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The Evolution of Electronics
Today the "electronic brain" has the task of managing several functions: traction control is only the most quoted and well known, as is the management of the injection system, while less attractive is the logic behind safety aspects. The latter are equally complex in development, and essential in case of failure or damage, as they allow the rider to reach the nearest authorized MV dealer with the control unit in "recovery" mode, avoiding a complete shut-down.
A small team of engineers participate in the process of designing and fully defining the features of MV motorcycles, tweaking, modifying, introducing the parameters within the electronic unit that best serve to achieve the best possible relation in refining engine and chassis characteristics for the precise evolutionary step on the motorcycle model concerned.
The different calibrations of the unit and its specifications are defined internally within MV, with the participation of the test team, and then get handed over to Magneti Marelli for the standardization process and readied for production.
In about ten years of history, Brutale and F4 have taken an extreme evolutionary leap. Consider that the first 750 had a Marelli 1.6 unit with base level operating logic, which meant managing the injection parameters for air and fuel mixtures and monitoring two cylinders at a time.
Since 2006, with the introduction of Euro 3 and, therefore, the Lambda sond (placed on the exhaust for temperature readings that are used by the control unit to correctly and efficiently run the engine), electronically a quantum leap was made through the use of the 5.SM unit on both the Butale and F4 models. The use of this technology allowed the engine exhaust gases to fall within the parameters of approval regarding emissions, and limit the loss of power. It has been the only salvation for engine performance, as Euro 3 regulations, from this point of view, have always been a guillotine for "horsepower".
Increasing the number of control parameters has also improved cylinder management, that are now individually tracked rather than in pairs, with a consequent improvement in power distribution throughout the entire engine rev range.
For 2010, the electronic approach assumes two rather different routes for the Brutale and F4, due to the nature of the bikes: the first is a naked street motorcycle dedicated to a mass audience, the second is a track racer homologated for the road ...
The Brutale remains faithful to the ultra-efficient and proven 5.SM unit, while the F4 switches to a higher performing and more sophisticated 7.SM unit, capable of handling multiple functions inherited from the Italian Superbike Champion F4, born with special needs well beyond that of a street bike.
Looking into the future, MV Agusta sees the "electronic brain" with an even greater role on its motorcycles, drawing inspiration from what happens today in the automotive sector at very high levels, where the integration of engine performance in vehicle dynamics is almost complete: hard-edged engine performance is matched to appropriate sports suspension settings, while comfort settings do the opposite. A sort of combination of engine and chassis performance. But as already said, this is only a view of what might be the future of MV motorcycles.