Failed me twice so far : LUSENET : MV Agusta F4 : One Thread

#1 The first day I had it I had to push it down the road about a mile because the low fuel light failed to ever illuminate so I ran it out of fuel. Not having a manual, I was hoping to run it until the light illuminated so I could fill it and know how much fuel was used before the lamp lit. The dealer didn't fill it (nice huh?) so I didn't know how much range I had. After six months I at last have the replacement part. If I'm lucky that will fix it.

#2 Today after less the 3,000 KM (the weather has been bad here in Switzerland this summer) I was left stranded at the side of the road for two hours due to ?? something scary ?? which caused it to fail during straight-line constant highway speed. It now will not turn over, much less start. I can hear the relay click, but it won't turn the motor. I don't think the batter is low. It was stalling all day at idle and it often backfires at throttle down. I don't know if that is related to the total failure. I tend to doubt it. I was busy trying to get it over to the side, but I heard a fairly evil noise as it died.

It cost me 258 Swiss Francs ($150) for an 8-km tow on Sunday. I'll pass along the cause of the failure once I know it. I still don't have a manual. The fact that the steering smashes my thumbs is pure amateur design. This thing is not winning a place in my forgiving heart as anything other than hype. So far MV is reviving the image of Italian image over reality crap production with me. I hope this is a minor anomaly and not an indication of what we can expect from these expensive machines. Perhaps I'll forgive and forget, but right now I'm pretty irritated at being stranded by the side of the road twice by my new not inexpensive machine. I don't think I'm expecting too much to expect more than this. Little glitches are one thing but to be stuck at the side of the road twice by a new motorcycle is total crap. I hope to hell that this is the last time this thing totally betrays me. Considering what it's designed to do we are putting our lives in its hands. One would like to think it is deserving of that trust. So far I'm beginning to feel like a fool and an easy mark for buying this thing. I hope I'm wrong and all will be well in the long run. I will keep you informed of the progress.

Later, The dehydrated and very annoyed Michael

-- Michael Manning (, August 14, 2000


Thank you for posting, and please keep us up to date. Oh and tell MV that you will be happy to test the 900cc engine. I hope everything turns out well.

-- mod (, August 18, 2000.

So what happened, you might ask. It appears to have eaten a valve and trashed at least one cylinder/piston in the process. Total damage has not been assessed yet. but it ain't good. It is being sent to either Swiss headquarters or back to Italy for postmortem and repair. If I get a total report of the damage I'll pass it along. I will keep you all posted with regard to MVs handling of this situation.

I'm being lent a Raptor, which should arrive next week.

The motor imploded at < 8K RPM (I think about 5K or 6K but I wasn't paying that close of attention to the tach) in straight-line constant speed on the highway. NOT under heavy load, acceleration, or at high RPM. I have never hit the rev limiter ever and was very careful during run-in. The bike has been through first service. I haven't beat this bike so I didn't do anything to bring this on myself. I'm not so rich that I would buy a bike of this price and destroy it through negligence and/or abuse.

This should not have happened. Lets hope this is an anomaly and that I got the only bad one.

I hope I'm given a fresh motor. However, I'm not looking forward to the boring process of running-in another (or even a rebuilt) motor.

-- Michael Manning (, August 18, 2000.

I got my F4 back Friday night September 8 unexpectantly. A couple of days less than four weeks after the engine seized. I put about 700 KM on it on Sat. and Sun. and it hasn't blown up yet. I'm now re-breaking it in. Very boring and eats even further into my already shortened by MV riding season.

The dealer said it ate a valve in #1 cylinder; Valvoli Mangare! Once that was determined the dealer sent it to the Swiss distributor and the distributor did the repairs.

I have received no explanation of what was done to the motorcycle. The dealer claims he got the bike back without any information. I called on Tuesday and pressed him to find out what was done. I haven't gotten any response. I now want it in writing. He has called them and they have said they would send a FAX two days ago, they still haven't.

Everything on the bike is still so clean I can't tell what they replaced by inspection, it all looks new. I suspect it was the entire head assembly and the block of cylinders (that looks newer perhaps). I would guess at least one piston as well.

I still have no manual in any language.

They didn't touch the master cylinder.

I also suspect they didn't repair the low fuel light which has never illuminated even when I ran it dry, but I've been reluctant to find out since on a bike with no reserve this means running it dry or draining it.

Additionally, they didn't install the second radiator as I was told they would. The temperature still gets alarmingly high in stop-and-go traffic, 110 C before I shut it down and push. The dealer claimed the second radiator was inside the little chin faring facing down behind the fan. 30 seconds worth of disassembly revealed it to be the same empty fan housing with nothing in it that had always been there.

The Swiss distributor has stated verbally that the radiator is not a recall item and they won't add a second radiator. They didn't even bother to offer to do it for a fee.

I don't hear as much valve noise as I did before it exploded. I was aware if valve clicking before, but I put it off to the airbox being in my face. It wasn't extreme and not having an idea what this motor should sound like to intimate detail I didn't consider that it could have been an indication of anything. If it becomes louder again I'll pay more attention.

The dealer complains about parts availability and says they don't even have the tools needed to adjust the valves. I suppose that implies that they did not adjust the valves at first service.

Despite getting my bike back I am not happy.


-- Michael Manning (, September 15, 2000.

My bike is delivered with the second radiator and they say it is an update from cagiva,also my bike is delivered with updated throttle houses.Still i must miss it for the 7th week now.They talk about a new fuel pump(??? not good running at 4000 rpm,there above it runs good)not enough fuelpump pressure.One thing is for shore,i get it back perfectly adjusted but year maybe? I can't hardly wait for the next spring.

greetings, Ben

-- Ben P (, September 15, 2000.

Micheal, Why don't you just sell the damn thing and get on with life! It's just a motorcycle. It's supposed to make you happy. Obviously it's not. Regards, Scott Rothermel

-- Scott Rothermel (, September 16, 2000.

Well Soctt,

Thanks for the life guidance. Selling has crossed my mind. However, that is not really the point. Even if I did choose to do that, I would still think I should report the fact that the motor seized to this group. So far, no one else has reported an engine failure; I may be the first/only one to have had that happen. If we don't start seeing a trend then I can believe that my bike exploding is an anomaly that has been addressed, which should never again plague me.

Furthermore, the behavior of Cagiva is something that will effect many of us as well. The overheating problem has a fix and the fact that I have not been provided with it says a lot about Cagiva's attitude, at least that of the Swiss representative. Again, I feel others may want to know how Cagiva responds to defects, especially simple acknowledged ones with known fixes.

I would like to know if anyone has had the second radiation fitted after delivery and who paid for it if they did.

Therefore, at the moment, I like the bike, I'm not happy to have to repeat the break-in phase (as anyone who has ridden one of these would understand), and I think Cagiva is not behaving very professionally by not addressing the overheating defect with the known repair. This does not lead to the logical conclusion that the way to resolve this is sell the bike, at what I can only assume would be a loss. I think that would be giving up a little too easily. Hopefully, it won't come to that.

-- Michael Manning (, September 17, 2000.

Dear Michael, I'm so sorry about your MV troubles, but I thought pass on my story to possibly help you feel better (you know, misery seeks company). Briefly, I picked up my 1st MV back in May. Ran out of gas on a major highway, decelerating so fast I almost didn't make it to the shoulder. Took the bike in for 600 mile service and to fix the low-light failure. Picked the bike which all along ran exceptional save the fuel light problem. I picked the bike up that weekend because the following Monday we were departing to France to visit the inlaws. I decided to pick up the bike before fuel light repair because as you know even a day off the bike is painful and I didn't want to wait longer. That Sunday before departure, I low-sided, performing a tumbling act in the process! As crashes go, it was a good one-I walked away but the bike couldn't be riden. Though the bike was repairable, the dealer couldn't give a proper estimate because part inavailability and lack of prices on those parts. The bike was totaled by my insurer, I found another, picked it up 2 weeks ago and as I drove away from the dealer heard the slight valve tap at low rpm. We'll see what happens after I pick it up from 1st service. Hope you're feeling better! Take care, Masis

-- Masis Yeterian Jr. (, September 18, 2000.


Thanks for the attempt. However, that fact that your fuel light also didn't work makes this look more and more like a pretty common defect. Cycle World's test bike had the same problem, and I think a few other people have reported the same thing. I still don't know if mine has been repaired or not, and getting repaired is the main point.

The fact that your bike was repairable but that the dealer couldn't give you an estimate because of parts inavailability and lack of prices on those parts is pretty scary.

My biggest worry now is that my bike is going to need maintenance and Cagiva/MV is not going to provide any support or parts. I can't get any answer from MV about a second radiator. Such as availability, cost, who will pay, etc

Slight valve tap at low rpm on your new one and my past experience combined with other reports makes me worry that the valve train may be a weak point on these things. My dealer can't adjust valves because he can't get the tools, which compounds the problem.

That wouldn't bother me too much if I felt MV could keep up with parts demand. I am beginning to suspect that they can't. My biggest worry now is not about the bike but about Cagiva.

The result that it was totaled by you insurer because MV couldn't supply parts is chilling news.

I don't expect a first year bike to be problem free. I do however expect that the problems will be fixable. The thing interfering with that at the moment appears to be Cagiva's business practices and nothing technical.

It wouldn't take too much screwing around on Cagiva's part to make the MV F4 do for them what the V-Due did for Bimota.

Later, Michael

-- Michael Manning (, September 19, 2000.

Hey Michael, sorry if my post came across wrong. I had the same issues with my bike with regards to parts, and service. And I'll guarantee the problems will be a lot worse in the USA. Infact it feels a bit like 84-88 with Ducati all over again. Maybe worse. It only seemed from your posts that you were beating your head against a wall in you efforts to be satisfied with your purchase with no real hope of resolution. Unless someone enjoyes being miserable, and granted there are people like that, just subscibe to the Ducati list!, it's usually better to cut your loses and move on.

Just like Masis I crashed my MV. I had the same issues with getting and estimate or parts prices, much less parts. While my bike ran fine and I had no reliablity issues at all, I decided to take the money from the insurance company for a totalled machine and wait. Possibly for a 952 F5 or whatever. Hopefully by that time they (both the manufacturer and the US importer will have their shit together.

Scott Rothermel

-- Scott Rothermel (, September 20, 2000.

So let me make sure I'm understanding this correctly, if an MV F4 is damaged in an accident (and let's say the damage is about $2,000), the insurance company may declare the MV as totaled because they are unsure of the costs for repair or because the parts are not available?

-- Allan Gibbs (, September 21, 2000.

No, Allan mine was damaged enough to be totalled but we actually did have to estimate (make up) some of the parts prices based on equivalent Ducati parts in order to complete an estimate. If my bike had been repaired I have my doubts about part availability if you can't even get prices.

-- Scott Rothermel (, September 21, 2000.

after seven weeks i got it back and it runs great now.I still not no what the problem was but they told me that the fuel pump delivert not enough pressure.Michael,has your dealer checkt and readjusted the valves on the 600 miles(1000 km) service? Fact is that the bike never bevore runs so good.

greetings and good luck,


-- Ben P (, September 22, 2000.

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