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I have put 2300mls on a MV Senna purchased in March 2002. All the problems associated with the first models have not been apparent. I have had trouble free ownership so far. The first service can be expensive depending on who does it, but it is a day job if done properly. by that I mean checking valve clearances as this requires a lot of man hours in gaining access. The MV is by nature a very compact bit of kit. it is a 'design' / sculptural statement and this extends to the use and finish of materials. Cast, machined and polished surfaces through out the whole are there to draw attention to the juxtaposition of materials used and not to be judged as 'poorly finished oversights'. The Senna uses the SPR engine which as with all F4 lumps needs and thrives on revs. MV's are not point and squirt bikes. Once you get used to giving it plenty of revs, which if you're coming from a jap multi as I have initially feels a bit brutal, staying with the latest jap kit is no problem. I find riding the MV a very rewarding act as it requires strategic thinking, assessing the road ahead and forward planning gear changes etc. Normally when out mixing it with my mates I tend to be between 3rd and 4th gear and not dropping below 10K. 10K is where the power really starts to show and it comes in very quick up to the 13900 rev limit. I can stay with a GSXR 1000 once we're motoring I can't on initial pull away. MV handling is second to none, a real thoroughbred, and the ride experience is equally rewarding. It could only be an Italian manufacturer who could give you that. The feel, the mechanical noise and the exhaust note are very special. The MV stradles a fine line that seperates Art from Design, It looks gorgeous, it sounds gorgeous and it's in a class of it's own on the twistys. Its not an all rounder, at times its impracticle, but it is an MV!
There's only one other dooyoo opinion on the MV, and that was written by someone who had never even ridden it! I pointed out this wasn't particularly useful and said I'd be getting one myself. Well, I did. I've had it since the start of summer 2001 and have done 6,000 miles on it so far (not the 500 Christine seems to think MV owners do!). So I've had it long enough & ridden it far enough to give a reasonable assessment, in my humble opinion ;-) So here goes: If you've read my opinions before, you'll know I like to get the downsides out of the way first. Insurance is beyond outrageous! I could only find one company in the entire country to insure me on the thing (I wrote off my GSX-R750 and some thieving scumbag stole my R1, so bang went my no claims). Other not quite so wonderful things are the FOBBs experienced after running it in. What’s a FOBB you ask? It’s a F**k-Off Big Backfire that’s what it is, And I can tell you, they were BIG BACKFIRES!!! The first time it happened I nearly fell off the bugger with surprise. Anyway, a couple of trips to the dealer & some arcane changes to the CO2 in the mix (whatever that means) and the backfires now only show themselves when I’m caning the thing - which I obviously never do. Oh no, not me officer. Another not so nice thing is the £330 I was charged for the 600-mile service. No simple oil and filter change for these bikes. No, they’ve got to have the engine stripped. A full day job no less - unless the dealer is ripping me off. And I can’t believe that. Dealers are scrupulously honest and never act in such a manner. Do they? What else is on the down side? The mirrors are beautiful but serve no purpose whatsoever other than to look wonderful (hmmm, sounds like some women I know) and to house the indicators. The seat is about 1mm thick and made of the very, very hardest hard stuff that ever came out of the Hard stuff factory in Hardsville, Arizona (well, it felt like t
hat after 850-ish miles sitting on it over 2 days). The back brake failed completely on the way back from a trip to John O'Groats - that happened before and the dealer just bled the thing. Oh, and it could do with more power, but then again, every bike needs MORE POWER!!! One last thing, it’s got one of those really, really stupid flip-up side stand thingies. Who on earth thinks they are a good thing? Weird Italians! But you really do have to forgive them though, because everything else is perfect. Yes, perfect. I probably don’t need to say anything about the looks of the bike. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know just how gob-smackingly beautiful it is. Actually, that may be one of the downsides - you can guarantee that you get lots of attention whenever you are out on it. So, we’ve established just how gorgeous the bike is. It’s a stunning design, lots of nice touches here and there. From the sexy four under-seat cans to the beautifully sculpted tank to the stunning dash to that curvaceous single sided swing arm. I could go on indefinitely but look at one in the flesh and you’ll understand. A more beautiful bike has never graced the planet. At odds with Christine's assertions, it's been reliable, well behaved and hasn't proven that much more costly to run than any other bike. It's certainly been MUCH more reliable than every Ducati I've ever known. The first thing you notice when you get astride the bike is just how tiny it is. It feels more like a 250 than a 750. The tank is so narrow that you feel like your knees are meeting. Riding position is a bit extreme - sort of like the GSX-R750, bum up (not a pretty sight in my case) and head down. But the stretch to the low bars is just right for getting you in that racing crouch. Switch the key to on and watch the digital speedo display 200 mph (a bit optimistic - 175 is about it’s top) and the lovely tacho circle all the way up to 17,000
and back again. Funky! Press the starter and listen to those four cylinders growl into life. You can spend a while playing with the practical things like the twin trip meters or the clock (all selected by the starter button once the engine’s running - how strange that is the first time you try it), but all you really want to do is get moving. Engage the clutch; lift the bike off the side stand and snick into first gear (nice box). Out with the clutch and you’re off. The F4’s not really got a lot happening in low revs. Although it sounds great with a kinda throaty growl down low and a lovely noise coming from the air box. But as the revs climb, things start to happen. The sound changes from growl to a menacing snarl and then on up to a howling banshee wail that sends shivers down your spine as the speed increases at an alarming, but very progressive pace until the red warning light on the dash tells you it’s time to change up at 12,750. Climbing through the gearbox is smooth with only the very occasional false neutral if you are hesitant with your left boot. Riding around town, as you’d expect, is not the most wonderful experience known to man - the most wonderful experience know to man is an entirely different proposition and one not suitable for going into on a nice, clean, family website like this one. But when you get out onto those fast twisties that Scotland is blessed with, the story changes. I can honestly say that I’ve never ridden a better handling bike in my life. The MV is easy to drop into corners, is absolutely planted when you are in there and goes exactly where you want it to. Nothing seems to upset it. Bumpy roads, ripples in corners and changing line when you mess up are all taken in the F4?s stride. And when you’re franticly dropping down through the gears to set up for the next tight corner, the back wheel skips about nicely under engine braking, but never feels like it’s getting
out of shape. There’s so much that is wonderful about riding the F4, but it's the combination of everything that makes this a very, very special machine. The performance, the handling, the noise, the looks all combine to make for the ultimate riding experience. Sell your soul; sell your wife/husband, kids, house, granny and pets. Do whatever you have to do to get yourself one of these works of art. Trust me, it’s well worth it!
My neighbour was in the fortunate position of being able to decided between a MV and 996SPS earlier this year. I of course went along to help keep his head in control and heart out of the equation. Also helping spend £13K is always fun especially when it not yours! Anyway off we when down to Salisbury to look at a brace of registered but basically unused MV. Seeing one close up after all the hype was a bit disappointing to be honest. We all seen them at five feet under the careful spot lighting of a marketing mans making at the NEC last year but close up erm! The Finnish is just not up for it. The head stock (which is made of billet aluminium I think) was already tarnished and this a bike not having seen the rigors of British weather. All the clips holding the body panels on seems fragile to say least. The body panels the same thin design, the paint work did not have the deep gloss finish we have come to expect. The bike was built to mauch on looks for in my view. So go spend your money on the SPS I said. How right has that decision been. The MV is a rich mans plaything never able to be used day it day out, mileage’s of 500 a year are in order. The bike has also been littered with recalls due to poor workmanship. My neighbours SPS on the other hand has be fine tuned for years building on the reputation Duccati have won though racing. So SPS or MV …. SPS you know it makes sense.