MV-AGUSTA BRUTALE 989R (2008 - 2012) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 2 out of 5 (2/5)
Power: 142 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.3 in / 820 mm)
Weight: Medium (408 lbs / 185 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Don’t think of the Brutale 989R as a watered-down version of its 1078RR bigger brother; it’s a powerhouse of a bike in its own right. MV claim a massive 142bhp from the crank and a top speed of 165mph, which puts it right up there with the best in the super naked class. Compared to the Brutale 910, the 989R has new Brembo four-piston radial calipers, revised catalysers, revalved suspension and 4mm extra fork travel.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

This isn’t a bike for tall people, if you’re over six foot you’ll struggle to get your knees under the ‘wings’ on the 19-litre fuel tank. Its dinky dimensions make it cramped for most riders and it’s easy for feet to slip off smooth, rounded footpegs too. That aside, the Brutale handles like a superbike, with sharp steering and superb stability in the corners and in a straight line, although it is on the heavy side.


Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The inline-four-cylinder 982cc Brutale 989R is a bored-out evolution of the old 909cc Brutale 910, not a sleeved-down version of the superbike-engined Brutale 1078RR, although it does use the same pistons with a reduced compression ratio. Make sense? It’s insanely fast when you’ve got the space to use it. It’s also loud, brash, aggressive and ready to bite the second you take your eye off the ball, like the finest Chav-bred Pit Bull Terrier. It maybe a smaller version of the superbike-engined 1078RR, but remember it’s still bigger than the original 750 and 910 Brutales, and we thought they were pretty quick in the first place. The 989R does suffer from a harsh throttle response, though, which spoils low-speed and motorway riding.  

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Build-quality is superb and we haven’t heard of Brutales breaking down either. There’s now a new UK importer (, which should give you piece of mind that parts and servicing won’t be an issue and now that MV Agusta is owned by Harley Davidson, the constant threat of MV’s closure has gone.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

It may be hand-built, exclusive and lightning fast but twelve grand is way too much for the 989R. You can get equivalent performing exotic super nakeds for less, like the KTM Super Duke R and Ducati Streetfighter. Find an MV Agusta Brutale 989R for sale.


5 out of 5 (5/5)

The 989R has typical Italian hand-built attention to detail and it’s loaded with expensive cycle parts like Brembo Monobloc calipers, a fully adjustable Sachs rear shock, 50mm Marzocchi forks and adjustable rearsets. You get a rasping, angry soundtrack to die for and a view over the clocks like you’re perched on the edge of a cliff. Compare and buy parts for the MV Agusta Brutale in the MCN Shop.


Engine size 982cc
Engine type 16-valve, in-line-four
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 185kg
Front suspension Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Fully-adjustable
Front brake 2 x 310mm discs
Rear brake 210mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 190/55 17 in

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 26 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost -
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 142 bhp
Max torque 76.4 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 10.56 secs
Tank range 110 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2008 – Brutale 989R launched

Owners' reviews for the MV-AGUSTA BRUTALE 989R (2008 - 2012)

1 owner has reviewed their MV-AGUSTA BRUTALE 989R (2008 - 2012) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your MV-AGUSTA BRUTALE 989R (2008 - 2012)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 2 out of 5 (2/5)
Value vs rivals: 2 out of 5 (2/5)
Equipment: 2 out of 5 (2/5)
3 out of 5 An exclusive bike for the weekends.
24 August 2015 by Slader

Year: 2009

Unlike most naked bikes, this is not a touring bike. This is a race beast. It go's, and it go's fast, hard and (like the name implies) brutal. This is why I fell in love with it and why I bought it. But unlike the what MV promised me, this is not an bike you can ride every day, this is a collectors object and a so called "living room bike"

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The ride quality is just the best. I have ridden allot of brands but this bike pushes your confidence so far you will be scared of your own limits, not of the bikes. The ride is not plush, you feel everything yet you will never step off the bike broken. It breaks on a dime and opening the throttle will unleash the sound of a beast.

Engine 4 out of 5

You need to run this bike (read: engine) like you stole it. It does not like to run under 8k rpm. You need to run it like a sport bike, and push that red line. This means that anything over the 4th gear will cost you your licence. But you will want to, since the power at that point is just amazing, and again the sound is (forgive the pun) just brutal.

Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5

What they don't tell you is that the engine seals will start to leak, and I mean all the seals. This is something that just happens, as admitted by the importer. This is mainly because of the design features ( for example the kickstand it mounted straight on the oil pan, putting to much pressure on that seal ) but is also partly contributed by the high pressure on a relative light engine. MV Agusta created this bike to be an every day bike. But it is far from it!

Value vs rivals 2 out of 5

This bike is not cheap to buy. And when you do, you are not done. This bike requires allot of service. Every 6k kilometers it needs a small service that will cost you about 120 euro's (that is without the oil), the oil it needs is expensive (10w60 castrol edge), and don't forget about those seals. I have never had a small service without a engine seal on the invoice.

Equipment 2 out of 5

You will want a steering damper on this bike. Because of the angle of the front forks this bike is prone to some tank slapping. You will also want some after market mirrors. Like any Italian bike, the mirrors are all show but there serve no purpose beside looking at your own elbow's.

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