My last hands-on experience with MV Agusta’s motorcycles was at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, back in early 2015 (“MV Agusta: Stepping Up” – News, Clues & Rumors, April 2015). I was hoping to get a ride on the then-unreleased Turismo Veloce, but all that existed of that motorcycle at the time, at least publicly, was a mockup that we were told wasn’t quite functional. I found solace in trucking around the moto track at Auto Club on a variety of MVs, most notably and enjoyably the Dragster RR, and in chuckling at jaded journos posing stern-faced questions about parts availability and commitment to the market—and most importantly, obviously—to moto-journalists.
MV Agusta USA’s then-new CEO, Helen Vasilevski, assured the complainers that things were going to get better, that big changes were coming. Many of the journalists grumbled and left soon after, while I took advantage of the open track and choice of bikes and continued spinning laps until the on-and-off-again rain stayed on, like really on, meaning it was time to mount my borrowed Connie and head further south.
Since then, the Dragster seems to have sold well. The Turismo took a while to get to market, and still holds special place in my heart where my potential next bikes live in tiny form. But MV USA seemed to just be keeping on at keeping on. Until earlier this year, when I got an email from someone at the new organization—MV Agusta USA was starting anew again, had been bought out in whole, and there would be no more fucking around. My words, of course.
It’s early, but there are signs that the new, new MV USA is in it for real this time. I had lunch with Dale Schmidtchen, Sales and Dealer Development for MV, upon returning our Brutale to its unassuming home in SoCal, and he was candid with me about the challenges MV USA faces and how the organization plans to face these challenges. I can’t share much, and like the disaffected, antagonistic journalists at the Auto Club Speedway meet and greet, I’m generally inclined toward doubt. But as someone who essentially lives dual lives, one foot perpetually in my always-running moto-mouth, the other firmly in the world of actually doing business with real brands, I like what I’m hearing, and hope that MV USA succeeds in revitalizing their presence in the US market. The bikes are truly exceptional, and deserve a chance at a bigger slice.
Also, I want a Turismo Veloce.
This story originally appeared as a sidebar to our review of MV Agusta’s Brutale 800 in our November 2017 issue, which you can read in all its original high-res glory here.