2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Test To Death Valley

2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Test: Death Valley Ride

Friday at 0730. It’s cold, rain is predicted, and we’ve mountains to ride over on our long-planned Death Valley trip. Thoughts of punking out enter my mind, but I’m committed to my riding brothers to make this trip.

2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Test: Price

I wrap myself in my best Held Hakuna battle suit and boots, throw an electric vest underneath, find my battery-powered heated gloves, and figure out how to turn on the heated grips on the 2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS. I’m delighted to find the MV sport-tourer includes a Powerlet-style 12-volt outlet that mates perfectly with my heated vest. I’m even more impressed to find a second outlet mounted beside a passenger footpeg and ready to assist a pillion rider. I’m set and off in a flash to rendezvous with mates in Canyon Country.

Even if a scooter looked like this MV, I would buy it—and I don’t like scooters unless I’m in the Bahamas. The flared wings on the gas tank, folding over to the knee position and sliding into the stitched sculpted seat wide enough for all-day riding, combined with the lovely lines and sculpted proportions, make this bike drool-worthy. Naturally, some may not like the transformer-like design of the Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS, but public opinion at rest stops belies that thought. This truly is an exquisite Italian motorcycle that one can easily fall in love with and spend many miles atop.

I’ve not counted, but I’ve probably visited Death Valley with my pals about 10 times in the past 15 years. We usually go in late March, but it was early April this year. In past years we have experienced weather warm enough to wear mesh jackets and t-shirts, and we have frozen our butts a few times. This year we froze, thanks to some wonky California weather. Although we enjoyed a bit of sun along the way, it was often accompanied by temperatures in the low 40s, with a few rain and snow flurries just to keep our attention.

2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Test: For Sale

We decided to change our ride route due to this weather. We often ride the back roads north from Santa Clarita, past Elizabeth Lake, cut across the Antelope Valley to Tehachapi, and then over the fabled Caliente-Bodfish Road to Lake Isabella.

If you’ve never ridden on Caliente-Bodfish Road, then I suggest you plan to take this ride on a sunny summer day. It is highly technical and scenic, and just when you arrive in Walker’s Basin at Rankin Ranch for a hydration break and think you’re done, you find there are more hills, twisties, and views to enjoy before a breathtaking descent to Lake Isabella.

We skip Tehachapi and its environs, as it has the coldest temperatures in the area, and snow flurries are forecast. I’m adventurous, but only to the point of suffering. Instead, we simply ride California State Route 14 through Mojave, then turn off at Cantil, home to the Honda Proving Center of California, on our race to lunch in Randsburg.

It is cold this way, too, and we experience a few minutes of chilly rain, then snow flurries, before reaching The Vault restaurant in Randsburg, where one turns a watch back 100 years to get in sync with the old town and vibe. The Vault is run by the same folks who operated the now-vacant Randsburg General Store for ages. A landlord dispute caused a move to the new location—a former dynamite vault—about a quarter-mile east of the old place. Fortunately, the menu is about the same, and the joint is covered with old mining photos and memorabilia from bygone times. The only thing missing is the General Store’s 1904 soda fountain. The Vault is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only.

Randsburg is a ghost town on this cold spring day. However, visit on any warm day, and you’ll find hundreds of off-roaders in town and scattered through the thousands of acres of open desert riding surrounding the tri-cities area shared with Johannesburg and Red Mountain. Moving on up U.S. Route 395, we take Searles Station Cutoff and Trona Road.

Trona Road is mostly straight, with a few undulations. There’s not a jackrabbit, LEO, or other living thing in sight other than my travel companions. The MV urges me on, and we see triple digits on the clock. A sport-tourer with a nod to the adventure genre, the lightweight Turismo Veloce just rips. The Italian beauty loves speed and feels entirely planted and secure in this environment.

2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Test: Touring review

The MV is running strong and just eating up the miles. I adore the growl of the triple and appreciate that it fades away at highway speeds leaving me with only a nicely faint vibration to keep me company. Whack the throttle and it comes alive again at any speed.

There’s a spot on this road where the tarmac turns from black to brown.  Slow down here because, in a few seconds, you’ll come around a curve, and the mountain ridge falls away, revealing the grandeur of one of the many valleys that make up this unique part of the world. It is simply stunning.

Trona Road becomes Trona Wildrose Road east of Trona. Turn left on Panamint Valley Road and it takes you into Death Valley National Park. We head east at the California State Route 190 junction and climb the last mountain pass before descending into the heart of the Park.

The MV Augusta Turismo Veloce devours the twisty bits here, railing through the hillside two-lane as we climb higher and higher. The seat is remarkably comfy, and I have visions of a warm motel room in mind. But, as Robert Frost famously wrote, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.” The pass is about 5500 feet above sea level, so again, we shiver on this 30-mile run to Stovepipe Wells, which sits at sea level, nearly 200 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Stovepipe Wells offers a ranger station, camping, a motel, a saloon, and a general store with fuel, although I have not seen 91 octane there for years. Sometimes no fuel at any octane is to be had, so be prepared.

You’ll have to ride another 25 miles to Furnace Creek for higher-quality services and $7.50 per gallon fuel prices. Fueling at Trona gave us the range to make it to Beatty, where we can save $3 per gallon. The MV Agusta Tourismo Veloce’s 5.7-gallon tank and 35-mpg burn rate have eliminated any range anxiety one might experience when riding in, truly, the middle of nowhere.

2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Test: Italian Motorcycle

For the second year in a row, we stayed in a motel in Beatty, Nevada; The Ranch at Death Valley in Furnace Creek was full and triple the price of Beatty accommodations. Beatty puts us about 30 miles outside the National Park and at an altitude 3000 feet higher. There, we experience a 20-degree drop from Death Valley’s sea level temperatures, and as the sun is setting, all riders put the spurs on their rides to get back to base.

Know that if you ever stay in or visit Beatty, there are no food stores other than Miguel’s Freshy Jerky, and just a handful of restaurants that mainly serve burgers and barbecue. Smokin J’s BBQ is where we ate both nights, and you’d best get there early, as the line and wait time gets long because the brisket is awesome. The Beatty VFW Post has a full bar and surprisingly serves mussels as a specialty. You couldn’t have paid me to try them this far from the ocean

It’s cold in Beatty this Saturday morning as we head toward Death Valley National Park. U.S. Route 95 takes us to the California border, sweeping through canyons and urging riders to twist their throttles hard.

2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Test: Rhyolite

Our first stop is Rhyolite Ghost Town, a boom-and-bust town 15 miles outside Beatty and just outside DVNP. It’s an easy mile on a paved road off Nevada State Route 374 and about 15 miles from Beatty. It’s worth the short detour for a half hour of strolling around.

Rhyolite was founded around 1905 when quartz and gold were discovered. It’s hard to imagine that over 5,000 people lived here just two years later. However, the number returned to zero by 1920 after the Charles M. Schwab-owned Montgomery Shoshone Mine closed. It is a small wasteland now. The crumbling remains give a strong impression of how the mists of time can consume what man hath wrought. There are no services here, nothing to buy, and only pictures to take.

Our next stop is Badwater Basin, a 60-mile ride from Rhyolite. The Park requires an entrance pass—$25 for someone riding a motorcycle. You’ll find them at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, which we pass en route to Badwater.

2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Test: Badwater Basin

Years ago, I was stopped for speed in Death Valley. I was made to wait 20 minutes while the Ranger, dressed in black BDUs with the tip of his AR-15 peeking over the dashboard of his Jimmy, checked out my information, and then gave me a severe tongue-lashing while telling me how many motorcyclists died in the Park last year (11). Then, he let me go unscathed. My pal Sandy brags that he tells police, “Either give me a ticket or a lecture, not both.” I don’t believe him.

The 2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS is just eating up this kind of riding. What it might lack in power on freeways with its modest 798cc, 110-horsepower powerplant, it makes up with superb handling, braking, and overall desire to please the pilot.

This MV runs the automatic Rekluse Smart Clutch System (SCS). Stop and start in first—just roll on the throttle, and the clutch automatically engages. As you roll off the throttle, the clutch disengages the transmission when the revs approach idle—you can’t stall the SCS. Once underway, all shifts are clutchless, though you can use the clutch manually, if you prefer.

I like the SCS, but I sometimes wondered why I might actually need this. The SCS system can be a touch grabby off the line and in tight places. It can surge slightly, so in close quarters, like parking lots, I use the clutch lever, which is always available. Oh, and check out the clear clutch cover.

One thing I had to learn was to set the parking brake, as the SCS will roll with the engine off, even if you’re in a gear.  The parking brake clamps the rear disc; it’s easy to use and just as easily forgotten. Though there is a warning indicator on the dash informing me that the brake is engaged, I would prefer the engine refuse to rev if the parking brake is active.

2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Test: Parking Brake

I only have a few small criticisms. The cruise control is standard, but I couldn’t get it to work. Also, the 4.25-inch TFT dash is lovely and informative, but the turn signal and high-beam indicators are in the black area surrounding the color portion. They are hard to see and cause me to leave my blinkers on too many times. Perhaps next year’s model will get the sweet dash shown on the new 2024 MV Agusta Enduro Veloce.

Badwater Basin lies 282 feet below sea level and is the lowest point in North America. Temperatures have risen 20 degrees here, and we are enjoying the sun. Bring some gorp and water.

We had hoped to see water in what is known as Lake Manly from recent rains after reading about folks running their kayaks here, before being outlawed in early March. Sadly, only a few puddles were on view from the parking area and the playa. However, reports from those who hiked in further say the lake is still there. We see the glare and can’t identify it as a lake or glistening borax.

On the way to Badwater, we stretch the throttle cables and sample tarmac with the famous California chip seal. It’s hell on tire life, but the grip is phenomenal. Watch out for some wet and sandy spots, tourist traffic, and pesky US Park Police on the prowl. We never saw any, but you don’t want one of the federal speeding tickets issued in the Park.

Saturday afternoon, we scoot back to the motel a bit early and chow down at Smokin J’s once again. The evening is uneventful, and I prepare for an early departure Sunday morning. I have a 300-mile ride home and a plane to catch Sunday night to ride the 2025 Indian Scout lineup in San Francisco.

My pal JB and I hit the tarmac early and took the same route home as we did on the way up. Fear of missing my flight had me on the gas even harder, and the 2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS is up to the task, even in Touring mode. Sport mode is very sharp and enjoyable when in the mood, but I desire a less fatiguing ride.

We see the only LEO during the weekend as we transition onto California State Route 190 at a buck something. The black-and-white CHP cruiser appears almost instantly from a dip in the road, traveling as fast eastbound as we are heading west. We see no brake lights, and I sigh in relief.

Death Valley National Park has so much to see and even having visited about a dozen times, I am sure I have not even scratched the surface. There are so many places I have never stopped at, and even more on tap for those who ride adventure bikes off the pavement. An example is The Racetrack, which requires a 27-mile ride down a rugged dirt road.

I think I may have been a bit burned out by this last trip. When the time comes to plan next year’s Spring ride, I may be inclined to suggest the Sierras to my riding partners. However, if you have never visited Death Valley National Park, I strongly encourage you to do so and marvel at a world lost in time. If you can do it on a premium motorcycle like the 2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS, so much the better.

Photography by Jonathan Handler et al

2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Specs


  • Type: Inline-3
  • Displacement: 798cc
  • Bore x stroke: 79 x 54.3mm
  • Maximum power: 110 horsepower @ 10,150 rpm
  • Maximum torque: 59 ft/lbs @ 7100 rpm
  • Compression ratio: 12.2:1
  • Cooling: Liquid and oil
  • Transmission: 6-speed w/ quickshifter
  • Clutch: Automatic, and manual
  • Final drive: Chain


  • Frame: ALS steel trellis w/ aluminum swingarm
  • Front suspension; travel: Semi-active fully adjustable inverted Sachs fork; 6.5 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Semi-active fully adjustable Sachs shock; 6.3 inches
  • Wheels: Aluminum
  • Front wheel: 3.50 x 17
  • Rear wheel: 6.00 x 17
  • Tires: Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T32
  • Front tire: 120/70 x 17
  • Rear tire: 190/55 x17
  • Front brakes: 320mm disc w/ radially mounted 4-piston Brembo calipers
  • Rear brake: 220mm disc w/ 2-piston Brembo caliper
  • Parking brake: Integrated in the rear hydraulic brake system
  • ABS: Bosch 9 Plus


  • Wheelbase: 56.9 inches
  • Seat height: 33.5 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 5.7 gallons
  • Estimated fuel consumption: 41 mpg
  • Curb weight: N/A
  • Colors: Fire Red (Gloss)/Matt Metallic Dark Grey; Metallic Carbon Black (Gloss)/Matt Metallic Dark Grey

2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Price: $25,598 MSRP

2024 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso SCS Test Photo Gallery