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
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