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ADV NewsMV Agusta CEO Reveals New Details On 5.5 and 9.5 Adventure Bikes

MV Agusta CEO Reveals New Details On 5.5 and 9.5 Adventure Bikes

A range of new Lucky Explorer adventure machines are on the way.

Published on 05.18.2022

New information has been revealed, including details and timing of MV Agusta’s inaugural entry into the adventure bike market, via an exclusive interview with MV CEO Timur Sardarov, published by the UK’s MCN. 

It was back in November 2021 when we first reported on the storied Italian brand’s intention to bring both 550cc and 950cc adventure models to market after it showed off two promising prototypes at the EICMA show in Milan. 

The two bikes, part of the company’s “Lucky Explorer Project,” are dubbed simply the 9.5 and 5.5, and wear livery that harkens back to parent company Cagiva’s glory days of racing when its Lucky Explorer branded Paris-Dakar Elefant bikes raced across the African desert, twice winning the famous rally. 


Now, according to Sardarov, the two models are well on their way to production  — and represent just a sampling of future Lucky Explorer  adventure bikes, including six prototypes currently undergoing extensive testing.  

The Lucky Explorer 5.5, which will debut in production form at the 2022 EICMA show in Milan, is powered by a liquid-cooled parallel twin developed in partnership with the Chinese brand QJMotor. It’s said to deliver 47.6 hp and 37.62 ft-lbs of torque after undergoing refinements by MV’s engineers to enrich its torque curve and smoothen delivery at all revs, as well as give it more of a “V-twin” sound. “We want to be best in class in terms of torque,”  R&D Director, Brian Gillen, is quoted as saying, explaining that a 270° crankshaft firing order will not only offer a distinct sound, it will also reduce vibration.

Although MV Agusta mentioned that the specs could change before these bikes go to production, the 5.5 in its current form is a more road-focused adventure bike riding on 19”/17” wheels and using a KYB inverted hydraulic fork with 5.3-inches (135mm) of suspension travel. This new player is projected to weigh a not-so-light 484 lbs dry, and seems targeted toward bikes like Honda’s CB500X

The 5.5 is expected to feature a TFT dash, but won’t have some of the sophisticated electronics MV’s CEO says will be available on future versions of the larger model, which contributes to its projected price point of €7000 – €8000.

Sardarov says the first 9.5 adventure bike will be a base model, a new strategy for MV Agusta, which typically presents the highest spec version — often a limited edition — of a new bike first, then follows up with a median version. “We wanted to avoid that when launching this because it’s an adventure product and we wanted to work like other companies – where you produce a simplified version first and then you grow into a more advanced bike.”

Meaning we might have to wait for goodies like lean-sensitive ABS and the Tiptronic gearbox Sardarov insinuated is being considered, which lets you switch between manual to automatic shifting, a feature that could make MV’s 9.5 competitive with Honda’s Africa Twin, with its optional DCT setup.

It’s this larger machine that MV is pointing at for off-road adventuring, equipping it with longer travel suspension (8.7” front/8.3” rear) and dirt-friendly 21”/18” spoked wheels. “[It] is very much going to be a Lucky Explorer working machine that focuses more on off-road, rather than on-road,” added Sardarov. The powerplant will be an all-new 930cc triple, developed by MV Agusta specifically for this model, delivering 123 hp and 75.2 ft lbs of torque.

The 9.5’s suite of electronics will be accessed via a 7” TFT panel, featuring Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Radar controlled cruise control has also been teased, but in reference to a future street-biased version of the 9.5. “The on-road version will come later in the year,” Sardarov told MCN. “It will have more options, have a bit more luxury and will be a bit more expensive.”

The 9.5 will also mark another milestone for MV Agusta, becoming the first “from scratch” motorcycle — including an all-new engine — to be developed by the Italian maker in 12 years.

Both Lucky Explorer adventure bikes take inspiration from its parent company’s rally-winning Cagiva Elefant. And yes, you might have noticed the styling on Ducati’s DesertX also plays on Cagiva’s Lucky Explorer heritage, a move that seems to irk the current boss at MV.  “Back in the day, Ducati was a part of the Cagiva Group and Lucky Explorer was using Ducati engines,” he explains, adding that Ducati should “choose their own path – not try and blend into something that does not belong to them.”

The first models are expected to launch as soon as next year. According to MV’s CEO, the 5.5 will hit the market first, with availability in early 2023, while production of the 9.5 will begin next April. 

Lucky Explorer 9.5 Specs

Engine Type:3 cylinder, 4 stroke, 12 valve
Timing system:“D.O.H.C” with mechanical chain tensioner and DLC tappets.
Total displacement:931cc
Compression ratio:12.5:1
Bore per stroke:81 mm x 60.2 mm
Max. power (at the crankshaft):90.5 kW (125 HP) @ 10000 rpm
Max. torque:75.2 ft-lbs (102 Nm) @ 7000 rpm
Cooling system:Liquid and oil with separated radiators.
Engine management system:Integrated ignition – injection system MVICS 2.1 (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) with three injectors.  Engine control unit Eldor Nemo EM 3.0 Throttle body with 47 mm diameter bore, full-ride-by wire Mikuni Pencil-coil with ion-sensing technology, control of detonation and misfire. Torque control with four maps.
Clutch and gearbox:Wet multi-disc hydraulic clutch  + SCS (Smart Clutch System)
Gearbox:Cyborg electro-actuated gearbox + Electronic quick shift MV EAS  (Electronically Assisted Shift Up & Down)
Wheelbase:1.580 mm (62.2 in.)
Overall length:2.270 mm (89.37 in.)
Overall width:980 mm (38.58 in.)
Seat height:850/870 mm (33.46 / 34.25 in.)
Min. ground clearance:230 mm (9.05 in.)
Trail:118 mm (4.64 in.)
Dry weight:220 kg (485 lbs.)
Fuel tank capacity:20l (5.28 US gal.)
Front Suspension:50mm Sachs ELECTRONIC “UPSIDE DOWN” telescopic hydraulic fork with rebound, compression and preload adjustment.
Fork Wheel travel:220 mm (8.7 in.)
Rear Suspension:Progressive, Sachs ELECTRO-NIC single shock absorber with rebound and compression damping and spring preload adjustment.
Material:Aluminium die cast twin sided swing arm
Rear Wheel travel:210 mm (8.3 in.)
Front Brakes:Double 320 mm floating disc with steel braking disc and flange Front brake radial-type monobloc Brembo Stylema 4-piston calipers.
Rear Brakes:Single 265mm disc with Brembo 2-piston caliper.
ABS System:Continental MK100 with RLM (Rear Wheel Lift-up Mitigation) and cornering function.
Max Speed:240 Km/h (150 mph)
Main Frame:Double beam frame structure, composed of high-tensile steel pipes and forged components. Bolt on double cradle. 
Rear frame:Trellis structure, composed of high-tensile steel pipes and forged components.
Front Wheels:Spoked, Tubeless, with alumi-nium hub and rim 2.15” x 21”
Rear Wheels:Spoked, Tubeless, with alumi-nium hub and rim 4.25” x 18”
Front Tires:90/90 – 21
Rear Tires:150/70 – R 18
Electronics:Full HD 7″ TFT Dash – Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity – Cruise control – Launch control – 8 level Traction Control – GPS sensor – Immobilizer – Full led headlight with DRL and bending function – Full led tail light – Fog light – MV Ride app with turn by turn navigation system, engine and vehicle setup.

Lucky Explorer 5.5 Specs

Engine Type:2 cylinder, 4 stroke, 8 valve
Timing system:“D.O.H.C” with mechanical chain tensioner
Total Displacement:554cc
Compression ratio:11.5:1
Bore per stroke:70.5×71 mm 
Max. power (at the crankshaft):35 kW (47.6 HP) @ 7500 rpm
Max torque:37.62 ft-lbs (51 Nm) @ 5500 rpm
Cooling System:Liquid
Engine management system:Integrated ignition – injection system, 2 injectors
Clutch:Wet, multi-disc clutch.
Transmission:six speed, constant mesh
Frame:Tubular high-tensile steel trellis
Wheelbase:1.505 mm (59.2 in)
Overall length:2.220 mm (87.2 in)
Overall width:915 mm (36.0 in)
Saddle height:860 mm (33.8 in)
Min. Ground clearance:210 mm (8.3 in)
Trail:114 mm (4.5 in)
Dry weight:220 kg (484 lbs)
Fuel tank capacity:20l (5.3 Us Gallon)
Front Suspension:43mm KYB “UPSIDE DOWN” telescopic hydraulic fork with rebound and spring preload adjustment.
Front Wheel travel:135 mm (5.31 in)
Rear Suspension:Progressive, KYB single shock with rebound, compression and preload adjustment.
Material:Aluminium alloy twin sided swing arm
Front brake:Double 320 mm floating disc with Brembo 4-piston calipers
Rear brake:Single 260 mm disc with with Brembo 2-piston caliper
ABS system:BOSCH
Max Speed:160 km/h (99.4 mph)
Front Wheel:Alloy spoke wheel 3” x 19”
Rear Wheel:Alloy spoke wheel 4.25” x 17”
Front Tires:100/80 – ZR 19 tubeless
Rear Tires:150/70 – ZR 17 tubeless
Electronics:5” Full HD TFT – Bluetooth connectivity – GPS sensor – MV Ride app with turn-by-turn navigation system.
Environmental Standard:Euro 5
Fuel consumption (Combined):62 mpg (3.8 l/100 km)
CO2 Emissions:87 g/km

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge

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Andrew Young
Andrew Young
May 18, 2022 11:17 am

As an owner of four of the original Elefants, I have to say that the Ducati Desert X looks to be a more faithful resurrection of the model line than the M/V. As Ducati was part of Cagiva when the Elefants were produced, I would say both companies have a fair claim to the history.

Andrew Young
Andrew Young
May 18, 2022 11:18 am
Reply to  Andrew Young

That said, these look like great bikes in their own right. It’s awesome to have such choices.

May 19, 2022 9:18 am

A 1 pound difference in weight! 47 horsepower versus 125 horsepower. The price difference between these two better be quite substantial.

May 19, 2022 10:08 am

The weight of the 550 is way over the top

James Bagley
James Bagley
May 20, 2022 6:46 am
Reply to  Frank

Both bikes are too heavy for their advertised mission.

Wolfgang Hokenmaier
Wolfgang Hokenmaier
May 19, 2022 11:27 am

I wonder if some of these specs are off. As other have already commented, a one pond weight difference for a much smaller engine having 38% of the power of the 9.5 is hard to comprehend. The cast wheels of the 5.5 alone should bring more weight savings than that, even before the difference in size. Also, the seat height is listed as virtually identical even though the 5.5 has the smaller wheel set.

ADV Pulse
ADV Pulse
May 19, 2022 3:45 pm

Hey Wolfgang, We share your surprise regarding the specs. In fact, before we posted the numbers we reached out to MV to double-check, and they confirmed they are correct. MV Agusta has also published the specs on their website. However, as we mention in the article, they also told us that the specs could change before these bikes go to production.

Franco Tenaglia
Franco Tenaglia
June 2, 2022 10:09 pm
Reply to  ADV Pulse

Arguably the weight similarity might likely be use of heavier steel components on the “smaller” and presumably cheaper 5.5 versus lighter and more expensive alloys on the 9.5 as other performance European manufacturers tend to do. That said, 484 lbs dry is a lot for that little power so it will be good for the road stability but not likely what riders venturing further off road, would be looking for.


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