IN what is fast becoming a trend for our unfortunate Southern Softie, the launch of MV Agusta’s Brutale 800RR was a washout.
And while the Italian manufacturer won’t shut up about its all-singing all-dancing traction control, it appears they weren’t keen for journalists to put it to the test on Italy’s already-greasy tarmac.
Luckily though, before the rain arrived Laura managed to swing a sunny, albeit shorter-than-intended road test on the updated hyper-naked machine.
Straight from Milan, here are her first impressions:
“The previous Brutale 800RR was reportedly plagued with problems – with the gearbox and starter clutch alone responsible for countless warranty claims.
“But the manufacturer claims to have resolved these issues, with the new model featuring a host of updated components to give the RR the reliability MV is striving for in its latest product strategy.
“The new bike, which is already on sale in the UK, has undergone a makeover too, with the RR taking the base Brutale and adding an edgy, performance-orientated appeal, thanks to updated graphics and gorgeous diamond-machined forged aluminium wheels.
“Costing from £13,490 it comes in two updated graphics schemes – the Dennis the Menace ‘Pearl Shock Red/Metallic Carbon Black’ and my personal favourite, the ‘Pearl Ice White/Metallic Carbon Black’.
“But enough about the updates – what is it like to ride?
“Well, as with the previous model, it’s aggressive both in riding position and performance and immensely powerful – it makes 140hp and 64lb-ft at 10,100rpm, with a much smoother torque curve at lower revs than before.
“Even in ‘Normal’ mode, the Brutale RR is livelier than a cat on feline crack (aka catnip). The throttle is incredibly responsive, the quickshifter one of the best I’ve ever used and the bike is so agile, turning in with ease thanks to MV’s counter-rotating crankshaft, which cancels out rear wheel inertia.
“Set it to sport and it picks up considerably, the acceleration forcing you to the back of the seat as the front wheel tries to hop off the ground.
“And if you do want to get that front wheel up, switch to Custom mode, where a breadth of adjustability allows the rider to change just about everything – including traction control, gas sensitivity, torque, engine braking, rev limit and engine response.
“Suspension is firm and unforgiving, sending jolts up my already bad back. There’s a decent amount of vibration through the bars too, but that can be forgiven given the potency of the three-pot powertrain.”