Italians sure know how to make beautiful bikes, don’t they? MV Agusta’s Superveloce is currently one of the best looking retro-modern bikes on the market. I cannot get enough of the unique conical bullet-fairing design that retains the authenticity of classic café racer motorcycles that were built by hand many years ago. But make no mistake, the retro appearance of this bike is where the bike’s connection to the past ends. The Superveloce is equipped with the most modern and progressive technology on the market. Although this bike wasn’t exactly marketed as a race bike, considering it’s F3 800-derived engine, we were really curios about Supereveloce’s performance on track. After some track time on this beast of a bike, I was blown away by how track-capable this bike really is.
I’ll be honest, I went on this test ride with pretty low expectations. The Superveloce seemed like a trophy bike you’d keep as an art piece in your living room, all style and very little function. But within two minutes on track, I realized just how much I’ve underestimated the performance aspect of this bike. First of, the bike is a bullet on straightaways. Again, I’m not sure why I expected any different considering the bike has a 798cc engine and just under 150 horsepower. Once that throttle is wide open, you better hang tight because the Superveloce is going to take you on a very quick ride. Maximum power seems to kick in around 13,000 rpm. Not that surprising considering the Superveloce has about 65 pound-feet of grunt that develop fully at 10,600 rpm. This is clearly an engine that likes revs. Chuckwalla Raceway doesn’t have long enough straightaways to max out the bike’s top speed but I was easily able to get it up to about 130mph. Even over 100mph, the bike felt super stable and well planted to the ground. It’s very easy to tuck behind Superveloce’s fairings and experience little to no wind resistance.
It did take me a while to get used to the sensitivity of the throttle. I don’t often ride on ride-by-wire throttles and it made it harder for me to smoothly roll on the throttle coming out of corners. Rolling off throttle also proved to be a bit difficult, not just because of the sensitivity of the throttle but also due to the somewhat aggressive engine braking. Going from a wide open throttle at high RPM’s to completely off throttle felt very abrupt and the bike would dive forward. But having a slipper clutch and an electronically-assisted shifter was a huge help since I didn’t have to worry about the sensitivity of the throttle during downshifts and rev-matching.
The Superveloce corners extremely well. It comes equipped with very short clip-ons that allow for incredibly fast and precise steering inputs. The bike also felt light and easy to flick side to side between corners. The brake lever was a bit soft for my liking and had a bit too much dead-space before engagement. Might be something that’s easily solved with an aftermarket master cylinder. The brake pads could also use an upgrade, after 20 minutes on track, I experienced a bit of brake fade. It was an extremely hot day, almost 100 degrees, so my guess is that contributed to the weak feel of the brakes. Plus, the bike was ridden pretty much none-stop all day long. Other than that, the bike felt great. It usually takes me a while to get comfortable on a new bike but for some reason, within two laps on the Superveloce, I was riding the bike like it’s my own.
If you’re height challenged like me (I’m 5’4”), you’ll love the Superveloce. It sits very comfortably low to the ground. The riding position is quite aggressive, I had a hard time not putting a ton of weight on the bars because of how much the riding position pushes you forward. On a long ride, your wrists and legs will definitely suffer. Also, the gas tank on the Superveloce is unusually low so when in a full tuck, I had to hover just above the tank instead of laying on it in order to actually see where I’m going. Might not be as big of an issue for someone not micro sized like me or someone carrying that extra Covid weight in their belly.
Overall, I absolutely love the MV Superveloce. It’s not just style with no function, it actually performs extremely well. After spending a bit of time on the Superveloce you’ll quickly realize it’s not a “café racer” but rather a sportsbike in café racer disguise.
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