Reliability update: How reliable has your MV been since you received it? : LUSENET : MV Agusta F4 : One Thread

As you may have read, my 2000 MV was in an accident. In the event it's totaled, I need to decide if I will get another MV (most probably a 2002 model) or a Ducati 998.

However, my 2000 model was the most unreliable vehicle I've ever had. In the 3,500 miles I've had it, here were my problems:

1) Sidestand snapped in half cause the bike to tip over; 2) Oil leaks (repaired twice and finally fixed); 3) Stalling problems (throttle body adjustment fixed it); 4) Excessive vibrations on the handle bars at 4,000 rpm; 5) on rare occasions, a lugging sensation as if the brakes where being applied and then suddenly released, but I was not on the brakes at that time (most recent problem prior to accident).

Before I get a second MV Agusta, I have to have some reassurance that the problems I had were just grown pains, since it was the MV's first year of production.

Have any 2001 or 2002 owner experience any problems (2000 owners are also welcomed to reply)? Lastly, does the 2001 and 2002 MV still have that flat spot under 5,000 rpms?

-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (, February 12, 2002


No real problems on my 2001 1+1 w/SRP exhaust and chip installed on its first day.

Yes the side stand spring scratched the fairing and the heat insulation on the right side panel is cooked, but who cares. This is a gorgeous bike and capable for as much on road fun as you can handle. Right?

It pulls fine from 2K through 5k without any hesitations, but it shouldn't be driven there anyway. There is also a slight buzz at about 5k just to remind you to loosen up.

BTW, do you think the ducatis are trouble free?

Yannis (Boston, MA)

-- Yannis (, February 12, 2002.

No real problems with my 2000 other than being really lame off the bottom. Below 5000rpms the bike is total crap and very disappointing. I pull in the cluth while riding and wack the throttle a couple of times and the motor goes silent like its about to die...hold the throttle open and the revs eventully climb. I really can't belive I have to spend at least another $1000 on pipe and chip to make it run properly. Sure its restricted due to EPA requirements but Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki are subject to these same rules and their machines are awesome right out of the box before any upgrades. I think that is total B.S.

-- Sean Edwards (, February 12, 2002.

Well, there's a saying "if you had to do it over again, would you"? That's basically where I am now. I considered the fluffy low rpm and the excessive engine heat as part of the bike design flaws, but not reliability problems, although, they were still a pain.

As far as Italians go, I had two Ducatis a '98 748 and a 2001 996 and was very happy with their reliability and daily livability. No mechanical problems with either. I had both the 996 and the MV for a while and wrote some comparisons. For aesthetic value and exclusiveness, the MV wins hands down but for riding and practicality value, the 996 was a better bike. The downside is that after two 996 designs, which are almost a decade old, the 996/8 design is a bit faded.

Now that I have to do it over again, I'm still leaning toward the MV....although a bit hesitantly. I'm hoping some of the bugs (stalling, oil leaks, and the sidestand snapping in two) have been fixed by now in the 2001 and 2002 models.

-- Allan Gibbs (, February 13, 2002.

Allan, I had that momentary loss of power problem (my bike is a 2001), but my battery was dead so Steve changed it last night. I'm fully expecting that problem to go away.

I'm horrified about the sidestand now. I thought it looked a little small, but hopefully they've made them stronger.

My bike vibrates quite a bit, but then again, so does my R1 so I can't complain. I don't know what excessive is though.

I noticed a flat spot somewhere around 5k that causes some bad carburetion if you try to accelerate when you are in it. This is standard inline 4 stuff to me. I've never owned anything but an inline 4.

I only have about 300 miles on the bike so far, so I still have time to tell you if there are problems! I'm working on the miles.

Looks like the 2001 and 2002 models are getting better? Hope so... I say get another one. Ducatis are cool, but it's time for the Italians to make multi cylinder engines again!


-- Andy R (, February 13, 2002.

Fear not Allan! My 2001 has only had 1 problem: the infamous blown oil filter seal. I have the 2nd version of the filter, with the 3rd version due in today, so hopefully that problem will be solved. No problem with the sidestand, though I do inspect it before every ride just to play it safe. I've only stalled it a few times, and only when I went from full-throttle to zero-throttle. I think the problem is that the MV really needs to be warmed up properly before riding it hard.

I've been very impressed with the build quality. It doesn't seem to have the quirks that Ducatti's have.

-- Brad Cowell (, February 13, 2002.

Andy, I'm really glad to hear it was a only a battery problem. When you posted you were having problems with your bike, that got me really nervous, because it was the bike Steve mentioned was currently available.

In regards to the sidestand, I won't worry too much about it. When I bought the MV, the flip up mechanism had already been disabled. Could the sidestand been damaged during that modification, possibly. In any event, I would be cautious of step inclines. Mine was on a 20 degree incline and I noticed the side stand started to stretch farther forward than normal. I quickly brought the bike up to full vertical position, left and found a level space to check the sidestand, and that's when it snapped. So, under normal, level conditions, I think the stand should be okay.

If anyone experiences any stalling problems or hesitation problems, I think it's worth looking at the throttlebodies. Cyclemoto took a long careful look at the bike and determined that at full throttle, the butterflies where opening past their maximum allotted position, and this led the computer to think it was a redline and caused the rev limited come in. In regards to the stalling or "falling off idle" problems, I believe that was due to an improper C02 mixture. After three tries, they got it right. I did notice the MV pulled extra hard at certain rpms as if it was having power surges in the fuel injection. Obviously, the MV needs a bit more fine-tuning out of the box than a Honda.

In regards to the oil leaks, the first was cause by a defective oil filter and the second was fixed by spray a sealant on the gaskets (I think). After 3,500 miles, I experienced no further oil leaks.

In regards to the fluffy low rpm, I think that's just the nature of the bike. Perhaps an SPR chip and exhaust may change that. Renaissance Motorcycle said the SPR bike has now become “the SPR engine”, which I assume means a F4 can be converted into an SPR.

In regards to the handlebar vibrations, I wasn't sure if it was just my bike (due it improper set up) or just the nature of the bike. I did notice that the handgrips have very thin rubber and there are no vibration absorbing lead weights at the end of the handlebars. Until I can compare my old (and now deceased) MV with another one, it's hard to tell what's normal or just a result of a bad setup, since I bought the bike used.

In all, I’ve suffered: 1) oils leaks; 2) stalling problems aka falling past idle; 3) hesitation at full throttle; 4) broken sidestand; and quirks such as 5) vibrations; 6) fluffy low rpms. So, I think I’ve account for most of the problems people have experienced. If there’s any more (like the ruptured fuel line experienced during Motorcyclist magazine’s test ride), please let me know. I’d like to know before I invest in an MV again.

-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (, February 13, 2002.

In regards to the ruptured fuel line, I heard from a dealer (not my own) that it was determined that this was due to Motorcyclist Magazine taking apart the bike for a photo shoot, then putting the tank on incorrectly. This pinched the fuel line, which then ruptured. Since I have never heard of another case of a ruptured fuel line, I tend to believe it.

-- Brad Cowell (, February 15, 2002.

Someone on this list complained of a fuel line coming loose. Maybe not a coincedence?

Allan, another update. I have a new battery, and I did get the momentary power cut once again, but only once so far. It's kinda scary because I started going toward the side of the road, and then it came back... It will always be in the back of my mind as I'm at maximum lean in a corner now. I'd like to hear of some root cause and a fix for it, but I think I'll have Steve go over all the electrical connections closely during first service... Since I haven't heard much response from anyone else on this problem, it may be safe to say that it's confined to my bike.

No problems other than that. I still love it despite this.

-- Andy R (, February 16, 2002.

Hi Andy. Actually, in the 2 years I've been following the MV, this is the first I've heard of an electrical type power loss. I'm thinking it maybe something is not grounded and causing a drain in the battery system, or possibly a bad computer chip? I'm not an electrician or a mechanic but those would be my guesses. Perhaps you may want to check these sites to see if there been any similar cases, althought I don't recall seeing one:

Fortunately, with the first service at 500 miles, I'm quite sure you're problems will be solved soon.

At this point, I've decided if I go with another bike, it will most likely be another MV (instead of the 998). So, my decision now is red/silver or all silver. Steve believes he'll be getting both sometime soon, and I've got a really bad motorcycle itch right now. It's been 20 days since I've last ridden you know! :)

-- Allan Gibbs (, February 16, 2002.

I have 16,000 miles on my 2000 problems It has been more realiable than any jap bike I have every owned. As far as the weak bottom end....who cares, its fun rowing through the gears and listening to that sweet sound anyway. If you dont have a pipe, get it, its worth it for the better sound alone. Would I buy I will have this one forever.

-- jim stanton (, July 12, 2002.

Hello. I have 1300 miles on the 2002 MV, which I've had since March and have had no problems, despite the 112 degree heat.

-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (, July 12, 2002.

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