Motorcycle Review of MV Agusta Brutale and Brutale RR

roadtest

Dave Hatch | Host 

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2012 MV Agusta Brutale and Brutale RR | Motorcycle Review

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We start the show with our ride, er, better make that rides of the week – MV Agusta’s big bore “street fighter” the Brutale and its sibling the Brutale RR What’s a brutale you ask? Well translated from Italian..the best I can tell is it means rough, tough, brutal, but one look at this naked sports machine and I like to add powerful and sexy to the Canadian definition. At the heart of the Brutale is the largest displacement engine ever built by MV Agusta – a fuel injected 1,078cc inline four with radial valves, reported to deliver close to 145 ponies. And in an effort to keep the rubber firmly planted to the tarmac, MV Agusta has added eight levels of selectable traction control. Speaking of suspension, The Brutale’s chrome moly steel tube frame is mated to a Marzocchi 50mm upside down fork and a Sachs single rear shock, both multi adjustable.Of course the RR version comes with a few more high tech tricks like an adjustable steering head and mono block brembos. This pair of street fighters certainly ace the tail of the tape but do they deliver the goods? Well thanks to the nice folks at Shannonville Motorsports park we were able to give these MV’s a proper workout. Here’s what one veteran motorcycle journalist and one pro road racer had to say after going a few rounds in the saddle.

Colin Fraser
Basically what we have is a sort of a regular version and a deluxe version so the issue’s over here. Different geometry and adjustable steering head which is a nice feature but not necessary maybe for the street. The brembo brakes over there are lovely brakes. These are brembo mono block and these are Steve Crevier level brakes. These are beyond lovely and they are super super powerful. And this ahs some carbon trim. I think the mirrors and the turn signals are slightly different in terms of the way they’re integrated. Suspension is a little more sophisticated so this is and this one has a few accessory items, for instance this retro suede seat and the first MV Augusta that I saw that I rode has a suede seat back in the seventies so that’s an homage to some of their earlier design. Very similar bikes but this one is a little more sophisticated, a little more in the way of bells and whistles maybe a little bit more performance. The reason that these bike work is that they are a performance motorcycle, a true modern sport bike but in a uh layout that’s a little more comfortable, a little more practical. Certainly a lot better around town, day to day short distance traveller. So you don’t get the full blown race replica and you don’t deliver the bike with all the body work and everything. But on the flip side, much more practical, a little more comfortable, maybe a little nicer for a passenger, also you can access the performance a little bit more because of that super moto sit up streetfighter, whatever you want to call it, riding position. And of course, the thing that anybody who’s ridden a modern sport bike that has the trim level of the street fighter is it’s really fun. From the moment you let the clutch out it is lots of fun.

Steve Walker
I’ve had a few other naked bikes out on the track and I’m often a little nervous because the ground clearance isn’t quite what I’m used to and off you get to the second corner and all of a sudden you’re scraping foot pegs and everything. So uh yeah but this I got to tell you by the time I went around the second and third corner there is no issue with ground clearance, it’s a very roomy bike, it’s got nice tall handle bars you don’t use a lot of leverage to get it turned so I was initially a little bit apprehensive but by the time about the third corner came around I was comfortable. This has got great power and it’s completely linear right from idle right up to red line. No glitches anywhere, nice and smooth everywhere and like the F4 this has got amazing slipper clutch so when you go to down clutch to turn two here you just shift, drop the clutch, no rev in the throttle it just is beautiful. I really like the riding position is a little more upright than a pure race replica bike. Uh there’s lots of room between the seat and the foot pegs are adjustable, the rear brake, the gear shift – everything’s very adjustable. But it’s a nice upright riding position with wide bars giving you a lot of leverage to turn. But one thing I found, especially with seat, is it plants you right in the middle and if you want to sort of lean off to the side the shape of it is really nice. You know exactly where you are. It isn’t a rolled edge. It’s actually got a bit of a lip here. So it’s really nice you can actually get into a corner, get your seat planted on the seat, you know exactly where you are. I was getting my…on the second lap I had my knee down in the corners with it which is pretty cool for a street bike. It’s a pretty cool bike, I mean, definitely it’s a street bike, this is no racer replica by any means but I tell you it’s uh, for me, it’s more comfortable. I’m over six feet and a race replica bike gets a little tight between the seat and the pegs and often the handle bars are a little much of a reach and if you’re doing a ten lap race or a fifteen lap race it’s good because it gets the job done but if you’re going to spend more than about half an hour this is what I’d want to be on. And I think anybody who wants a bike that they could go out for an evening, go out for a day long cruise bring it to the racetrack and do lap days. I bet if somebody put some nice sticky tires on this you could probably run pro super bike lap times on this and then put the mirrors back on and ride it home.

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