For those who consider motorcycle design to be art, the first brands that comes to mind will most likely be MV Agusta. In the motorcycling world MV Agusta is what Lamborghini and Alfa Romeo are to the car world. Generations of riders have come and gone who can’t stop going gaga over how stunningly beautiful MV’s designs are. I had to be dragged out of the showroom when I went there to pick up our demo bike, the Brutale 800.
If you ask the guys at MV Agusta, they’ll tell you that the company wanted to condense 15 years of experience in one revolutionary motorcycle. From the onset, the Brutale had to somehow imprint the values of MV Agusta’s factory; it had to be true to the story of the MV Agusta brand, ridden as their strive for beauty, and passionate as the thirst of every rider for perfection who chooses to ride one of their machines. MV Agusta has tried hard and succeeded in pairing the Brutale’s stunning looks with the technology it deserves. Quite simply, the Italian marque wanted to create the most beautiful Brutale ever. Have they succeeded? I think they have.
The first generation Brutale 750 is often regarded as the bike for the purists of riding. It had its idiosyncrasies and appealed to a certain kind of rider who knew exactly what he was getting into. However; the new 800 is designed to connect with an assortment of riders with all levels of biking experience. It’s size, riding position, weight and power delivery are a near perfect balance between performance and ease of riding. The Brutale 800 shows off the new MV Agusta logo on the fuel tank which looks like it’s sculpted with an artistic inspiration, without compromises or technical constraints. Starting from the trapezoidal shapes of the fuel tank, to the light alloy of the Full LED Projector supports, to the tail- each component reveals something unique.
From an aesthetic point of view, the design of the New Brutale 800 reveals a constant search for symmetry. Everything you look at shouts attention to detail, the paint finish, the plastics, the footpeg mounts, the ducts and the front headlight supports, everything. Some of the brand-new features on the New Brutale 800 include its double saddle and concealed passenger handles. The Brutale 800 is clearly an MV Agusta thoroughbred. It is a perfect combination of panache, performance, design and ergonomics. Offering a unique blend of style and substance, this punchy three-cylinder bike offers the same standard of excellence seen on the earlier Brutales but with a refined graphics/colour scheme that lends it added flair.
If I had one word to describe the design of the Brutale 800, I’d say it is ‘clean’. Nothing seems out of place or out of proportion on this motorcycle. It highlights the fact that MV Agusta has put form before function and as an owner, I doubt you’ll ever get bored of the way it looks. It’s just going to look better as it ages.
The chassis of the Brutale 800 has a wheelbase extended by 20mm compared to the older model while the trail changes from 95 to 103.5mm. Even though I haven’t ridden the older generation, the current Brutale 800 feels very accommodating, even for someone who is over six feet tall. The seating style is aggressive and not really suitable for long distance rides but then again, this is a street fighter and the ergonomics reflect that. The trellis structure combined with aluminum plates, fits the unique seat frame in light alloy, an expression of modernity and design genius according to MV Agusta. Oh, and that hole right below the seat, you just can’t miss it.
The MV Agusta Brutale 800 is fitted with an upside-down fork and monoshock with hydraulic and elastic response adjustment. The 43mm upside-down fork, characterised by excellent fluidity, provides 125 mm of front wheel travel and is adjustable in compression, rebound and spring preload. The rear wheel, instead, linked to the monoshock and swingarm, has a travel of 119mm; again, the system is adjustable in compression, rebound and spring preload. It features a pair of front 320mm discs with Brembo four-piston radial calipers. At the rear the rider can count on a high-performance twin-piston Brembo caliper, which grips a 220mm disc.
The Brutale 800 feels very agile and nimble and it is very flickable. After a couple of hours of riding it, I felt so comfortable with it. I attacked corners aggressively and opened up the throttle earlier than I should have. I’m not sure how much of this was me and how much help came from the smorgasbord of electronic assists that come standard on the Brutale 800.
Let’s talk about its engine, which is a 3-cylinder mill with a counter-rotating crankshaft. It is capable of delivering a maximum power output of 110hp at 11,500 rpm and a maximum torque, increased by 25 per cent at 83Nm at 7,600rpm, with 90 per cent of torque already available at 3,800rpm. In addition to the counter-rotating crankshaft, another unique feature is the fact that the new Brutale 800 is the only one its category with EAS (Electronic Assisted Shifter) 2.0 quick shifter. The slipper clutch on the Brutale 800 is now hydraulically operated while the engine is managed by MVICS (Motor Vehicle Integrated Control System) which includes integrated multi-map Full Ride by Wire in the traction control with eight settings to choose from.
On road, all this translates to a very usable power delivery and acceleration is pretty intense. Not that its rivals lack power but the way it is delivered here, coupled with the insanely loud aftermarket pipes, feels visceral and can get very addictive.
The Brutale 800 does face a lot of stiff competition, especially from the Japanese who have always been ahead when it came to the engine game but are now also catching up on the design front. Take a look at the Kawasaki Z1000 or the Z900 for example, which are both much cheaper than the Brutale 800 and are very aggressive looking in their own right. However, MV Agusta has never been the brand for the brand conscious. It is a brand you aspire to become a part of and for that, there is a premium to pay. The MV Agusta Brutale 800 costs AED56,000 and is currently available at the new MV Agusta showroom in Dubai.