On the original Turismo Veloce’s launch in 2015, fast-growing MV Agusta introduced the sports-tourer as a model intended to boost the firm’s expansion further by appealing to a new breed of rider – one looking for a sporty all-rounder, rather than the marque’s aggressive super-sports and naked machines.
Four years and a financial crisis later, MV’s focus on increased production has been abandoned in favour of a return to the marque’s traditional exclusivity, but the Fast Tourer’s brief is unchanged. In fact, the upmarket Lusso (Luxury) version is intended to be more versatile still: it features an optional Smart Clutch System that makes its clutch lever almost redundant, and means the 798cc triple gains some of the benefits of scooters and Honda’s DCT models.
The Smart Clutch was developed in partnership with US specialist Rekluse, who created it mainly for enduro and other off-road applications. Visible through a transparent cover on the right of the engine, it works with the MV’s electronics to allow left-hand-free pulling away and gearchanging, in conjunction with the bike’s quick-shifter.
The Turismo Veloce is also updated along the lines of MV’s other triples, getting through Euro4 with no loss of performance, meaning its maximum output of 110bhp is unchanged. Other mods include new cylinder head and transmission gears, a more reliable starter clutch assembly, revised twistgrip and more rigid engine mounts, all aimed at adding a dash more civility to the Italian filly.
As before, the Lusso version features Sachs semi-active ‘Skyhook’ suspension instead of the standard Turismo Veloce’s conventional units. The SCS system is an option only on the Lusso, which comes with MV’s sleek panniers as standard. These sit so closely together, due to the super-slim aluminium rear subframe, that they’re narrower than the bars despite each being able to hold a full-face helmet.
Performance is, in most respects, unchanged, which is fine because despite its relatively modest max output the MV revs sweetly and only has 192kg to pull. On the launch, held near the firm’s base at Varese in northern Italy, it couldn’t match the wheelie-happy zest of a Brutale but it combined plenty of top-end power with strong midrange and a sweet throttle response. There was none of the abruptness of some previous triples, regardless of which of the four riding modes was selected.
Changing gear was particularly sweet on the standard Lusso, which flicked flawlessly through the six-speed box in either direction with the help of the two-way shifter. The SCS model wasn’t quite as slick on the open road, having a slightly heavier action, and finding a false neutral on a couple of occasions.
Payback came when I hit town, and the auto clutch meant the clutch lever was not needed, even when the bike slowed to a halt. The clutch automatically engages as the revs rise, so you can simply crack open the throttle to pull away – even at maximum pace. The SCS system definitely works, although most riders would probably have to do a lot of town riding to consider it a major benefit.
The Turismo Veloce worked much as before in other respects, including its chassis performance, which was very agile by sports-touring standards, thanks largely to its light weight and relatively sporty geometry. The MV is very flickable, its cornering pace marred only slightly by its long-travel suspension, which gives excellent ride quality at the expense of a slightly vague feel under hard cornering.
Selecting Sport mode firms up the Skyhook system’s damping usefully; there’s also the potential to adjust preload manually, with a remote knob for the shock. Pirelli’s tyres gave decent grip, the slim triple had plenty of ground clearance and Brembo’s radial calipers ensured powerful stopping.
The Turismo Veloce should also do a good job in its touring role, though taller riders will find their knees touching the tank sides, and the bike is too compact to leave much room for a pillion, who at least gets solid grab-handles. The windscreen’s 60mm of adjustability did little to reduce turbulence, but useful features include heated grips and USB sockets.
As before there are plenty of neat touches to the Turismo Veloce Lusso, which is stylish, quick, sweet-handling and respectably versatile. The auto clutch adds a unique touch that is worthwhile in town, but needs a bit of fine-tuning to justify the £1600 premium.
At £17,590, the Lusso SCS is certainly expensive but, with MV’s emphasis back on exclusivity and low-volume production, that is only to be expected. At the other end of the scale, the standard Turismo Veloce, refined in similar fashion but with conventional clutch and suspension, looks like a classy all-rounder for £13,490.
MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled DOHC 12-valve triple|
|Bore x stroke||79 x 54.3mm|
|Maximum power||110bhp @ 10,150rpm|
|Maximum torque||59.7lb-ft (80N.m) @ 7,100rpm|
|Front suspension||43mm Sachs USD telescopic Skyhook, 160mm travel, preload adjustment, semi-active compression and rebound damping adjustment|
|Rear suspension||Single Sachs shock, 165mm wheel travel, preload adjustment, semi-active compression and rebound damping adjustment|
|Fuel tank||21.5 litres|
|Price||£17,590 (Turismo Veloce Lusso £15,990, standard Turismo Veloce £13,490)|
Words: Roland Brown
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