MV Agusta is a strange brand. It’s kind of seen as Ducati’s weird cousin. They’ve made some of the most beautiful motorcycles and engines on the planet, but have always had difficulty making them available, keeping them running, or getting parts out to people. All of that is changing, and just in time for their new Triumph Street Triple eater.
MV Agusta only had one announcement to make at the EICMA convention this year: a new Brutale 800 that, thanks to Euro 4 compliance regulations, would make less power than the 2015 model. Not a great sign.
I wasn’t able to make the launch of the 2016 Brutale, because it overlapped with the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto and Enduro launch and my name is Sean and I have a supermoto addiction. But, my friend Jensen from Asphalt & Rubber attended and really positive things to say about the new 800, calling it the most refined and best bike yet from the brand.
I got a chance to demo MV’s entire 2015 lineup last year and found the Brutale 800 RR to be my favorite naked sport bike ever. Full stop. The fueling issues were not only gone, but it was some of the best fueling I’ve ever ridden with. The motor was incredible, and the handling was telepathic. This new motor loses a little horespower, but lowers and flattens the torque curve dramatically, and I’m glad it looks like the fit and finish continues to improve.
The performance gap between the Brutale 800 RR and the Monster 821 (it’s closest competitor and my previous favorite naked) is not nearly as big as the gap between the Brutale 675 and Triumph’s Street Triple. The Street Triple R has better brakes and suspension, but only racers will need them over the ones on the MV, whereas the difference in power output will be used, abused, and enjoyed by all. My butt dyno thought the Brutale 675 had a substantially bigger motor than the Triumph.
Over the past year, MV Agusta has made massive strides as a company. They got a massive infusion of cash including a 25 percent stake purchase from Mercedes-AMG, hired a new team for MV Agusta USA with Helen Vasilevski at the helm (a brilliant woman who’s worked extensively in the moto world as well as big business), and have expanded their dealer network and parts pipelines in a massive way.
My love and excitement for the brand is likely only surpassed by Jensen, who also wrote this piece on the state of affairs at the company - something you definitely need to read if you’re interested in them.
So, long story short, the MV Agusta of old—the one who made bikes that riddled with issues and with a tiny dealer network and parts that took months to get—is gone and the future is looking very, very bright. They also have some new bikes and, so far, they’ve been awesome.
The new Brutale 800 is here, a new Brutale 675 is on the way, and we’re supposed to get a ride on the Turismo Veloce in the coming weeks.