MV Agusta brings Granturismo to the table with its trio of sport-tour bikes in the Veloce family. We have the base model Turismo Veloce 800 plus the “Lusso” version that comes complete with panniers and other tour-tastic features. The “Lusso RC” takes it a step further with red, white and green racing livery and even more special features for the true, top-end bike fans out there. As a concept, the word “tour” seems to mean something different once you leave U.S. shores, evidenced by the lack of baggage on the base Veloce. Although the “tour” label is a bit of a stretch, the word “Veloce” means “fast,” and there can be no argument on that point whatsoever. Today I’m going to delve into this trio of Italian Stallions to see what kind of yummy-goodness the Meccanica Verghera Agusta packed in for our riding pleasure.
These rides really put the “sport” in sport-touring with an aggressive stance and race-tastic overall panache. Starting at the entry, we have a cyclops headlight complete with a ring of LEDs that act as a DRL, and looks really sharp to boot. The bluntish semi-fairing leads the way with the headlight mounted just below the adjustable windscreen that comes with 60 mm of adjustment so you can get the rider’s pocket dialed in right where you need it.
These rides really put the “sport” in sport-touring with an aggressive stance and race-tastic overall panache.
Notice how clean the front fairing looks? That’s because the factory set the turn signals in the handguards, and I gotta say I like that even more than setting them within the mirrors. A pair of snap-closed glove boxes on the inside of the fairing provide a storage place for small possibles. While the base Veloce stops there with the storage, its siblings are a bit more tour-tastic with a pair of 8-gallon, hard-side panniers that can engulf even a bulky modular helmet; good news for folks who’d rather not lug their heavy convertible brain bucket around all day.
The overall look is rather edgy with a pronounced flare at the top of the 5.8-gallon fuel tank and a dramatic taper at the rear that keeps it from feeling like you’re gripping the barrel of a horse and leaves the rider with a nearly straight shot from hip to ground. A tail-up/nose-down stance and high fuel tank create a deep swale that cups and contains the pilot while lofting the passenger for good visibility.
The LED taillights add even more edginess with their rail-thin profile and angular layout. Yeah, they’re rather minimal, but the LEDs are impossible to ignore, and visibility is easily a match for a larger lamp with an incandescent bulb. Even the exhaust is something of a work of art with a trio of bronzed, quadrangular, slash-cut pipes nestled together and peeking out from behind the silver heat shield on the right side. Minimal side covers leave little to the imagination, but that does nothing to diminish the finished look of the bike; it just steers toward the “naked” end of the spectrum a bit.
(Turismo Veloce RC)
A hybrid, Trellis-type frame serves as the bones of the beast with tubular steel members as the main material, and aluminum side plates to complete the assembly — just one of the ways MVA was able to keep the dry weight down around 421 pounds. Although the frame does peek out at the sides to contribute to the overall looks of the thing, it’s less of a central design element and more of a coincidental bit of coolness. These three rides are pretty much the same up until this point, but we start to see a little divergence in the struts.
Front and rear suspension delivers 6.3 and 6.5 inches of travel, respectively, which is plenty for a plush ride even over long distances.
The base Veloce rides on a pair of 43 mm, usd Marzocchi forks that come complete with the full-spectrum of adjustments to include adjustable spring preload as well as variable compression and rebound damping. In back, we see a single, progressive Sachs shock with the same level of adjustability. Front and rear suspension delivers 6.3 and 6.5 inches of travel, respectively, which is plenty for a plush ride even over long distances.
Sounds good, right? Well, hold onto your hats sports fans, because the Lusso and RC take it to another level entirely. This pair rides on Sachs components all the way around, and doesn’t bother with anything as rustic and quaint as hand-adjustable presets, but instead uses the Skyhook technology to dynamically adjust the values electronically.
Dual, 320 mm front discs and a 220 mm rear work with the Brembo calipers to tend to the slowing duties, while the Bosch 9-Plus ABS helps keep things from breaking loose due to overbraking. A rear wheel lift-up mitigation feature keeps the ass-end planted to prevent any accidental (or non-accidental) endos. That’s right, you can forget about these bikes if stoppies are your thing, but if long-distance comfort is more your style, MVA is your Huckleberry.
Cast aluminum rims mount the 17-inch tires with a 120/70 up front and a 190/55 in back— wide enough, but not so fat as to interfere with handling in the corners. Is this a tour bike that will allow you to drag an elbow? Maybe if you have the cojones to try.
As cool as all the above is, the beating heart still manages to upstage the rest of the bike. Here we have a short-stroke mill that runs a 79 mm bore and 54.3 mm stroke for a total displacement of 798 cc. Compression is rather high at 12.2-to-1, but surely you already knew you were going to have to feed it at the champagne pump, right?
Waste heat goes bye-bye via the water- and oil-coolers. Fully ride-by-wire, the throttle inputs feed through the MVICS 2.0 feature to control the Mikuni TB, and this enables the four-level torque control and traction control. Not only that, but the Inertial Platform feeds lean-angle data to the system for cornering-specific intervention. Sound good? There’s more.
We have an electronic quick shifter that assists with flawless shifts both up and down range, and a hydraulically-actuated clutch to bind engine power to the six-speed transmixxer with a simple, but tough, chain final drive. The mill cranks out 110 horsepower at 10 grand with 59 pounds of grunt, and tops out at 143 mph, so yeah, it’s a stupidfast tourbike, for sure. Goes without saying that this isn’t exactly a noob-friendly ride, even with all the safety gadgets in place.
(Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso)
You could be forgiven for expecting to have to sacrifice your firstborn for such a ride, but MVA isn’t quite as proud as all that. The base Turismo Veloce 800 rolls in Metallic Carbon Black/Metallic Matte Graphite or red/silver for only $15,998. In the middle we have the Lusso in red/silver or Pearl White/Avio Grey for $19,298, and at the top end the RC comes in MVA’s racing livery for $23,298. Folks, this is a lot of bang for your buck, and the factory packs in considerable electronic wizardry for your riding pleasure.
For my head-to-head, I picked the F 800 GT from BMW because side by side they look almost to be brothers from another mother. Let’s see how the metrics stack up, no pun intended.
The Beemer carries a bit more in the way of body coverings that lend a bit of mystery to the inner workings, so it comes off more like a sportbike and less like a near-naked. As usual with BMW, the overall panache is that of function over form, which isn’t to suggest that the Veloce isn’t, just pointing out that there is no missing that Italian flair for the dramatic.
BMW leaves the steel frame members on the shelf and instead runs a bridge-frame assembly made up of aluminum members with the engine as a stressed member to complete the assembly, and the frame itself does nothing to add to the aesthetics. Beemer saves some cheddar on the suspension with fixed-value front forks and the obligatory adjustable preload in back — well shy of the Veloce’s swanky stems — but Beemer does put electronic suspension on the accessories menu, so if you have to have it, you can. Brakes are fairly consistent across the board with dual front binders and ABS all around, but again MVA gains an edge with its rear-wheel lift mitigation feature.
Where the Veloce family runs a triple, Beemer stuffs a four-banger into its version but keeps the displacement the same at 798 cc. Liquid-cooling is in full effect across the board, as is electronic fuel injection, of course, but Beemer again trims some fat by leaving off features such as traction control and variable torque delivery. These two mills offer a trade-off; the F 800 GT cranks out less horsepower with only 90 ponies against the 110 from the Veloce, but has more grunt with 63 pound-feet versus 59 pounds. In the end, there isn’t really much to choose between the two unless you consider the top speeds; MVA gets just over 140 mph while Beemer tops out just over 125 mph. Considering that you can’t use the full power of either of these mills safely or legally on public roads really makes this a moot point, and that extra 15 to 20 mph won’t make any part of your body any bigger. Ahem…
Now for the checkout counter. Beemer puts out a somewhat less-sophisticated machine, true, but it also keeps the price in the basement with a $12,095 sticker. Compare that to the $15,998 base-model Veloce and the F 800 GT starts to look real nice if you’re on a budget.
“Wow. Smokin’ hot and sexy as Hell, the Veloce really shows its Italian DNA and takes it all the way to the bank. I reckon the top speed might be more useful in areas with less-restrictive speed limits, but if that speed is all that important then more power to ya, I guess. For my part, I’d rather have a big, fat bagger with a solid infotainment system like a Harley-Davidson or Indian rather than an elbow dragger with afterthought storage like this, but maybe that’s just me.”
My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “Anyone who knows me knows I’m not into [stupidfast, but I can see where a sport-touring bike has its place and folks who would be avid fans. The Turismo Veloce was a long time in development and was, I believe, MV Agusta’s first touring bike. Make no mistake, it was designed as such; this isn’t just a sportbike with bags. I really like that the bags almost seem Tardis-like in volume. Even though each bag is big enough to hold a helmet, they’re tucked in so nicely that the widest part of the bags isn’t wider than the handlebars. It’s a touring bike that was given a lot of thought in development and it also happens to go fast. Of course, without a fairing and with that generous suspension travel, it starts to lean more toward an adventure bike .”
|Type:||Three cylinder, 4 stroke, 12 valve|
|Timing system:||“D.O.H.C” with mechanical chain tensioner|
|Total displacement:||798 cc (48.7 cu. in.)|
|Bore x stroke:||79 mm x 54.3 mm (3.1 in. x 2.1 in.)|
|Max. power – r.p.m. (at the crankshaft):||81 kW (110 hp CEE) at 10.150 rpm|
|Max. torque – r.p.m.:||80 Nm a 7.100 giri/min|
|Cooling system:||Cooling with separated liquid and oil radiators|
|Engine management system:||Integrated ignition – injection system MVICS 2.0 (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) with three injectors. Engine control unit Eldor EM2.0, throttle body
full drive by wire Mikuni, pencil-coil with ion-sensing technology, control of detonation and misfire. Tor que control with four maps, Traction Control with eight levels of intervention with lean angle sensor
|Electronic quick shift:||MV EAS 2.0 (Electronically Assisted Shift Up & Down)|
|Clutch:||Hydraulic clutch, wet multi-disc with slipper clutch|
|Transmission:||Cassette style; six speed, constant mesh|
|Gear ratio:||First gear: 13/37, Second gear: 16/35, Third gear: 18/32, Fourth gear: 20/30, Fifth gear: 22/29, Sixth gear: 21/25|
|Final drive ratio:||16/41|
|Maximum speed:||230 km/h (143 mph)|
|Type:||ALS Steel tubular trellis (MAG welded)|
|Rear swing arm pivot plates material:||Aluminium alloy|
|Turismo Veloce 800:||Marzocchi “UPSIDE DOWN” telescopic hydraulic fork with rebound-compression damping and spring preload external and separate adjustment|
|Turismo Veloce Lusso/RC:||Sachs “UPSIDE DOWN” semi-active telescopic hydraulic fork MVCSC
(MV Agusta Chassis Stability Control)
|Fork dia.:||43 mm (1.69 in.)|
|Fork travel:||160 mm (6.30 in.)|
|Turismo Veloce 800:||Progressive Sachs, single shock absorber with rebound and compression damping and spring preload adjustment|
|Turismo Veloce Lusso/RC:||Progressive Sachs, semi-active single shock absorber with hydraulic spring
preload adjustment MVCSC (MV Agusta Chassis Stability Control)
|Single sided swing arm material:||Aluminium alloy|
|Wheel travel:||165 mm (6.50 in.)|
|Front brake:||Double floating disc with Ø 320 mm (Ø 12.6 in.) diameter, with steel braking disc and flange|
|Front brake caliper:||Brembo radial-type, with 4 pistons Ø 32 mm (Ø 1.26 in.)|
|Rear brake:||Single steel disc with Ø 220 mm (Ø 8.66 in.) dia.|
|Rear brake caliper:||Brembo with 2 pistons – Ø 34 mm (Ø 1.34 in.)|
|ABS System:||Bosch 9 Plus with RLM (Rear wheel Lift-up Mitigation)|
|Front: Material/size:||Aluminium alloy 3.50” x 17” (RC: Forged aluminium alloy)|
|Rear: Material/size:||Aluminium alloy 6.00” x 17” (RC: Forged aluminium alloy)|
|Front:||120/70 – ZR 17 M/C (58 W)|
|Rear:||190/55 – ZR 17 M/C (75 W)|
|Material:||Thermoplastic (RC: Carbon fiber and thermoplastic|
|Alternator:||450 W at 5000 rpm|
|Battery:||12 V – 11 Ah|
|DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT:|
|Wheelbase:||1445 mm (56.89 in.)|
|Overall length:||2125 mm (83.66 in.)|
|Overall width:||910 mm (35.83 in.)|
|Saddle height:||850 mm (33.46 in.)|
|Min. ground clearance:||140 mm (5.51 in.)|
|Trail:||108 mm (4.25 in.)|
|Dry weight:||191 kg (421.1 lbs.)|
|Fuel tank capacity:||21.5 l (5.68 U.S. gal.)|
|Turismo Veloce 800 – Included:||Immobilizer – Bluetooth – Cruise control Adjustable windshield|
|Turismo Veloce Lusso – Included:||Immobilizer – Heated Grips – Bluetooth Cruise control – Integrated GPS sensor – Central stand – Adjustable windshield. – Bags (30 l – 7.92 U.S. gal. each)|
|Turismo Veloce RC – Included:||Immobilizer – Heated Grips – Bluetooth – Cruise control – Integrated GPS sensor – Central stand – Adjustable windshield – Bags (30 l – 7.92 U.S. gal. each) – Certificate of origin – Limited Edition|
|Turismo Veloce 800 – Optional:||Bags (7.92 U.S. gal. each), Heated Grips, Center stand|
|Emissions:||Environmental Standard Euro 4|
|Combined fuel consumption:||5.8 l/100 km|
|CO2 Emissions:||129 g/km|
|Turismo Veloce 800:||Red/Silver, Metallic Carbon Black/Metallic Mat Graphite|
|Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso:||Red/ Silver, Pearl White/Avio Grey|
|Turismo Veloce RC:||RC Livery|
|Turismo Veloce 800:||$15,998|
|Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso:||$19,298|
|Turismo Veloce RC:||$23,298|