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BEST of the BEST 2014 | Wheels | Motorcycles | Sportbike: MV Augusta F3 800

The MV Agusta F3 800 offers the nimble handling of a middleweight sportbike and the brazen power of a literbike. It is based on the same platform as MV Agusta’s F3 675 and has the same 381-pound dry weight as that bike, but its engine displacement has been bumped to 798 cc and its horsepower increased from 126 to 148. The 3-cylinder engine is managed by an electronic throttle with four different settings. The bike also features four ride modes—normal, rain, sport, and custom—and eight levels of traction control. The suspension includes fully adjustable Marzocchi forks and a Sachs rear monoshock. The Brembo four-piston monobloc brakes ensure stopping power suited to the most challenging racetracks.

The F3 800’s shape is narrow and compact, and its saddle height is just short of 32 inches. The bike’s design includes gaps in the thermoplastic fairing that offer glimpses of the tubular-steel trellis frame, the forward-tilted power plant, and the trio of exhaust pipes, which angle upward and resemble three pieces of rigatoni cast in aluminum.

The F3 800’s bodywork is inviting, but the shriek from the exhaust is fearsome, indicating the true nature of this $15,800 sportbike from the manufacturer that has won 37 world-championship racing titles. (MV Augusta,