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Lot 434: 2002 MV 750cc F4 Senna, No. ‘105’

Collectors' Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 October 2005)

It was every motorcycle enthusiast’s fervent hope that, having bought the rights to arguably the most famous and charismatic name in motorcycle racing history, Cagiva would not let the MV marque remain dormant for long. MV became part of the Cagiva group in 1991 and sure enough, before the decade’s end its unmistakable emblem was once again adorning the flanks one of the world’s most fabulous motorcycles - the F4.

Introduced to the public at the 1998 Milan Show, the F4 has already become part of MV legend. In a publicity masterstroke, the factory announced that, most unusually, production would commence with a limited edition run of just 300 very special F4s - the ‘Serie Oro’ (Gold Series). Production, at the leisurely rate of just three machines per day, commenced late in 1999 at MV’s new factory at Cassinetta di Biandronno, Varese.

Designed by Massimo Tamburini, creator of the Ducati 916, the F4 employs a tubular-steel trellis frame, broadly similar to the Ducati’s, beneath which hangs the water-cooled double-overhead-camshaft 16-valve engine. The latter was designed by Ferrari and is unique among modern multi-cylinder motorcycle engines in so far as each cylinder’s four valves are disposed radially, rather than as opposed pairs. Equipped with a state-of-the-art Weber-Marelli engine management system, this lightweight and compact power unit produces a class leading 135bhp. A cassette-type six-speed gearbox enables ratio changes to be made without splitting the engine.

Like Ferraris, all MVs become collectible classics as soon as they leave the factory gates, and none more so than limited edition models. Following the success of the Serie Oro, another exclusive F4 was planned for the 2002 model year – the Senna. MV President Claudio Castiglioni and Ayrton Senna had become friends, and following the Formula 1 World Champion’s tragic death, Castiglioni collaborated with the charitable Senna Foundation to produce a very special model dedicated to his memory, just 300 of which would be offered for sale worldwide. Finished in black with contrasting red frame and wheels, the F4 Senna boasted a specification mid-way between the basic Strada and the exotic SPR. Engine power increased by 3bhp over the Strada while the rev ceiling went up from 13,300 to 13,900rpm. A ‘taller’ first gear was fitted to the close-ratio six-speed ’box and every Senna came with a kit that included a road legal exhaust system and matching ECU chip, alternative rear wheel sprockets, tools and bike cover. Tested by a US magazine in 2002, a Senna topped 170mph with the prospect of more to come on the alternative higher gearing. The Senna was priced in the UK at around £17,000, approximately 40ore that the F4 Strada, which itself was not exactly cheap at £11,900!

One of only a relative handful allocated to the UK, number ‘105’ was sold new to the current owner via Pegasus in Reading. The machine has been serviced (at 600 miles approximately) and has covered a mere 930 miles from new. Presented in ‘mint’ condition, it comes complete with all documents including original sales receipt, owner’s manual, etc, while the accompanying spares kit is unused. An immobiliser is fitted (instructions included) and a paddock stand comes with the bike. Offered with current road fund licence and Swansea V5, MV F4 Senna ‘105’ represents possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of these exotic hand-built super-bikes that can only become increasingly collectible.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams, Classic & Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford
Lot Number434
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£12500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£14375
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number
Engine numberF4A205907
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors