Suitable Partners MV Agusta Brutale 800
MV Agusta Brutale 800
We first saw what is today the Brutale 800 back in 2012, when it was a 675cc triple. Now, thanks to the ever-threatening Euro 4 regulations, the model has evolved into a highly sophisticated 800 that has morphed into four different, but not that different, versions: the standard model tested here, the 800RR, Dragster, and Dragster RR. But the story really revolves around the standard model, which at $21,490 + ORC is a very enticing way to own an MV Agusta.
Bikes of this configuration, let’s call them naked uprights, usually don’t have the same front end feel that, say, sports bikes have. But what they do have is manoeuvrability in traffic, sometimes at the expense of sharp steering. This one is hard to fault in that respect, with a nicely planted, precise feel. The suspension is absolutely a stand-out. The Marzocchi forks are excellent, and the brakes are awesome. The other thing I really liked was the quick shifter, it’s absolutely seamless, and probably at its best in the Standard engine mode. And of course, it’s a real head turner. I went for a weekend ride to Pie in
the Sky (north of Sydney on the Old Highway) and as soon as I rolled in everyone was just gazing at the MV; it’s that kind of bike.
Riding, it’s all about the mid range, just stacks of torque and an added benefit is the fantastic exhaust note you get when it’s under load, unique and pure music, a real growl. I guess that’s got a bit to do with the contra- rotating crank as well. You have three engine modes; Sport, Standard and Wet, and I soon put it in Sport and left it there. In terms of comfort, I’d have to say that this is another example of styling over practicality, because the seat is, well, hard, but the overall riding position is OK and doesn’t put undue strain on your wrists. And although the seat feels a bit on the high side, I can easily plant both feet on the ground, which is important around town. For a naked bike, the steering lock is not overly generous, but I never got into trouble with it. The wheelbase has been extended a bit (20mm) on this model and that also helps to make it feel really planted. It comes standard with Pirelli Diablo Rossi III tyres which are superb. As a weekend warrior, this is an awesome bike. The traction control is amazing, even when we were doing the photography on only slightly damp roads, it was cutting in so you really feel confident that nothing strange is going to happen. There are 8 levels of traction control! You don’t get much in terms of instrumentation and switch gear, and I found it a bit difficult to see the indicator lights on the dash, but the modes are fairly easy to work out and change. To be honest, this is a rider-only bike, because the pillion arrangements are pretty sparse. But I reckon this was always the intention – that styling thing again...
“The suspension is absolutely a stand-out. The Marzocchi forks are excellent, and the brakes are awesome.”
Wet roads? No worries. The Traction Control will handle it.
The Italians think of everything; even a magazine rack under the seat.
The pipe organ.
Minimalist dashboard – that’s it.