Here is something I wrote to a friend not too long ago (i also added the sound clip in the end):
I had a chance to take the MV around for a few hours, 'testing' all kinds of its performance.
Three things that the MV wins over the 749R ... (1) the MV is absolutely a gorgeous, jaw-dropping bike... (2) The engine is awesome, it is powerful, and it has a distinct intake sound that makes it roar like a lion, even with stock exhaust. It is the sweetest sound ... (3) The Ducs, although uncommon in general, are 'less uncommon' than the MV, so the MV is 'a little' more exclusive.
As I try to go through the list, that's pretty much where the advantages of the MV end... because the 749R wins in just about everything else. It has better parts, (for the '04) you have the unique fairings which carry at least a $2k premium, Ohlins everywhere, lighter wheels, slipper clutch, more adjustability, easier access to OEM parts and service/maintenance/warranty, more aftermarket parts as well as more parts supply in the used market... and then there is the question of performance:
The MV is a faster bike out of the crate, although the 749R can be made to come within a stone's throw of the MV's power for about 15% more $$. On the Track ... well I haven't taken my bike to the Track yet... but they say it's 'the best track ever made' out of the box... with what I have seen squidling around the mountains on the 749R, I believe them. Plus... the slipper clutch of the 749R... it's there, and it WORKS ...
Handling: The Duc is Narrower, and due to the lighter forged marchesini wheels, Ohlins, Brembo Radials and adjustability, the DUC will outperform the MV with proper set up in stock form. In comparison, the 749R will feel like a magic carpet. It will take more than 15% money to make the MV match-up.
Looks: If motorcycles were people, then MV would win People's "Sexiest Man Alive" every year for sure! .... the Duc is the one that doesn't win the pretty-boy contest, but gets twice the action
... the general public will drool over either one (if you would even be concerned about this). The "knowledgable" market will recognize an MV as a unique bike, and think that your 749R is just a regular Duc... which is actually good by me... they say "nice bike man!"
... some will come up close, and then they say "holy crap... this is an R!"
... I just say "ya..."
and get ready for an inevitable series of questioning .
Sound: As mentioned, the MV sound is so sweet..... but this will only last up until you hear the sound of a high revving v-Twin of the highest order: the 749R. With Termi's ... it is an unearthly music for the ears, especially way deep into the rev range ...
Unless you have very good friends ... there is only one way to experience it: to BUY it ... or you might have a small sample of the sound here
- turn up the sound and put headphones on for the best effect (the sound of the engine is on the LEFT channel).
By the way -- when I tell you the MV has an awesome sound, this is only up until you are going to go for a freeway ride of more than 20 min... trust me when I tell you that the calm rumble of the 749R on the freeway is a much more pleasant experience than a howling Inline on the freeway... and you know how much of that we have around here in SoCal.
MV-999R who is a member of this board is one of the few lucky guys on earth to own both the 749R and the MV... he will tell you its like choosing between two kids! But for a man than can only own one of these ... 749R is the right choice.