MV Agusta has launched its Lucky Explorer Cagiva Elefant revival at EICMA with not one, but two new adventure bikes that lean heavily on the mythos of the original Dakar racing Cagiva Elefants and finally gives MV a foothold in the red hot adventure bike market.
Both bikes feature styling that harks back to the iconic Cagiva Elefant (MV Agusta owns the Cagiva brand) with the entry-level 5.5 model running a 554cc parallel-twin engine which should be LAMS approved if it heads to NZ, while the 9.5 model takes aim at the big boys with a 930cc triple-cylinder engine and all the tech a modern adv rider could want.
MV Agusta Lucky Explorer 5.5
The 5.5 model appears to be based heavily around the Benelli TRK502 platform with a number of upgrades to bring it up to MV Agusta's specifications. That means its running a Qianjiang (QJ) sourced parallel-twin which has been beefed up to 554cc and a frame that is reminiscent of QJ's Italian sister company Benelli's TRK502 model. Power is a claimed 47hp at 7500rpm with 51Nm of torque at 5500rpm while dry weight is a hefty 220kg. That will mean that if the 5.5 makes its way to our shores it will be MV's first LAMS approved offering.
Like the Benelli TRK, the 5.5 from MV is a physically large middleweight that gives an impression of a much larger capacity machine than it actually is. The large fuel tank holds 20 litres of the good stuff while seat height is listed as 860mm.
Suspension for the 5.5 comes courtesy of KYB with a 43mm USD fork with rebound and spring preload adjustment up in front with a single shock out the back offering rebound and compression damping and spring preload adjustment. Ground clearance is also pretty good with 210mm (8.3 inches) on offer.
Braking is supplied by Brembo with a pair of 320mm discs clamped by four-piston calipers up front and a 260mm disc with a two-piston Brembo caliper at the rear. In a nice nod to the past, the front discs come with covers in a nod to the Elefant Dakar racers.
The bodywork features a Elefant inspired front cowling with dual LED headlights with the 5.5 running a DRL in a semicircle. There's also a large plastic skid plate to complete the Elefant inspired look and give the 5.5 a little more ADV cred than its Benelli cousin.
Behind the front fairing is a 5 inch TFT Full HD dash with Bluetooth connectivity, a built-in GPS sensor and the ability to run the MV Ride app with turn by turn navigation.
While it may be a lot heavier than many would perhaps like, the MV Agusta 5.5 sounds like it would make a fantastic entry-level/LAMS offering to the brand for MV/Cagiva fans and adventure tourers alike.
MV Agusta Lucky Explorer 9.5
The 9.5, however, is the real deal when it comes to what many are looking for in a premium middleweight adventure steed. Based on an MV Agusta developed inline triple producing 123hp at 10,000rpm and 102Nm of torque at 7,000rpm, the 9.5 is a far more performance-oriented machine.
MV says "the 9.5 truly introduces a gateway to the future in the shape of a premium adventure bike, faithfully based on the new MV Agusta 950 engine, powered by class-leading technology and close to that racing spirit of the original Elefant."
It may have the racing spirit of the original Elefant, but it also has the heft of one too. At least compared to the other bikes in the class like the Triumph Tiger Rally Pro. Dry weight for the 9.5 is claimed at the same 220kg as the 5.5 - so that is without the engine oil, coolant or the 20 litres of fuel needed to head out on adventures. For reference that's 19kg heavier than the Tiger Rally Pro straight off the bat.
While the weight might not be quite what adventurers would hope for, the 9.5 is right in the ballpark when it comes to the chassis and rolling stock. The frame is a steel frame with its electronically adjustable suspension coming from Sachs. The fork is a 50mm unit with 220mm of travel. The rear shock is also from Sachs with 210mm of travel along with rebound, compression damping and spring preload adjustment.
Rolling stock is a 21 and 18-inch wheel combo wrapped in 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 rubber respectively.
Pulling it all to a stop is a pair of 320mm disc with radial four-piston Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers in the front and a 265mm disc and two-piston Brembo caliper at the rear.
In the cockpit, everything is controlled via a 7-inch TFT dash with Bluetooth connection to smartphones and Wi-Fi. The electrical switch cubes have been exclusively designed for this model: inspired by functionality and ergonomics criteria they allow the user to easily navigate amongst the numerous configurations available in the menus.
Currently, we have no word from MV Agusta's New Zealand distributor Urban Moto Imports on when we might expect to see MV's first adventure models hit showrooms here but both are listed as official 2022 MV Agusta models.