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MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800: a real sports tourer


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I'd spent the best part of three years looking for a bike that on one day was comfortable enough to travel miles and miles, and the next day would ride like a real sports bike, and I came close to believing it just didn't exist. I was really taken by the Ninja 1000 - a really lovely bike - and was almost fully persuaded by the Multistrada 950S - a truly wonderful bike. But a cheeky comment from @goat got me going to the MV dealer for a test ride. I was bewitched, and a few months later I had one sat in the garage.

That was over a year ago. So, has it lived up to expectations? 

It doesn't provide the sofa-like plushness of an R1200GS, but the upright riding position means I can do 300+ mile days very comfortably. I've fitted a Puig screen to reduce the wind noise, which I find makes for a more relaxing ride. I've fitted a low seat, reducing the seat height from 870mm to 845mm by sacrificing a little comfort. But to be honest, the low seat is fine, even after several days of all-day riding; as they say: where there's no sense, there's no feeling.

If I wanted to ride all days on motorways, I'd have wished for a full-on tourer. But I like riding roads with bends, and it's here that the bike comes alive. It might have only 110 bhp, but it's a little monster, pulling heartily at low revs, delivering abundant, smooth, mid-range power which surges to a peak with a scream and wail a bit before limiter comes in at 13,000 revs. A quickshifter - up and down - helps keep the acceleration on through the gear shifts. It's sprightly, easily turned, leans without effort and keeps a line as precise as a diamond cutter's. It can be just about as engaging and exciting to ride as you want (and occasionally a bit more). And it will do all this with full luggage, on wet roads and as well as dry.

Oh, and it looks awesome.

As for reliability, I've guess I've been lucky so far: despite riding it through a lot of Scottish rain, I've had no problems so far, except a fork seal that leaks a bit. They're going to fix it under warranty at the next service.

I've got the base model 2019 MY, with luggage and heated grips fitted as extras. I've added crash bungs, Puig screen with spoiler, a tail bag and a Tutoro chain oiler. Given no centre stand, the oiler was really useful when touring.


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Did you go with the standard manual, or the SCS easy clutch system? Rode the latter a few years ago on a demo day around the peaks and it was actually great fun, don't think I used the clutch lever the whole day. Made me grimmace though when they said the ramp plates inside the centrifugal clutch needed inspection every 1000KM and sleeves replacing every 5000km. 😬

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I took one that had the SCS clutch out for a test ride, but I couldn't get on with it. I'll often slip the clutch when I ride - for example if I'm turning at a slow speeds - and I didn't know how to do this with the SCS - there's a clutch lever, but the bike really wasn't happy if you tried to use to disengage the clutch a notch or two. Also, I didn't think it did the job so much better than the quickshifter (which comes as standard on the base model) does; it works works really well, up and down, even goes from 1st to 2nd. Finally, the SCS bike comes with a handbrake, which you have to use to keep it stopped. And that point I began to wonder whether it was a solution that was way more complicated than the problem it was trying to solve. I know some people love theirs, but it wasn't for me.

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