After admiring the bike for an appropriate duration, I decided it was time to take her for a spin. The engine fired up into a gruff idle, and every twist of the throttle brought forth an angry growl from the triple pipes. The textured seat offered decent grip and, at 830 mm high, was a bit of a stretch for 5’6” me; but even on tiptoe, the bike felt light, compact and manageable. The hydraulically-actuated clutch was a bit heavier than I expected, but once on the move I forgot all about it as the fantastic bi-directional quickshifter had me banging through the sweet-shifting gearbox with the throttle wide open, that three-cylinder symphony singing in my ears.
The bike is an absolute blast to ride fast, drops into corners predictably, and powers out of them with excellent control thanks to the perfect response from the ride-by-wire throttle that keeps the riders right wrist directly connected with the rear wheel. MV have got the fuelling just right and, even in the most aggressive Sport throttle map, transitions from closed to open throttle are smooth and seamless. The 110 PS on tap is reined in by fantastic Brembo brakes, which offer excellent bite, feel and feedback at the lever; hard braking with the ABS turned down will have the rear tyre hovering off the ground as you approach the next corner. The 43-mm Marzocchi forks up front and the Sachs monoshock at the rear felt a little firm and were great for sporty riding on smooth surfaces and, being completely adjustable, can be mellowed down to offer a more pliant ride.