I was fortunate enough to get out on the new 2016 MV Agusta Brutale 800, a bike that grabbed me the moment i looked at it on the screen. As you may know from my other blogs and vlogs I am an MV fan though I have never owned one. This love affair goes back to my youth and my early recollection of an MV from a Top Trump pack that I had. The brand stuck in my mind ever since.
In the flesh, this new 800cc Brutale bike does not disappoint. It has amazing curves, angles and details with quite the most amazing seat area that I have EVER seen on a motorcycle. We will surely see some copycats, though the overall look of seat lightness might contribute to it’s firmness and uncomfortableness on long journeys.
First impressions were that is was a little bike, almost toy like, and height will not be an issue for most people, except for perhaps the really tall riders. The handle bars are particularly wide and set fairly high. The next thing you notice is the firm seat which does make you wince as you can imagine it’s impact on longer journeys. There is also a rather strange protusion from the bodywork which hits into your inside thigh, near the near, which is enough to notice and cause a concern.
Starting the ignition is a simple affair using the clutch and the starter button which also, would you believe it, trebles up as the kill switch AND the digital dash controller! A good use of space actually.
Setting off, using the clutch for release of course, is a smooth process and nothing like the agression of the Brutale RR so pulling away is childs play and you can do this at some speed as the bike is so light and responsive. When you pass 15 MPH or so you can start to use the quickshifter which was perfect on my demo ride. However, the best thing was the downshifting which was absolutely spot-on and it never missed a beat on my ride even when I was trying purposely to crash down the gears in high revs. The bike instantly did what it had to do to promote safe and relatively jerkless changes.
Everybody knows the new 2016 Brutale 800 is down on power from the previous model and indeed, most unfortunately, a bit heavier as well due to having to be compliant to the new EU exhaust regulations which I will not bore you with. On start up, the bike sounds ‘okay’ but it does come alive and starts to sound great as you push on through the revs. Still, I can imagine that a 3rd party exhaust will be a popular add-on.
OKay, so we have less power and more weight.. This is the worst possible scenario right? Well, yes, BUT MV Agusta have done a remarkable job on the fueling and mapping on this bike. The power comes in really early in all gears and it is an absolute delight. In the normal mode the bike is responsive enough but stick it in Sport and the horses really start to break loose out of the stable. The bike at once makes utter sense. Yes, it is ergonomically flawed and has a harsh seat but isn’t that what we always expect? Does it matter one jot on a bike of this ilk, for the audience it is targeting?
No, not in my opinion. This bike is fit for purpose. It is built to achieve one goal and that is to put a smile on your face. In that, its succeeds. This bike is an experience and that, my friends, is the highest praise of all.
The highlights of the 2016 MV Agusta Brutale 800 are:
- In-line 3-cylinder engine with counter-rotating crankshaft
- MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) technology
- 8-level traction control
- Composite steel trellis and aluminium plate frame for high torsional rigidity
- Single-sided swingarm with adjustable rear monoshock
- Upside-down adjustable 43 mm front fork
- Racing-type radial front calipers
Delivering max power of (86,5 kw) 116 hp at 11,500 rpm. Max torque, increased by 25% with 83 Nm at 7,600 rpm, with 90% of the value already available at 3,800 rpm.
On top of the counter-rotating crankshaft, another unique feature, for a bike in this category is the electronic EAS 2.0 upshifting and downshifting gear shift. The slipper clutch is now hydraulically operated and the engine is continues to be managed by MV’s MVICS system including integrated multi map with a Full Ride by Wire setup for the traction control with its 8 settings.