Yeah, we’re not a motorcycle site. Then again, neither is the MV Agusta Brutale 1078 RR a motorcycle. What it is instead is an apparition from two-wheeled heaven.
A curious thing about sport motorcycles is the relative dearth of styling cues to tell machines of vastly different spec apart. For the untrained eye, a Mazda Miata of
sportbikes looks pretty much like the Pagani Zonda of sportbikes. What you see here is the latter.
MV Agustas are so rare that you just don’t see them on the street at all. Founded by the Italian counts Vincenzo and Domenico Agusta, MV Agusta was a motorcycle racing team, racking up a mass of Grand Prix wins in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, their machines ridden by motorcycle gods like John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, and the greatest of them all, 15-time world champion Giacomo Agostini.
After a decade in the economic doldrums, MV Agusta was picked up by fellow Italian maker Cagiva, and beneath the trained eyes of design legend Massimo Tamburini they began making motorcycles yet again. MV Agustas are rare, fast, sophisticated, and styled in the wild hyper-Italian style of Horatio Pagani’s cars.
To run into one while walking back to the office after lunch in downtown Budapest is like being passed by two Zondas on the freeway in the manner of Schumacher vs. Häkkinen at Spa. A Brutale 1078 on the street is a motorcycle-shaped tear in the spacetime continuum, a gaping hole into the heart of mechanical beauty. Also, there is a snake’s nest of rainbow-colored titanium exhaust piping:
This thing comes with a 154 hp engine propelling its scant 400 pounds. That’s 830 hp for every ton of whatever it’s made out of. Perhaps Mr. Siler of Hell For Leather will show up in the comments to educate us motorcycle philistines on the finer details. What doesn’t require further explanation is this: A Brutale 1078 will do 68 mph in first gear. It will land you in jail in second gear and it will kill you in third gear. Gears four through six are reserved for dead people in a hurry.
Suddenly, that eye-popping MSRP of 17 grand doesn’t seem as eye-popping after all. Or, rather, eye-popping in a whole new way.
All photos by the author.