TVG was given the privilege of testing one of the few unsold MV Agustas available in Australia and NZ. Collected from the newly opened concept store at Granville in Sydney’s west, we set out over the scenic Blue Mountains in search of fresh air and smooth roads astride the entry-level Brutale 800.
The MV Agusta Brutale 800 is where MV novices like me begin. On the market for more than a decade, it’s a pared-back, naked machine that says everything about technology and performance in one minimalist package. It’s about as approachable as an MV Agusta gets and the 800 is now the bottom of the price list at $21,490 now that the smaller 675 is discontinued.
Now ‘minimalist’ might not be a fair label to attach to such a thrill-packed device. Dealership director and factory-trained technician, David Song, patiently walks me through the functions and features of this 175kg, 81kW machine that comes with a claimed top speed of more than 237kmh.
“If you’ve never ridden a bike with electronic quick shift (I haven’t), then you are in for a treat,” David tells me plainly. “You’ll never go back to a regular transmission.”
The compact LED dashboard is the key to all functions, displaying selectable engine mapping, ABS and traction control status as well as such mundane information as speed, revs and gear selection. Preset engine maps include ‘Rain’, ‘Normal’, ‘Custom’ and (deep breath) ‘Sport’.
“You might find ‘Sport’ a bit twitchy initially, so start on ‘Normal’ or ‘Rain’ and work upward from there as you get a feel for it.”
After most of my recent road miles aboard a ‘cruiser’, the feeling of falling over the handlebars of your sport bike needs to be overcome as well as the knack of gentle power application, lest you want to ride off vertically.
Idling in the traffic, the 3-cylinder DOHC powerplant with counter-rotating crankshaft has all the spluttering refinement of a garden mulcher, but that quickly changes when the fly-by-wire throttle bodies open and a chorus of climaxing Gregorian monks break into full song. The triple pipes are tuned to perfection and you just want to hum that hit song all the way home as you kick up through the gears without ‘blipping’ the throttle or touching the clutch. This bike is not a commuter.
Two days later, I hand the machine back feeling like I’ve graduated into a new class of rider and my cranky 50-year-old lower back is largely without complaint. “Che figata!”
Man and machine
Sydney dealership director, David Song, is not your average motorcycle salesman. His deep involvement with the brand and intimate technical knowledge has seen him take on the role of unofficial test pilot.
In early 2016, David yearned to stretch the legs of his pet project, a special, top-of-the-range, full-house MV Agusta F4RC ‘pilota prototipo’. So special, it is numbered 251/250. Apart from some technical trickery, David has decorated the bike in his own livery to create a customised land rocket to call his own.
As if he needed to prove a point, the bike and his crew went to the Northern Territory to film the 158kW, 998cc machine strut its stuff, which it did on the 14,000 rpm red line at a tick over 300kmh. That’s almost 190mph in the old money. Children, do not try this at home.
You too can own an F4RC. Put down $61,880 and take your place in the queue.
Check out the MV Agusta Brutale 800 and the F4RC at MV Agusta’s website.