MV-AGUSTA RIVALE 800 (2014-on) Review

Published: 03 January 2014

"MV's first supermoto is an extremely fast, fun, loud, characterful machine"

MV-AGUSTA RIVALE 800  (2014-on)

"MV's first supermoto is an extremely fast, fun, loud, characterful machine"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

A departure from their usual sportsbike and super naked range, the Rivale 800 is MV Agusta’s first ever supermoto-style machine. In fact, despite its looks it rides more like a naked sportsbike and doesn’t suffer the bar-wagging flightiness you get with a big, road-going supermoto. It’s also the Italian firm’s first machine to feature their second-generation ride-by-wire system, so the good news is the throttle and power delivery is ‘normal’ and doesn’t suffer the poor running problems of early ride-by-wire F3s, Brutales and F4s. It’s not the most practical bike you can buy, but it’s an extremely fast, fun, loud, characterful machine, with typical glossy MV build-quality and attitude.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

With its steel trellis frame, single-sided swingarm, fully-adjustable suspension and sticky Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres, the Rivale 800 handles like a razor-sharp sportsbike. But it’s on the heavy side, so you have to muscle it through tight corners, despite the leverage the wide bars offer. Ride quality and support from the fully adjustable suspension is superb and the cast aluminium Brembo monobloc brakes are as strong as you’ll find on any road-going superbike. Compared to the Brutale 800 the MV has added half a degree to the rake for extra stability.

Engine 4 out of 5

Based heavily on the firm’s Brutale 800 engine, the ultra-short stroke inline-three-cylinder 125bhp motor, with a counter-rotating crankshaft, has a broad spread of power and a hard-hitting midrange. You could say it has too much power in the middle – it’s a savage beast to wheeile and it will easily spin a cold rear tyre, although there’s an eight stage traction control system to bail you out if things get too lively. The traction control is MV’s best yet, as is the standard quickshifter. You also get three riding maps, with differing levels of throttle response, torque and rev-limiter. The revised software controlling the ride-by-wire system finally seems to work and the Rivale behaves like a fuel injected bike with a throttle cable.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Although modern day MVs are continuing to improve and are impeccably built and finished, some machines can develop technical gremlins. MCN has tested bulletproof MVs and unreliable ones. Always buy from a friendly, reputable dealer.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The Rivale 800 isn’t bad value for money when you look at all the technology, performance, attitude and beauty on offer, but there’s no getting away from the fact it’s still an expensive piece of exotica.

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

As you’d expect, MV gives you all the bells and whistles with the Rivale 800. It comes with traction control, a quickshifter, variable riding maps, high performance tyres, fully-adjustable suspension, Brembos, stacked exhaust cans and beautifully designed lines.

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Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2014
Year discontinued -
New price £10,499
Used price £6,700 to £11,500
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost -
Max power 125 bhp
Max torque 84 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 31 mpg
Tank range 90 miles
Engine size 798cc
Engine type 12v, inline-triple
Frame type Steel trellis frame and aluminium single-sided swingarm
Fuel capacity 12.9 litres
Seat height 881mm
Bike weight 178kg
Front suspension 43mm fully adjustable Marzocchi forks
Rear suspension Single rear fully adjustable Sachs shock
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with Brembo four-piston monobloc radial calipers
Rear brake 220mm single disc with twin-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2013 – Rivale 800 launched to the press in Oct ’13. Hit dealers in 2014

Other versions


Photo Gallery

  • MV-AGUSTA RIVALE 800  (2014-on)
  • MV-AGUSTA RIVALE 800  (2014-on)
  • MV-AGUSTA RIVALE 800  (2014-on)
  • MV-AGUSTA RIVALE 800  (2014-on)
  • MV-AGUSTA RIVALE 800  (2014-on)
  • MV-AGUSTA RIVALE 800  (2014-on)
  • MV-AGUSTA RIVALE 800  (2014-on)
  • MV-AGUSTA RIVALE 800  (2014-on)
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