Practical Corner Carver

Story by David Booth// Photos by David Booth & @Fotostelvio
February 20 2024

A superbike for the adventure set.

So, you’ve outgrown your CBR600RR. Perhaps it was a GSX-R600. Maybe Team Green’s 636. Hell, it could even have been a R6, though Yamaha hasn’t built a street-legal version of that speedster since 2020.

Whatever the case, you’ve left the supersports world behind. Maybe it’s a bad back. Could be wonky knees. Just as likely your wrists can’t handle the constant pressure anymore. I know your pain. I’ve got all three. And, if you’re anything like me, you resisted for as long as you could. Muscle relaxants gave adequate — but fleeting — solace; bar risers just delayed the inevitable. It was time to leave the motorcycles of your youth behind.

But, my Lord, you miss the twitchy steering, the scream of stratospheric redlines and the feeling of one-ness with the machine that can only come from a middleweight supersport: The knowledge that no corner is too tight, no braking marker too late and that, as soon as you think about turning, you’re already diving toward the apex.


You contemplated moving to a sports tourer, but they’re just big couches now, aren’t they? You thought about a naked bike — both the KTM Super Duke and Ducati’s Monster look appetizing — but, although they don’t sport clip-ons, they’re not exactly comfortable. And don’t they look silly if you strap a big old aftermarket windscreen on ‘em?

Then, of course, there’s the latest spate of litre-plus adventure tourers. Yes, they’re monster-motored, but they’re all high centre of gravity and 19-inch front wheels; hardly the rapier-like handling you’re looking for.

I suppose you could look at a BMW X1000RR. Certainly, it’s got the sporting bona fides, what with Brembos and Ohlins all round and a nice tight 17-inch front wheel. There’s even a M-version coming that promises to push eyeballs even deeper into your cranium. But litre bikes are such overkill and there’s just something about, well, the rapier-like steering response that can only come from the most focussed of motorcycles. What you really need, you think, is a Yamaha R6 — and all its running gear — in a Tenere 700 chassis.

Well, sorry for the big build-up, but that I can’t give you.

But what if I could get you an 800-cc MV Agusta F3 with a cozy adventure touring riding position, an adjustable sport-touring windscreen and enough touring accessories — saddlebags, GPS navigation and more — to make it a passable long-distance hauler? It may not be perfect — more on that in a minute — but I can promise you this: it will allow you to relive your Akrapovič-piped youth without challenging arthritic joints, stretched ligaments or wonky lumbars. It’s called the Turismo Veloce — quite literally “fast touring” — and I spent a week blasting through the Italian Alps with a recklessness — please forgive me, mom — I haven’t felt for 30 years.


No word of a lie: MV Agusta’s 798-cc, 79-mm by 54.3-mm triple — especially in this, its Turismo Veloce guise — is the best middleweight engine extent. It has the screamiest engine (a lot of) money can buy, 110 horsepower of…


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