MV Agusta Bru­tale 800

We spend a day with the lat­est street­fighter to hit the mar­ket

Bike India - - CONTENTS - STORY: ANOSH KHUM­BATTA PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: SAURABH BOTRE

Red-hot, three-pot high-revving Ital­ian ex­ot­ica rid­den right here in In­dia

Mo­tor­cy­cles are meant to be rid­den. But Ital­ian mo­tor­cy­cles are built to be ad­mired first; ev­ery line, crease and curve crafted to evoke strong emo­tions in those that are lucky enough to catch a glimpse. My first thought as I walked up to the MV Agusta Bru­tale 800, key in hand, was, ‘Wow, that’s sharp!’ An ag­gres­sively-raked head­light, flanked by slim turn in­di­ca­tors, makes way for a broad, shapely fuel tank that ta­pers down to a nar­row waist­line at the junc­tion of tank and seat. The wide, mus­cu­lar chest trails off into a svelte sub-frame and tail sec­tion, un­marred by turn in­di­ca­tors or an un­gainly num­ber­plate holder; the in­di­ca­tors and plate are mounted lower, on the smartly de­signed tyre-hug­ger. Tri­an­gu­lar sec­tions of the steel trel­lis frame are ex­posed, and hang­ing be­low is the sweet 798-cc straight three de­rived from MV’s manic F3 sports bike.

And I haven’t even men­tioned the ex­haust yet! The beau­ti­fully-in­te­grated three-into-one-into-three unit is the fo­cal point of this bike when viewed from the right; and a trade­mark of the Bru­tale 800 since its in­tro­duc­tion in 2012. Be­yond the slash-cut trio of tailpipes you get an un­in­ter­rupted view of the rear wheel and sticky 180/55 Pirelli Di­a­blo Rosso III, thanks to the sin­gle-sided swingarm. The bike in front of me is the sec­ond it­er­a­tion of MV Agusta’s naked mid­dleweight, first seen at EICMA last year, and fea­tures an all-new chas­sis, en­gine and elec­tron­ics pack­age. It is an all-new bike, and a great job by MV to re­tain the de­sign ethos that has worked so well with the pre­vi­ous ver­sion.

Af­ter ad­mir­ing the bike for an ap­pro­pri­ate du­ra­tion, I de­cided it was time to take her for a spin. The en­gine fired up into a gruff idle, and ev­ery twist of the throt­tle brought forth an an­gry growl from the triple pipes. The tex­tured seat of­fered de­cent grip and, at 830 mm high, was a bit of a stretch for 5’6”

me; but even on tip­toe, the bike felt light, com­pact and man­age­able. The hy­drauli­cally-ac­tu­ated clutch was a bit heav­ier than I ex­pected, but once on the move I for­got all about it as the fan­tas­tic bi-di­rec­tional quick­shifter had me bang­ing through the sweet-shift­ing gear­box with the throt­tle wide open, that three-cylin­der sym­phony singing in my ears. The bike is an ab­so­lute blast to ride fast, drops into corners pre­dictably, and pow­ers out of them with ex­cel­lent con­trol thanks to the per­fect re­sponse from the ride-by-wire throt­tle that keeps the rid­ers right wrist di­rectly con­nected with the rear wheel. MV have got the fu­elling just right and, even in the most ag­gres­sive Sport throt­tle map, tran­si­tions from closed to open throt­tle are smooth and seam­less. The 110 PS on tap is reined in by fan­tas­tic Brembo brakes, which of­fer ex­cel­lent bite, feel and feed­back at the lever; hard brak­ing with the ABS turned down will have the rear tyre hov­er­ing off the ground. The 43-mm Mar­zoc­chi fork up front and the Sachs

monoshock at the rear felt a lit­tle firm and were great for sporty rid­ing on smooth sur­faces and, be­ing com­pletely ad­justable, can be mel­lowed down to of­fer a more pli­ant ride.

Once the ex­cite­ment over the ex­haust note, punchy en­gine and ex­cel­lent throt­tle re­sponse sub­sided, and I started rid­ing at a more re­laxed pace, I was pleas­antly sur­prised by the ver­sa­tile pow­er­plant’s tractabil­ity at low revs. Although the over­square en­gine is great fun at high revs, it also de­liv­ers the bulk of its 83 Nm of twist un­der 4,000 rpm; con­tinue rolling on the throt­tle and the surge of torque goes on to peak at 7,600 rpm, where a mad rush of ac­cel­er­a­tion pro­pels you up to the 12,000-rpm red-line. This wide spread of us­able power means that the Bru­tale can be rid­den com­fort­ably in the higher gears at low revs in an ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment, with­out the slightest hint of knock­ing or jerk­i­ness.

The elec­tron­ics pack­age on this bike is the best that you can find on any mid­dleweight motorcycle presently on sale in In­dia. It fea­tures eight-level trac­tion con­trol, three lev­els of ABS and three throt­tle maps. The great fu­elling and lin­ear throt­tle re­sponse meant that the Sport map wasn’t the least bit in­tim­i­dat­ing, while the Nor­mal map would be great for re­laxed cruis­ing either on the high­way or within the city. The third map is the Rain map, and dulls throt­tle re­sponse con­sid­er­ably for stress-free rid­ing in slip­pery con­di­tions. The trac­tion con­trol is there for a rea­son, and switch­ing it off lets loose this bike’s in­ner hooli­gan in the form of spon­ta­neous power wheel­ies ev­ery time the throt­tle is snapped open in first gear. The modes are eas­ily tog­gled via bar-mounted con­trols; how­ever, the large LCD dis­play is dif­fi­cult to read on bright sunny days and, oddly enough, doesn’t fea­ture a fuel-gauge.

Priced at Rs 15.59 lakh (ex-show­room) the Bru­tale 800 is def­i­nitely an ex­pen­sive naked mid­dleweight, but for the price you get a drop-dead gor­geous, well-equipped motorcycle that is a blast to ride, and brings with it the in­di­vid­u­al­ity of an iconic Ital­ian brand.

Rid­ing po­si­tion is in­volv­ing, with a slight for­ward bias; hardly any room there for a pil­lion

Steeply raked head­light lends a min­i­mal­ist yet ag­gres­sive air to the front end

LCD dis­play packs a lot of info, is easy to nav­i­gate, but is miss­ing a fuel gauge

Slash-cut triple pipes are unique to this bike; sin­gle-sided swingarm al­lows for a clear view of the blacked­out rear wheel

Mas­sive stop­ping power from the Brem­bos; hard brak­ing makes the rear go light

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