A Motorcycle for Moguls Worth $120,000

Posted on 6:30 PM by Sameer Shah

WHAT makes a motorcycle — not some rare collectible, but a new, limited-production model — worth $120,000?

That was the first question asked by most everyone I told about my miles of test-riding the MV Agusta F4CC, a wickedly purposeful machine from Varese, Italy. The best I could do was to answer with another question: What makes a few special wristwatches cost, say, half a million dollars? For that matter, what justifies the price of a fountain pen or a bottle of wine that sells for tens of thousands of dollars?

This MV Agusta does share some qualities of those costly items. First, there is scarcity, with only 100 F4CCs having been built, and it comes from a company with a celebrated racing history. Also, it is an object of intrinsic beauty, carefully hand-wrought and lavished with precious materials.

And, oh, the F4CC’s 4-cylinder engine packs a 200-horsepower punch, with top speed limited to 195 miles an hour, something I did not try to verify. Instead, I appreciated its mind-reading chassis — simply think about the curve ahead and it turns — and startlingly compact dimensions. Still, no single factor can justify the cost (you can buy nearly as much performance for a tenth the price), not even the celebrity ruboff of Bruce Wayne riding an F4 in the record-breaking film “The Dark Knight.”

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