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MV-Agusta Lucky Explorer Project 5.5 2022


MV-Agusta or Cagiva? The question is complete; especially since the mark of Varese lets maintain the suspense. In unveiling the Lucky Explorer 5.5 concept, special care has been taken to ensure that the bike is in its own stand, that its parentage is evident with the old trail Elefant, that no allusion is made to the MV house although she’s behind it all. So, can we hope for a revival of Cagiva so that it becomes the adventure brand of MV? Or will MV be going off-road under its own name?

Either way, the 5.5 (and its big brother 9.5) shows the manufacturer’s appetite for this very buoyant segment. The trail is everywhere, with more or less marked desires for tourism or escape. Here too, with a plastic ready to take the market in eye-catching attire. Whether or not you are going to the capes of the world, the young Lucky Explorer wants you to believe it.

The bubble announces the journey, the burly trim offers a front against hardships, the spoked rims predict the earth and the convulsions, the gaze in 3/4 of a luminous iris threatens distances. The effect is successful, supplemented with small well-felt tricks. The 5.5 installs flanges to protect the brake discs in the event of unwanted projections. The vents are designed to complement the imitation logo inspired by Lucky Strike – the tobacco sponsor of the days of the rally-raid-winning Cagivas; and intended to recall the series Elefant 900 ie in limited series of the 90s. The panoply is complete with the handguards, the luggage rack, the silencer in the high position, the central stand, the large tank and the high presence on legs . Too bad the engine shoe is plastic. Almost impossible for him to survive a good rock.

With such a size, this Lucky Explorer really stands out compared to the feline and precious productions of the MV-Agusta house. Plus, it’s not Italian heart to the core. Now that the Italian factory has signed agreements with the Chinese Qianjiang, Asian gear will become part of the range. A good way for MV to think about future models more accessible for the markets of the antipodes. Thus, the engine is developed from the twin of the Benelli TRK 502 and Leoncino. The ribs are modified to give it more chest. The displacement rises to 554 cm3 by increasing the bore (+ 1.5 mm for 70.5 mm) and the stroke (+ 4.2 mm for 71 mm). With 47.6 horses, the gain in watts is nil but that in very real torque: 0.6 mkg, with surely a rounder curve.
For the purists, barely 35kW in full on an MV…….. it bothers. For others, it makes a motorcycle natively A2 compatible. The “little” Lucky will seduce a wider audience than the 9.5. The latter will assert itself towards a more demanding market, with a much stronger engine.

Under its big coat, the 5.5 hides a steel frame close (identical?) to cousin Benelli. On the other hand, its aluminum swingarm is specific. The suspensions are entrusted to Kayaba with several settings available. Rebound and preload for the 43mm inverted fork; the same plus the compression for the monoshock. It is from there that we see that this trail will be more road than explorer. With 135 mm of travel, the bike will allow itself some sidewalks or rolling tracks but no question of asking more. Admittedly, it really smells of trail with not very wide tires (100 and 150 mm) circled on spoked rims, mixed tires and the face of the job. But the term crossover would fit better as a definition. Its braking also appears clearly shifted, almost too serious. Consider that at the front, two 320 mm discs will be bitten by Brembo 4-piston radial calipers. The same type of gear as on the 800 Brutale to stop a skiff of around fifty nags, with 220 kilos in the frame and 160 km/h at toc. Too much is not the right word; let us further underline a sense of Italian moderation. In any case, the concern will have little room for the right lever.

The MV house did not make a big show of the electronic equipment. There is currently ABS, a 5-inch color TFT screen with Bluetooth, GPS sensor and the MV Ride app with a simplified browser. As the TRK does not bother with driving aids, it is not surprising that the Lucky 5.5 does the same.

What will be his final username? The mystery will continue for some time. Without undermining the charm of this machine, clever restyling of a Benelli already well established on the market. The Lucky Explorer 5.5 will not really compete with it because it plays on a more upscale image. With its qualities… and its faults. A nice stroke of the pencil, a very accessible engine, a somewhat muscular price, weight….. But the image of the Italian requirement.

MB – Photos builder

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