The suspension is the nice side of firm but with the test only happening on smooth French roads it was impossible to know precisely how this will translate to scabby British roads. The lightness of the bike, combined with the power may be a little lively on British roads too. There is no steering damper as standard so it will be interesting to find out how this slightly light steering feel translates to bumpy British roads.
With a little bit more familiarity the pace increased but always with the patchy road conditions in mind. Tipping into some longer corners showed off the stability of the handling. Even when corners tightened up there was plenty of scope for the bike to just be leant over further.
This 798cc, double overhead cam, inline three-cylinder engine was originally designed to be the first triple to come from the modern MV Agusta factory but the boss, the late Claudio Castiglioni who decided the 675cc engine was of greater market importance and demanded the F3 supersport and Brutale 675 were sorted first. This meant it was a bigger job to make the 675cc version than increasing the stroke to make the 798cc motor. To make this engine MV Agusta managed to keep changes to just four elements: new pistons, conrods, crankshaft and an extra disc in the (non slipper) clutch. Everything else, including parts like the injectors are the same as the 675. The result is a performance powerhouse that combines revs with grunt in any gear.
The build quality of the launch bikes was top notch and there were no problems with reliability. It’s going to be a while before any of these issues arise and the lack of MV Agusta dealers is going to be one of the biggest hurdles to ownership in the UK. This is something the firm is working hard to improve right now. MVs are not renowned for peerless reliability and certainly aren’t up to Japanese standards yet.
At £9000 this is not a cheap bike but when compared to some of the much less inspiring and much lower specification Japanese bikes then it does look reasonably good value. When you look at the likes of a Yamaha FZ1 which costs north of £10,000 and the Honda CB1000R costs just under £10k then the Brutale looks good.
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The Brutale 800 is the most advanced in the class with ride-by-wire throttle, four riding modes, eight level traction control and specced with really high end Marzocchi and Sachs fully adjustable suspension front and rear. Brembo radial brakes and good finish make this a well kitted out machine.