The MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso roughly translates into ‘Fast Touring’ in Italian, the clue is in the name to describe this bike. Despite the clue, MV is adamant it’s not a tourer. The new Turismo Veloce sees top quality parts mated together on a tall, upright chassis, with a proven high tech engine. Sounds very tourer-ish to me.
The new model sees Sachs electronic suspension and an optional Rekluse clutch which makes the clutch lever obsolete. More on that black magic later.
The Turismo Veloce utilises the 800cc triple-cylinder platform which also graces the Brutale and F3 sports bike. Making 110hp, it’s the perfect combination, plenty enough power for fun, while still remaining frugal on fuel. It has been tuned from the Brutale and F3 versions, to make more torque at a lower RPM. This revised tune makes it perfect for overtaking and hammering out of alpine hairpins. Regardless of gear, the TV has plenty enough get up and go, to go…
800cc Tech laden Triple engine is sublime
As with the F3 and the Brutale, the Turismo Veloce retains the Moto GP-Esque counter-rotating crankshaft, something MV is very proud of. Being the first manufacturer to put the racing tech into a road-going engine the theory is the engines’ backwards’ rotation counteracts the centrifugal forces generated by the ‘forward’ rotating wheels. Doing this, in theory, makes steering inputs easier, providing a more flickable feeling.
The racing tech doesn’t stop there, this ‘Touring’ bike has launch control which propels it to 60 quicker than some superbikes, and an up and down quick shifter. The launch control really works, and you feel the front wheel hovering delicately above the floor. It feels weird for a civilised and stylish bike to behave in this manner. Think of a suave suited gentleman, at a rave, complete with neon face paint and glowsticks.
Another revelation from the racing world is the Rekluse clutch option. Used heavily in Motocross, a Rekluse clutch makes stalling the engine impossible. This is great when motocross riders are standing on the back brake in the air, over a jump thinking of 60 other more important things than grabbing a fistful of clutch. Other benefits include better race starts allowing a higher gear pull off with no wheelspin.
What relevance has that got to a sporty road-going tourer, I hear you ask?
Imagine a slow speed uphill filter, on a tall bike, with a pillion, two fully loaded panniers all with a regular clutch. I can see the nervous look and sweat rolling down your face from here.
Now imagine it without having to worry about the clutch?
What is a Rekluse clutch?
The Rekluse clutch works in such a way that as the engine RPM increases the centrifugal forces acting upon the clutch increase too. As the force increases, this overcomes the weight the sliding wedges within the clutch. These wedges start to move outwards along some guides. By being forced outwards, this generates the clamping force on clutch friction plates which engages drive from the engine, to the gearbox.
As engine RPM decreases, the centrifugal forces decrease, allowing the ramps to fall back into the centre, releasing the clamping force, disengaging the clutch and drive from the engine. This makes it impossible to stall as if the RPM gets too low drive just disengages and the engine returns to idle speed.
What does a Rekluse clutch do?
Firstly one crucial point is that it is not a DCT automatic system like on the Honda Africa Twin. The Turismo Veloce still has a regular foot-operated gear lever, with an up and down quick shifter. It still rides like a conventional gearboxed bike, that’s because it is. The only way to describe it is more of an automatic clutched bike.
To ride, it’s pretty simple, however, putting it into practice goes against principles taught to me when learning. It takes some getting used to, but once accustomed to how it works and what it is going to do it becomes second nature.
Starting the bike, engaging first gear, and pulling off requires no use of the clutch lever, much the same with stopping. Changing gear needs no clutch input thanks to quick shifter up and down the gearbox, and it works flawlessly. The lever is literally redundant, I’m pretty sure you could unscrew the lever and still get along fine.
When on the move it rides identical to a conventionally clutched bike. I would go as far as saying you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two if you didn’t know.
See the video below to see the Rekluse clutch in action
MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso, a sportsbike with a plush seat
The riding position is immensely comfortable, the footpegs, seat and upright handlebars all sit in a natural place which causes no issues on the wrists, back or shoulders. Perfect for those long mileage days. The raised pillion seat provided a nice perch for my rucksack to sit on, which helped to take some weight off the lower back. However, my dimensions allowed for this and I wouldn’t necessarily call it a design feature for the bike.
Sachs electronic suspension graces the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso and provides a plush ride. Adjustable rider modes for a single rider, pillion and pillion with luggage changes the settings to suit. I didn’t try this, I Ieft it in sport single rider mode.
Stoppers are from Brembo and coupled with Pirelli Scorpion tyres the combo works well. They provide vast amounts of grip, so much so you can get your toe down on this sporty tourer.
Despite being a tall bike, comfy for both rider and pillion, and equipable with panniers, it handles well. I was expecting it to be hefty and quite the task to manoeuvre about. That said this tall and upright bike is sub-200kg’s, so while it is down on power compared to its rivals, its also been on a diet compared to the others. The upright bars make it easy to lean from side to side. Whether the counter-rotating crank actually makes a difference, we will never know, but it’s great to say it does.
Equipped with everything you could ever need
The dashboard is LCD and contains all the information you could wish for, this is both good and bad. It’s very cluttered with a lot going on, and I just longed for a ‘Simple’ mode where it only had the essentials, speed, revs, gear and fuel. 99% of the time I’m not bothered about what setting the heated grips are on, or cruise control settings.
Overall I can’t fault the bike, in fact, I really loved it. This was my first taste of a sit upright bike, and I really enjoyed myself. It has definitely left a lasting impression. There are, however, a few issues which plague the bike, and unfortunately, these are common with the MV brand.
Cost. It’s bloody expensive, 18 grand for the base Turismo Veloce Lusso model or 19 for the Rekluse clutch option. There is a standard model which is lesser spec and comes in at around 15 grand, but still, it’s a high cost. Would an MT09 Tracer be cheaper, yes, but does it have the same character that the MV has? I think we both agree it’s a no on that one. MV does say that the Tracer isn’t a rival, a mass-produced robot-welded frame is always going to be cheaper than a handcrafted artisan created masterpiece.
Reliability. While I have no clue on the long term reliability of the Turismo Veloce, time will only tell. The Rekluse clutch option requires inspection of the moving components every 2500 miles. Apparently, the first inspection is free on MV, but I can see the next ones adding up, especially if you enjoy using the bike for what it’s for.