Look, there's no way to explain this properly without the risk of being seen as politically incorrect - but here goes. The MV Agusta F4 has always been that gorgeous, sexy-looking girl with luscious Latin looks - or guy (lady riders please note) - that you've lusted lasciviously after from a distance, only to discover when you pluck up the nerve to ask he him for a date and, wonder of wonders, she says yes - that she isn't everything you'd hoped she'd be. Still, being incorrigibly vain, you can't resist flaunting the arm candy she represents, so you keep on dating her and showing her off until one day, you meet this less sexy but still pretty sumptuous German fräulein who really has what it takes to thrill. And that's when it's ciao, bella - see you around. Maybe...

So for someone like me who's had an MV Agusta F4 750 tucked up in his garage for the past 14 years (which has one-quarter of the miles under its wheels that a certain Italian V-twin I've owned for half that time has on it), the fact that the one-liter versions of what the late Claudio Castiglioni termed Massimo Tamburini's works of "Motorcycle Art" were beautiful to look at but less than fulfilling to ride, meant that I'd never been tempted to trade my 750 in for one of them.

Now, however, I (and many others like me) am faced with a crunch decision, thanks to the advent of the completely revamped range of 998cc F4 models launched by MV Agusta under the direction of Claudio's son Giovanni...

 

Alan Cathcart | European Editor

Cathcart has ridden practically every road racer and streetbike ever built and written about them in Cycle News. They don’t call him Sir Alan for nothing.

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