Staff bikes: MV Agusta Brutale 920 - Something goes wrong

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It started innocently enough with a bit of a hiccup when starting the MV Agusta Brutale one evening for my ride home from work. It just wouldn’t start very easily for a second or two, then fired up and was fine.

The problem was then intermittent in frequency but the constant element was the issue always centred around cold starting, never when the bike was warm.

Then one day a week or so ago the temperature gauge rocketed up to max just a quarter of mile from setting off from home. I stopped and checked but the engine cases were barely warm so I knew it wasn’t really hot.

The temperature gauge then flicked between max and normal in the blink of an eye all the way to work before settling on max; fan on continuously.

Later that day giving the bike a check over with MCN road tester Trevor Franklin he noticed the coolant level was low. And it would barely start.

We topped the coolant up but the bike still wouldn’t start easily, the fan is on continuously and I was worried about harming it in case something was seriously wrong.

The next morning it was shipped to MV dealer Drayton Croft Motorcycles in Hinckley for a check-up.

My suspicions it was something temperature sensor, Lambda sensor, or fuel injection related were confirmed after a check over by the chaps at Drayton Croft who diagnosed a faulty water temperature sensor.

The cost of the part was just £40 and was of course covered under warranty. The part was in stock with the UK MV importer and took just one day to arrive, a short time to fix and the bike was returned to me soon afterwards.

I’m not sure if it’s bad luck but that’s the third long term test bike in three years to develop a minor fault; a BMW K13000R broke a starter button, a BMW R1200RT had an oil weeping sight glass and now the MV. At least they are all minor faults and easily sorted; if annoying.

Since then it has been running perfectly, starting hot or cold with the engine loosening up nicely and the gearbox getting slicker with more miles.

2011 MV Agusta Brutale, £9999
Value now: £9250
Mileage: 1987
Power (claimed): 130bhp
Torque (claimed): 70lb ft
Top speed (claimed): 165mph
Colours: White and black

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter