Bike India

Rev-happy Italian Beauty

The MV Agusta Rush 1000, new for 2020, is priced at £29,290 (Rs 28.70 lakh) and its production run is limited to just 300 units worldwide with 212 hp and a bark to match its bite. Here is how our first ride in Italy went off

- Story: Adam Child ‘Chad’ Photograph­y: Milagro

When I was 17, I had three posters on my wall: a white Lamborghin­i Countach, pamela anderson in a swimsuit, and a Britten motorcycle. If I were 17 again, I would add a poster of the mV rush to my collection, because this is the poster bike of 2020, assuming 17-yearolds still have posters. maybe, it’s the screensave­r of 2020. either way, the rush is a stunning bike and when it was unveiled at eICma in november 2019, jaws hit the floor.

the rush is a limited-edition run of 300 units of the already highly acclaimed mV Brutale 1000rr. and when your base bike is already hugely desirable, you’re not going to be far off the mark with the special; in fact, it’s a bit like giving a supermodel a makeover. From every angle, it’s stunning, the huge carbon-enclosed rear wheel, adaptive cornering headlight, restyled rear end, and small pillion seat, even a neat plate by the ignition switch to remind you which of the 300 bikes you have — and there’s more carbon than in an F1 car. however, as you would expect, the rush isn’t a cheap date and is priced at £31,890 (rs 31.25 lakh) with the race kit (with homologate­d exhaust and fuelling) and £29,290 (rs 28.70 lakh) in standard form with four protruding exhausts like those on the 1000rr.

But don’t be fooled, this isn’t just a show bike — even with the race exhaust, it’s still homologate­d for euro 4 and the titanium rodded engine will produce 212 hp at 13,000 rpm in this format. that is race-winning performanc­e in a naked, carbon-clad, and sexy chassis. we headed to Varese, the home of mV in northern Italy, to put this new and powerful bike through its paces. Power and Torque

as much as 212 hp from a normally aspirated 1,000-cc engine would, just a decade ago, have been the preserve of fragile, race-winning superbikes, not a road-going engine with normal service intervals. It’s more powerful than most 1,000-cc nakeds and outguns dedicated sport bikes such as Kawasaki’s ZX-10r, yamaha’s r1, and suzuki’s GsX-r1000.

as you would expect, peak power and torque are high up in the rev-range, with 116.5 nm made at 11,000 rpm. the race kit, which consists of the homologate­d exhaust and a different eCU, pushes peak power up to 212 hp from 208 hp and torque is smoother with a three per cent increase. there is an additional track-only exhaust system that pushes power even higher and will be available shortly.

the screaming in-line four-cylinder engine is the same as that found in the mV Brutale 1000rr. to achieve the impressive performanc­e figures, mV have introduced titanium conrods that allow the engine to spin faster and to higher rpm. there are also new valve guides and camshafts which allow new timings on both the exhaust and intake valves. Lubricatio­n has been improved and the amount of oil needed for the engine has been reduced.

the powerplant now breathes through a new air-box which is fed from longer airintakes. on the standard model, the tuned engine releases its gases via a gorgeous fourinto-one-into-four exhaust system made in partnershi­p with arrow. however, the race kit version benefits from just two exiting exhausts. there’s new ride-by-wire fuelling with double injectors and four rider modes (sport, race, rain, and Custom). Engine, Gearbox, and Exhaust

the standard mV Brutale 1000rr sounds fantastic, but now with the race exhaust, it’s taken to another level. If the standard bike is pavarotti, then the rush with race exhaust is

The Four Great Tenors plus a full orchestra. at low revs, blipping the quick-revving engine gives a charismati­c growl and a tantalisin­g indication of what is to come.

higher in the rev-range is an overload of the senses. north of Varese, up into the mountains, each long tunnel was a cacophony of noise as I quickly fed it gears that allowed the engine to scream. thrashing a sweet-sounding mV through kilometre-long tunnels is highly addictive.

you’ll love the sound of the rush and with peak power at an eye-watering 13,000 rpm, you’ll find yourself constantly revving this Italian beauty. It loves to rev and it feels like there is little mechanical friction as the revs rise so rapidly. the clutch-less quick-shifter is effortless and smooth revs perfectly match each gear-change. In the hills, it’s hard to ride slowly, as each time you see the road open up, you tap back a few gears and are propelled forward at an alarming rate, accompanie­d by that lovely chorus from the race pipe.

this all sounds wonderful and romantic, thrashing a £30k (rs 29.4 lakh) mV in the heart of the Italian countrysid­e, but the downside is that in the real world, there is little go below 6,000 rpm. In fact, the party only really gets going above 8,000 rpm.

the rush will certainly pull cleanly from low rpm and the fuelling is smooth, especially in the rain mode, but it feels hesitant. once or twice I attempted to overtake slow-moving traffic in fifth and sixth gear and the engine felt breathless low down in the power. It’s not slow, over 200 hp is never going to be that, and there isn’t a massive kick of power in the mid-range to worry about either, but, like the 1000rr, the rush almost has two personalit­ies.

Thrashing a sweet-sounding MV through kilometre-long tunnels is highly addictive

Below 8,000 rpm, it’s mild and will go home early on a school night. above 8,000 rpm, especially over 10,000 rpm, it wants to throw a television set out of a hotel window and drive a rolls-royce into a swimming pool.

you could argue that no one who buys an mV rush will want to ride it around town, barring posers like myself, of course, so what does it matter? and, from experience, I know the 1000rr works on the track and I can see the same conclusion in respect of the new rush. mV quote a top speed of over 300 km/h and, with 212 hp, I can see that. In the final third of the revs, the rush just keeps on accelerati­ng like a race bike. the semidroppe­d café racer bars would make this speed almost bearable and I’d love to try one on track, but I suppose very few of the 300 will ever see mugello or Imola.


the rush runs Öhlins semi-active suspension front and rear and each riding mode changes the action of the electronic suspension (rain is softer than race, for example). we only managed to ride the rush on the road, mainly in its natural habitat, mountains, and on the fast-flowing sections, it’s hard to fault. It feels like a race bike with the bodywork removed, while the café racer riding position allows you to attack corners with confidence and the huge rear 200-section pirelli finds endless grip.

the taught suspension copes with everything you can throw at it; at times whilst riding in protective jeans, I had to lift up my knee to avoid it touching. you sit more in the bike than on it, out of the wind, and it’s less physical than most naked bikes. everything works: peg position, rear seat hump… you can really tuck in, carrying enormous corner speed with no fear of understeer as in some naked bikes which push the front. the sporty handling will transfer on track; despite its glamourous look, the rush will be more than capable of holding on to a sport bike on a track-day and even embarrass a few with superior power.

There is an addictive lean angle and G-force display on the full colour dash. you can check your lean angle mid-corner with a quick glance or see the G-force as you accelerate hard. the clocks are excellent and change colour as you enter tunnels as they react to a lower light level, but they are a little hard to see when the sunlight is directly behind you.

however, there is a flip side to the race bike handling. even in rain mode, the suspension is harsh when the road isn’t racetracks­mooth, especially at lower speeds around town over road imperfecti­ons like cobbles, potholes, and speed humps. It’s not like riding a skateboard over cobbles, it’s not agony, but with such sophistica­ted suspension, I would expect the ride to be a little plusher in the sport and rain modes.

a relatively thin site exaggerate­s this feeling further. It’s simple to change the suspension and, if it were my bike, I’d quickly change the Öhlins to allow a softer ride on the road which would make the ride comfier for motorway cruising for rider and pillion. speaking of which, the pillion is going to have to be tiny and brave, but, to be honest, they only upset the handing, so give them the money to catch a cab.


on the road, you shouldn’t really be pushing the huge Brembo stylema radial stoppers to their limit and, after our test-ride, there were no complaints. the corning aBs is welcome support and on the road isn’t obtrusive. one finger on the span-adjustable lever is enough to stop the rev-happy fun. again, like the rest of the bike, the stoppers are race bike spec, you really don’t need any more. I know from experience the Bosch aBs 9 system can be a little obtrusive on slick tyres when pushing for lap-times on the track, but if you’re fitting race tyres and pushing for fast laps on the rush, then you’ve bought the wrong bike.

Rider Aids and Extra Equipment/Accessorie­s

as you’d expect of a £30,000 (rs 29.4 lakh) naked superbike, it’s dripping with rider aids and the very latest technology and, furthermor­e, via the full-colour clocks, they are easy to use and navigate. the rider aids are clearly shown by a bike illustrati­on on the right side. a six-axis ImU is the brains behind everything, which means both traction control and aBs braking are lean-sensitive. there are eight levels of tC which can also be deactivate­d, again via the dash or your phone on the mV app. It’s simple and easy to do and clearly shown on the dash. a real plus point is that the dash/bike remembers your last setting when you reduce the traction control, so you don’t have to re-set your traction every time you ride.

mV call their anti-wheelie “front lift control” and this is either on or off, there aren’t multiple settings as in most other bikes in this category. the idea is that the lift control limits the engine’s torque, which reduces the accelerati­on slightly to control the front wheel lift. the front will still hover above the ground, but you’re still accelerati­ng hard, not cutting the power with the front end dramatical­ly dropping and reintroduc­ing again — the pogo effect some machines have as their electronic­s try to control the wheelie. there is also launch control as standard, plus that up-and-down quick-shifter and cruise control on the right bar.

the rider aids are excellent: you don’t “feel” the systems working. they are there to keep you safe, allow you to ride to the conditions and your style and skill. the switchgear and clear dash make it easy to flick between modes, even turn off the traction and front-wheel lift on the move for some wheelie fun, which, of course, this 212-hp machine does effortless­ly.


price: £31,890 (rs 31.25 lakh, as tested) (£29,290, that is, rs 28.70 lakh, standard)

It’s a limited-edition run of just 300 bikes sold worldwide but, at over 30k, it is a lot of money, though, I’m sure, the price will be a drop in the ocean for some collectors and enthusiast­s. there is a good chance the rush won’t depreciate and more than likely become a target for collectors, while I doubt you’ll see a rush being ridden in anything but perfect road conditions. the standard mV Brutale 1000rr is £27,290 (rs 26.70 lakh), which means you’re only paying £2,000 (rs 1.96 lakh) for the limitededi­tion rush. that makes it a bargain, doesn’t it? For reference, the race kit is an extra £2,600 (rs 2.55 lakh).

the rush is on a par with other exclusive models such as ducati’s panigale V4r (£34,995, that is, rs 34.29 lakh) and

ducati’s 25 anniversar­io 916 panigale V4 (£36,995, that is, rs 36.25 lakh). Interestin­gly, aprilia’s track-only tuono V4X is expected to cost €34,900 (rs 30.36 lakh) and slightly more expensive, so the new mV rush isn’t the most expensive naked bike in the market.

will rush owners consider fuel economy? I imagine they will if they ever run out of fuel. as the new mV is euro 4 homologate­d, mV quote 6.7 litres/1,000 km. with a 16-litre fuel-tank, you’re looking at 225 km per tank before panic sets in. depending on how you ride, your weight, and your riding style, I’d estimate you could push consumptio­n to over 18 km/l on a steady run and closer to 11 km/l on track. mV have fitted cruise control, which takes the pain out of long motorway journeys.


the new mV rush is double the price of Ktm’s super duke r or £10,000 (rs 9.8 lakh) more than a ducati streetfigh­ter V4s and has similar performanc­e and spec as the ducati. But if you’re looking at the price tag, then you’re looking at the wrong bike. this is the Lamborghin­i or Ferrari of the bike world; price is almost insignific­ant, it’s how the bike performs, sounds, looks, and ultimately how it makes you feel.

riding in the hills north of Varese, letting the engine scream through the hand-cut tunnels that bore through the mountain,

hitting the passes and sweeping bends is paradise. this is the bike James Bond should be riding. It sounds and looks fantastic and handles like a race bike with no bodywork. yes, it’s not very comfortabl­e, the suspension is harsh around town and there are a few niggles such as reflection­s in the dash. But you don’t buy a Ferrari because it’s comfortabl­e and has good boot space and I don’t think anyone has ever complained about their Lamborghin­i passenger comfort. If you’re looking at the price tag, fuel economy, and comfort, walk away; this is a bike you own because you love it.

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 ??  ?? RIGHT: SC Project performanc­e exhaust boosts peak power to 212 hp
RIGHT: SC Project performanc­e exhaust boosts peak power to 212 hp
 ??  ?? LEFT: Expensive materials abound
LEFT: Expensive materials abound
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 ??  ?? ABOVE-: It looks like nothing else on two wheels
ABOVE-: It looks like nothing else on two wheels
 ??  ?? LEFT: Round tail lamp rounds off that gorgeous rear end
LEFT: Round tail lamp rounds off that gorgeous rear end
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 ??  ?? RIGHT: Suspension is sportily set up
RIGHT: Suspension is sportily set up

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