MV Agusta’s Lucky Explorers Are Ready To Get Dirty!Armani Moffatt
Yep, harking way back when fag sponsorship was still allowed, there’s was a certain Lucky Explorer doing the do, and of course the then called Paris-Dakar rally. Many may remember a different manufacturer’s name carrying that logo, and they would be right, but MV Agusta own that brand, so they can do as they like – hence, this restoration of down and dirty race heritage we see right now…
There are two models available, and one point ofl interest here is that the smaller version, the 5.5, was developed hand in hand with Fart East manufacturer QJ. Which may partly explain the engine, which is a twin-cylinder – not a configuration MV tend to have on their motor roster. But it will allow anyone who fancies one to get their hands on a smaller capacity, stunning looking adventure bike at a price that won’t have you going hungry for months just to meet it.
Coming in a shade over 550cc, the inline-twin is doubtless already part of QJ’s own engine range, adjusted and matched to suit MV’s needs of course, but also a very smart way of saving money given how many millions it costs to develop a new one. Speaking of developing, the engine is claimed to make around 47bhp which could put it well within A2 licence reach, and a handy enough with the right gearing 51Nm of torque whooshing it up to a top speed of around 100mph.
It uses KYB suspension front and back, a fully adjustable USD fork and shock grace the 5.5, which is actually pretty decent given it’s the ‘baby’ of the Explorer pair. Decent Brembo brake calipers bite large 320mm discs while the ABS comes courtesy of Bosch. All in all it’s a decent junior grade adventure bike from a proper Gucci biking brand – what’s not to like?
Unless you want more boom of course, in which case it’ll be the 9.5 that you’re really after, oh yes!
And while the looks twixt it and its smaller sibling may be similar, the 9.5 is the puppy stacked to the gills with everything, including a brand new 931cc inline three cylinder motor. Well, they say ‘new’, but in reality it’s a heavily modified version of their current 800cc triple we all know and love. Bore and stroke have been increased, er, obviously, but otherwise the changes are thus: a new steel counter-rotating crankshaft, new connecting rods and bearings, new forged pistons, new steel intake/exhaust valves and a brand new cylinder head.
MV claim 123bhp and 102Nm of torque from the new bigger beast, though already many are starting to wonder if an F3 with a sportier version of this larger capacity motor is on the way too? Here’s hoping! On the chassis front, it features fully electronic Sachs units at both ends, with all the adjustment you could ever want either taken care of for you, or allowing you the option of tailoring it further to your tastes. There is also the option of having one with a smart clutch, scooter stylee, or normal clutch version, whichever you fancy.
On the braking front there’s little messing about either, with top-spec’ Brembo Stylema calipers gripping 320mm discs to haul the 220kg (dry) mass to a halt. A 7-inch TFT dash tells you all you need to know about what’s going on, and of course there’s the usual cruise and traction-control we’ve come to expect on modern bikes in attendance.
Got to say, it’s nice to see Cagiva, sorry, MV Agusta doing something different. Cagiva always took care of the off-road side of things in the past, and there’s little surprise these bikes emulate the classic Elefant, nor that they keep the CRC (Cagiva Research Centre) logo either for that heritage vibe. We still await prices as we write, but expect to see this classic livery doing the rounds sometime in 2022!
#StaySafe, #StayAlert, #StayPositive and keep washing those hands (yes, it’s still important!).