MV Agusta has unveiled two new “projects,” which will form the basis of the Italian brand’s new adventure bike range.
MV Agusta seems to be getting ready to enter the adventure bike segment by reviving the Lucky Explorer name that was used by the Cagiva Elefant, which used to be quite a performer at the Dakar Rally. At the EICMA 2021 show, MV Agusta showed not one, but two new models that will use the Lucky Explorer title, although the bikes are described as “projects” and look to be near-production prototypes. Both bikes are designed with a similar front end, although will come with different engine capacities.
Called the Lucky Explorer 9.5 and Lucky Explorer 5.5, the two bikes are named to reflect their engine displacements, with the 9.5 sporting a new 930.63 cc three-cylinder engine based on MV’s existing 798 cc, while the 5.5 is powered by a 550 cc, twin-cylinder engine, the result of MV Agusta’s partnership with Chinese firm Qianjiang, which owns Benelli and QJMotor brands.
The larger capacity engine of the 9.5 has been achieved by increasing the motor’s bore and stroke, the same 798 cc triple that powers the F3, Brutale 800, Dragster 800, Turismo Veloce and Superveloce. The bigger 930 cc unit makes 121 bhp at 10,000 rpm and 101.6 Nm at 7,000 rpm, and gets a new cylinder head, intake and exhaust valves, counter rotating crank, conrods, main bearings, aluminium pistons and more. With a 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel combination, as well as long travel suspension (220 mm front, 210 mm rear) from Sachs, which is semi-active, the 9.5 clearly has been designed for serious off-road duty. Ground clearance is 230 mm, while seat height is 850 mm. Claimed dry weight is 220 kg, with kerb weight around 250 kg or thereabouts.
The smaller 5.5 features a liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine which makes 46.9 bhp at 7,500 rpm and 51 Nm at 5,500 rpm. The 5.5 has a more pronounced rear end and a high-swept exhaust, and is more of a soft-roader like the Honda CB500X, rather than an out and out off-road centric package. It still comes with 210 mm ground clearance, and a 20-litre fuel tank to cover decent distances on a tankful of fuel. Wheels on the 5.5 are more road-focussed, with a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear combination.