MV Agusta Bru­tale 800

In­dia will be get­ting the MV Agusta Bru­tale 800 soon, and we have rid­den it in its home town in Italy

Bike India - - CONTENTS - STORY: SARMAD KADIRI PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: MV AGUSTA

We ride the gor­geous new Bru­tale 800 in Varese

I‘M AT VARESE, near Mi­lan, Italy, at the fac­tory of MV Agusta. This is the very place where they hand-build iconic mo­tor­cy­cles like the F4 and Bru­tale. My work is cut out and sim­ple, but with some perks: ride the MV Agusta Bru­tale 800 which was launched last year and dish out a first ride re­port be­fore the end of the day. Sim­ple. And the perk, you ask? Well, I also get a com­plete tour of this his­toric fac­tory and even get to look around Museo Agusta, a mu­seum where the most leg­endary MV Agusta bikes are on dis­play. But more on this some other time, per­haps.

Let’s fo­cus on the Bru­tale 800, which is due for launch in In­dia around JuneJuly this year. This mid­dleweight road­ster got an over­haul just last year and is a far cry from be­ing a naked ver­sion of its sib­ling, the F3. It’s no longer a Su­pers­port with the fair­ing stripped off; in­stead it is a new­gen­er­a­tion bike built with the in­ten­tion

of be­ing a street-fighter. The new-found road man­ners of the Bru­tale are a lot dif­fer­ent from those of the knee­scrap­ing track weapon that the F3 is.

The rid­ing po­si­tion is up­right and re­laxed. Its seat nicely ta­pers at the front so even an av­er­age-build per­son like me can man­age to get both feet down. Most im­por­tantly, it’s a friendly mo­tor­cy­cle right from the mo­ment one slings a leg over; it doesn’t feel large, over­weight or awk­ward, a great thing for av­er­age en­thu­si­asts and leisure rid­ers who aren’t re­ally week­end racer boys. Per­haps, this is the tar­get au­di­ence for the Bru­tale, and one that’s steadily grow­ing in In­dia.

I just found the han­dle­bar to be too straight and flat­ter than other naked mid­dleweights I’ve rid­den lately. This causes more pres­sure on my palm and one tends to lean for­ward a bit be­cause of this. The ex­otic-look­ing tank with its sharp de­sign is also a bit dif­fi­cult to get a firm grip on for me. Lastly, it could do with a bet­ter rear-view mir­ror de­sign which is wider to­wards the edges, es­pe­cially now that it’s com­ing to In­dia, although this is an Ital­ian beauty and has a few com­pro­mises to make in be­ing so.

The de­sign is sim­ply gor­geous. The droopy-shaped head­lamp, which in­cor­po­rates LED sur­rounds, is dis­tinc­tive, as is the curvy tank and min­i­mal­ist rear. The triple tail-pipes look as if sliced by a sharp sword. In a word, stun­ning. This is among the few bikes that look as lovely from the rear as from the front. Its sin­gle-sided swingarm, trel­lis frame and beefy Mar­zoc­chi forks add to the brute de­sign. Like most Ital­ian de­signs, the at­ten­tion to de­tail is phe­nom­e­nal, and comes with a good fit and fin­ish.

Since you’re sit­ting up­right with no fair­ing, you de­sire just enough power to thrill and good sta­bil­ity as you speed up. The Bru­tale is de­signed for the city and of­fers more us­able power. I don’t ex­pect the road­ster buy­ers to go fullthrot­tle around town, at least not that of­ten, hope­fully. So, the triple here makes a de­cent 110 PS peak­ing at 11,500 rpm, but, cru­cially, most of the 83 Nm of torque is avail­able from a low 5,500 rpm and peaks when the nee­dle hits 7,600 revs.

To achieve this, the Bru­tale 800 gets new in­take and ex­haust cams and pis­tons along with a new ex­haust sys­tem. This en­sures that it gets bet­ter mid-range. Un­like the older mod­els, the new Bru­tale is now quite us­able and en­joy­able as a road bike.

One of the big­gest rea­sons for this is the pre­dictable throt­tle re­sponse, thanks to the MVICS ride-by-wire sys­tem. There’s plenty of power com­ing in at low revs but is most en­joy­able be­tween 5,000-8,000 revs as that meaty mid-

The new MV Agusta Bru­tale 800 is def­i­nitely a fast, fun and en­gag­ing bike to ride

range gets to work. The Bru­tale has that usual three-cylin­der gruff­ness which irons out as it climbs the revs. But many buy­ers have started to rel­ish that en­gine char­ac­ter, since there are a few pop­u­lar triples avail­able in In­dia now. There are three rid­ing modes: Nor­mal, Sport and Cus­tom. Even in Sport mode, the Bru­tale is spir­ited but never overly ag­gres­sive.

The Bru­tale 800 also comes with a six-speed gear­box and MV’s Elec­tron­i­cally As­sisted Shift. This al­lows you to switch through the gears with­out us­ing the clutch and comes in quite handy when you want to push the bike and ride ag­gres­sively.

The sus­pen­sion felt fine on these beau­ti­ful roads of Varese but I sus­pect it might be a tad too firm for com­fort on the roads back home in In­dia.

For an 800, the rid­ing dy­nam­ics are quite nice. It can be mis­taken for a 650 while shift­ing weight from one cor­ner to an­other. It is neu­tral and nat­u­rally leans into a cor­ner and can be rid­den hard out of it to make it to the next one. MV ex­ec­u­tives ex­plain that in the new model the chas­sis’ rake and trail have grown a bit, the lat­ter from 95 to 103.5 mm, and so the wheel­base gets a 20-mm ex­ten­sion as well. Small changes to the sus­pen­sion (43-mm te­le­scopic USD forks from Mar­zoc­chi up front with 125-mm travel and pro­gres­sive Sachs with 124-mm travel at the back) have also been made to make it more sta­ble.

The ra­dial four-pis­ton dou­ble­float­ing 320-mm Brem­bos of­fer pro­gres­sive brak­ing and do not sud­denly clamp on to the disc in Su­pers­port style. Some In­dian rid­ers who also rely on rear brakes might find the ones on the Bru­tale too mild and lack­ing in bite. The Pirelli Di­ablo Rosso III tyres of­fer good grip on most parts of the ride and along with the ABS in­spire con­fi­dence.

One can ad­just ABS and trac­tion con­trol set­tings but even at max, the lat­ter didn’t feel very in­tru­sive dur­ing my short ride. We’ll ex­plore this fur­ther when we get to ride the bike thor­oughly in In­dia.

The new MV Agusta Bru­tale 800 is easy to ride and very man­age­able even at low speeds. It’s not a sharp track tool but is def­i­nitely a fast, fun and en­gag­ing bike to ride. It will be com­ing to In­dia in the next cou­ple of months and is ex­pected to be priced below Rs 15 lakh. The Bru­tale 800 will go head-to-head with the Tri­umph Street Triple 765 which will also ap­pear in the show­rooms around the same time. Now, that should be one epic bat­tle.

Head­lamp is ringed by LED DRL and flanked by lightsaber-es­que in­di­ca­tors Info-packed con­sole sports unique hor­i­zon­tal, curv­ing rev-counter

Sculpted fuel tank car­ries 16.5-litres of go-juice

Exquisitely crafted three-way ex­haust is a work of art

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