ECU.
  • The F4 R 312 is in effect a racing bike adopted for road use thanks not only to technical modifications that make it meet Euro standards but also make it easy to manage.
  • Apart from the Magneti Marelli 5SM ECU, a lambda probe was fitted to the exhaust system immediately before the catalyzer to make the engine meet Euro 3 standards.
  • Like the previous version, the engine has "secondary air system" that enriches the mixture. This makes the bike more rideable especially when the throttle is feathered and at speeds in excess of 120 kph (the speed limit at which emissions are measured for homologation purposes and that therefore calls for a slightly lean mixture).
  • Filtered air reaches a solenoid operated valve from a duct from the airbox. This valve is regulated by the ECU and the air is directed to the cylinder exhaust ducts to enrich the combustible gas with oxygen and thus improve catalysation.
  • Last year this called for a new profile rocker box cover made from magnesium instead of Aluminum

THE FRAME

The frame can easily handle more power than presently put out and the symmetry of balance and handling developed over the years is very difficult to improve upon. Like every racing bike, modifications have been introduced one at a time without declaring a state of revolution. For this very reason, MVs have a classic chrome- molybdenum steel tubing frame. This solution offers considerable advantages in terms of transverse compactness, mechanical access and torsional rigidity. The frames are built in their entirety at the specialist division of the MV Agusta plant.

As always, MV underlines the uniqueness of their products as the F4 R 312 too is another of the only 4- cylinder machines with a tubular frame connected to a fabulous single swingarm system that, with its CRC signature, symbolizes MV architecture.

THE SUSPENSION

+The true qualities of MV suspension have already been well demonstrated on the F4 1000 R that saw the introduction of Marzocchi USD Ø50 mm RAC (Road advanced component) forks These forks are the most prestigious item made by the Bolognese factory. They feature a multi-adjustable unit (12 compression settings and 18 for rebound) fitted with carbon nitride treated uprights designed for improved slide characteristics. The looks also differ in the black anodized stays that add to the individuality of the front end.

The rear suspension uses both the traditional layout and the Sachs Racing shock absorber with double compression calibration (high-medium speed) and sophisticated hydraulic control of pre-load spring. To complete the picture, the R 312 also has a transversally fitted Öhlins steering damper anchored to the frame to provide symmetrical working conditions.

THE BRAKES

The MV Agusta F4 R 312 features Brembo brakes with radial P4/34 calipers. These units, derived from Superbike and Moto GP machines, have a strut to provide increased rigidity mounted on radial adaptors made exclusively for MV Agusta. The enlarged Ø 320 discs with steel braking area and Aluminum flange are also highly effective.

The rear brake features a four-piston (opposed) caliper unit acting on a 210 mm disc. The Nissin-designed front brake and clutch levers are exclusive to MV Agusta and can be micrometrically adjusted.

The Brembo forged Aluminum wheels with Y spokes measure 3.50” x 17” at the front and 6.00” x 17” at the rear with 120/70 - ZR 17 and 190/55 - ZR 17 tires.

 Review

MotorcycleUSA continues its foreign exchange program with Motor Cycle News (MCN) to bring you this tasty European treat - a review of the sleek MV Agusta F4 R312.

They say it's the fastest superbike in the world, but is it the best?

To say MV Agusta knows how to make a fast engine is like saying Mr. Kipling can knock up a pretty decent Viennese Whirl. It's a fact. When the first 1000cc-engined MV F4 came out in 2004 it blew the 1000cc competition away in the top-speed stakes, hitting a true 186 mph. At the time it was the fastest superbike we'd ever tested. Then last year the F4 1000R set the fastest outright lap time at Jerez in the annual Masterbike, beating off all the 2006 sportbikes.

But today we're riding the new £14,750 ($29,500), F4 R312 (even the name sounds exotic, doesn't it?) at its world launch at Monza, Italy. It's a full-production model to replace the F4 1000R, not a limited-edition special and it soon becomes clear that, on the right day, on a long enough stretch of road, and with the wind nudging you along, the sexy R312 is capable of hitting what MV claims it can: 193 mph, or 312 km/h, hence its name. The fury in which this Italian masterpiece of design and technology eats up the straights is just awe-inspiring.

While the chassis remains exactly the same as before, the new motor is 9 hp up on last year's bike and revs on 500 rpm more, thanks to new 30mm titanium valves, high-lift cams, larger 48mm throttle bodies and 10mm shorter inlet trumpets.

The engine has a distinctive raw, hard-edged feel about it, something that'll be completely alien to those brought up on a diet of smooth, polished Japanese engines. But as the revs soar, the 183 hp (measured at the crank) engine smoothes right off as the 10,000 rpm mark approaches. At that precise time the yowl from the airbox gets deeper and more aggressive, and the yell from the quad, underseat pipes goes into audio overload.

From 10,000 rpm, the final 2500 rpm in each gear is a heady cocktail of speed, noise and violence mixed with a surreal dream-like sense of tranquillity. Keep the motor spinning hard through the gears along Monza's two big straights, head jammed under the new bigger screen and it's as if you're floating - an incredible feeling. It's only the digital speedo's numbers flickering furiously upwards like a stopwatch and Monza's lush green trees whizzing by you that give you any true sense of speed.

That said, due to the limitations of Monza's straights, the biggest number I saw was 288 km/h (179 mph) before having to brake for (and almost missing, as I was watching the speedo for too long) the tight, first-gear chicane at the end of the start/finish straight.

But what is certain is that the MV engine is a diamond of a thing and its spread of power from low revs to the 13,000-rpm redline impressive. But it does have a few rough edges. The fuelling at low rpm isn't great, and trying to accelerate smoothly out of the first-gear chicane, especially on a damp track in our first session on the bike was a tricky, jerky affair. The gearbox is quite harsh and slow, too, causing crashing through the gears and missing them completely if you're too quick with the lever. On some down changes false neutrals appeared, one notable time braking from sixth to third at the end of the fast straight that leads to the fast Parabolica corner - an early morning eye-opener if there ever was one.

I rode three different R312s and some had better or worse fuelling and gearboxes than others. Some testers had the same problems as me and some didn't - let's hope the set-up of the production models will be more consistent.

Going through corners has always been one of the F4's trump cards. All these MVs have a thoroughbred racebike-feel to them. They're cramped, stiffly sprung and are definitely more suited to the track as they're uncomfortable to ride at slow speeds, but they do get better and better the harder you push them. At a track they're really in their element, as that fastest lap at Masterbike on the F4 1000R proves.

But here at Monza all was not well with the R312 simply because of the way it had been set-up. During our first session the suspension was softened right off and the pressures in the Pirelli Super Corsa tires dropped to cope with the cold, damp track. On these settings the MV gave me a fair amount of confidence to go quickly. But for our second session on a dry track the settings were the left the same and the MV wobbled and weaved in the high-speed corners and needed a Herculean effort to steer through the chicanes - it was like riding on flat tires, which in effect is what I was almost doing.

For our third and final session the handling was dramatically improved with stiffer settings and more tire pressure, but this set-up still didn't give the MV the high-speed stability it needed around this monster track, or the ability to turn anywhere near fast enough, which is a shame because I know the bike can handle a lot better. With the confidence to take the F4 R312 by the horns and with that epic motor powering me along the straights the experience could've been electric, instead it was disappointing.

That aside, the F4 R312 is still a gem of a bike. The finish and quality of the components is exquisite, the power of the radial Brembos is phenomenal and the Pirelli Super Corsa tires in a class of their own. But as loin-stirring as it is, the F4 is starting to show its age. Because it doesn't have any of the special magnesium or carbon bits of the various F4 specials over the years, it's a heavy old thing - a whopping 26 kg (57 lbs) more than a K6 GSX-R1000. And beautiful as the design is, it's been around unchanged now since the launch of the first F4 750 eight years ago. It makes less sense on the road, too, as the low-speed fuelling will be a pain around town and the cramped riding position a pain everywhere else.

For the ultimate track buzz the F4 R312 could prove to be the class of the 1000cc sportbike field, provided you have the bike set-up well, and you've got the bottle to expose your beautiful £15K machine to a testosterone-filled trackday. But back in the real world a Blade, R1, GSX-R1000, ZX-10R or even a GSX-R750 will be every bit as good, easier to live with and above all much, much cheaper.

Source MotorcycleUSA con