A huge black cloud sits squarely between myself and my destination. Surely it can’t rain. It’s too cold to rain. I glance down at the Turismo’s dash for confirmation. Five degrees Celsius. Is that too cold for rain? At that moment a swirl of white specs dance around my peripheral vision and rapidly engulf me. Yep, it’s too cold for rain. Late fall tours are risky affairs.
I was thankful that I was riding the Lusso version of MV’s Turismo as it comes with hard luggage, semi-active suspension (adjustable with the flick of a button), ride modes and most important of all considering my predicament, heated grips and power sockets for a heated vest. Whoever designed the Lusso must have ridden in Canada in October.
The MV Agusta Turismo Lusso is no stranger to the pages of CMG. Costa rode it at an altogether warmer and a tad fancier launch in the Côte d’Azur in southern France earlier this year. In usual Costa style, he covered the traits of the bike, along with everything you thought and did not think you needed to know, so I’ll pass on repeating it, except to say that the Turismo is perhaps the best MV Agusta currently on the market.
The bike lives up to MV’s tagline relatively well – Motorcycle Art. It’s a gorgeously sculpted machine, tall and taught, with a minimalist trellis frame and three stacked tailpipes perfectly framing the single sided swing arm, subtly telling the admirer that this machine comes with three pots instead of the usual four.
The height’s good for me at 6′ 4″, but somewhere in Italy, someone spilt Cappuccino on their ergonomic calculations and the aggressively stepped seat locks me in a forward position so that my knees are pushed out of the tank cutaways and I’m left a bit splayed. Putting my toes on the pegs fixes this but then the pegs are quite high too, so it’s not a comfortable option – lower pegs would be an easy fix and it’s not like they’re ever going to get close to scraping the asphalt anyway.
Otherwise, from my waist up, it’s all perfect – wide upright bars setting up the ideal positioning for a long day in the saddle. The screen, despite looking a tad small to be effective, does a respectable job of wind deflection and can be adjusted manually on the go, and the hand guards with their built-in indicators help to keep most of the breeze from my knuckles.
Then there’s the motor. It may only be an 800 but it’s not left wanting. The fuel deliver, unlike the previous MV’s, is smooth and glitchless and although I felt like my tour should be done in touring mode (it dulls the power and betters the fuel economy) once I’d tasted sport mode there was no going back.
The triple motor revs like a four but with a whiff of lumpy character of a twin. I find myself upping the ante as the Turismo’s chassis, front brakes and surefootedness propels me out of corners and the linear flowing power shoots me up to the next one, encouraging me to go deeper each time.
And there’s another major benefit of Sport mode – it firms up the suspension. In Touring mode the settings are too soft and the bike wallows a little in corners and dives unduly – even under moderate braking. It would be more useful if Touring was changed to Town and Sport to Everything Else.
The downsides? Mechanically the rear brake is more for show than braking, but I didn’t miss it. The motor at idle with the clutch out is very noisy and not the coolest sound at that. And the steering lock is sportbike tight making it a chore to turn around. But these are minor issues and it gets the package right on the whole.
But then there’s the price. At $22,855 with bags it’s not a cheap ride by any measure, coming in at over twice the price of Yamaha’s budget, and very capable FJ-09. But then you don’t get the sex or prestige with the FJ. Whether that’s worth $23k, well that’s up to you.
|Bike||MV Turismo Lusso|
|MSRP||$20,995 (add $1860 for bags and $660 for tomTom GPS)|
|Engine type||Inline triple with DOHC. Liquid-cooled|
|Power (crank)*||110 hp at 10,000 rpm|
|Torque*||61 lb-ft at 8,000 rpm|
|Tank Capacity||22 litres|
|Final drive||Chain, six-speed|
|Tires, front||120/70 ZR17|
|Tires, rear||190/55 ZR17|
|Brakes, front||2 x 320 mm discs with four-piston radial calipers|
|Brakes, rear||1 x 220 mm disc with two-piston caliper|
|Seat height||850 mm|
|Wet weight*||192 Kg|
Check out all the pics that go with this story! Click on the main sized pic to transition to the next or just press play to show in a slideshow.
Can you describe any differences between the Turismo and the Stradale? I’ve seen 2015 Stradale models discounted $5K, creating a pretty wide gulf between itand the Turismo Lusso. Aside from bigger saddlebags, the semi-active suspension, centre stand and (perhaps) heated grips, what else sets the Turismo apart?
The major differences, over and above what you have already stated, are mostly its 5 inch color TFT display with its data acquisition functionalities as well as the more touring designed seat and the Truismo’s much larger fuel capacity. In short the Stradale is more of a light touring motorcycle (multi use) and the Turismo is more of a sport touring motorcycle.
As for the price difference, the Stradales are at an amazing deal right now, and with a few MV Agusta Special parts like the comfort seat and a TomTom Rider navigation system you can have your self a great and exclusive touring machine at a really great price.
MV Agusta Canada
Looks like the designers have been riding flat out down the ugly road. How could that be a comfortable tiuring seat? ‘Long legged’ would come in handy – otherwise you’d need to pack a step ladder!