My First Weekend with the Brutale - I ride like an old man - MVAgusta.net
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
Established Member
 
lencap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 85
My First Weekend with the Brutale - I ride like an old man

Quite a different animal, the Brutale. It's been over two decades since I last had a performance motorcycle. Somewhere in that time, someone took possession of my body and replaced the "testosterone on" switch with a "gosh, I'm old" replacement. Not a good upgrade.

So I take the bike on a street I know well, and try to take the turn at an "aggressive" pace. Well, I'm not impressed with my riding skills. Not enough lean (the bike went through the turn before I knew it and with the short wheelbase I didn't need to lean it very much) and when I began to "turn up the wick" the front wheel decided that it would take a detour by pointing to the sky instead of gripping in the rear. Quite an adventure and I can vouch that my blood pressure medicine got a workout.

I went back and forth on the same street a few times, still trying to find the secret, which I never did. Then a much younger rider came behind me and signaled me to pull over, so I did. Turns out he's never seen an Agusta and he begged me to let him look it over. (I drove the bike both Saturday and Sunday, and each day the bike drew questions and stares from more people than I ever imagined). Then he asked if I wanted to follow him on the same road I was playing on. Sure, why not, I thought.

Well, he found a way to attack the corners at a pace far above mine, and at lean angles that seemed more appropriate for a sports bike (he owned a Suzuki liter bike, not sure which one). I know the Brutale could keep up with him, but I didn't. I still haven't got the feel for the bike and I didn't want to do something stupid.

I then drove to an empty parking lot and tried my standard drills - swerves at 20-25 MPH, panic braking at similar speeds, sharp 90 degree turns, and U-turns within a two parking space distance. Well, I learned that I can't control my new ride very well, and I've immediately signed up for a refresher MSF Advanced riders course. I also realized that staying in first gear for low speed work isn't the best choice - my WAY too jerky right hand made it feel like a rodeo ride.

What surprised me the most was the turning radius on the bike. It reminded me of the Ducati 916 (not a shock, same designer) which I also found a bit of a chore to turn tightly. I have been able to turn most of my bikes within a 20 foot circle, but try as I might, I couldn't get comfortable with the Brutale. The very narrow friction zone, coupled with an on-off throttle made me uncomfortable. Panic stops were interesting - I never had a bike that could both wheelie and stoppie at will. That was a LOT more excitement that I planned. I did have my riding gear on - quite a site: a full Aerostich Hi-Viz Roadcrafter suit, full face Z1R helmet and Lee Parks gloves with a generic pair of riding boots.

Trying to lean it more aggressively also was uncomfortable - I can't move around in the seat as much as I could with some other bikes I've owned, so I couldn't load the outside peg heavily or shift as much weight (of which I have plenty to spare) to allow an aggressive lean.

So, is it hopeless of will I get the hang of this bike so that I can scuff the tires from one end to the next? When I got off the bike later in the day I got about 2/3 of the tread width fully used, disappointing me quite a bit. On my old VFR I could pretty much go end to end, but never could on the Ducati (fear of dropping an expensive bike had a lot to do with it). I've scrapped the pegs on most of my bikes Harley (heck, you can scrape a Harley peg going straight!), VFR, Moto Guzzi, BMW R1100R and R1150R, and several others.

Do any of you have trouble with low speed control and full lean angles? I know I'm older, but I'm not dead, and I'm anxious to "feel the love" that the Brutale offers. I'd also like to invest in some frame sliders (suggestions welcome) and whatever else may protect the machine from my learning errors.

Thanks in advance to the suggestions. By the way, I still love the bike, I just want to learn how to fully control it in all circumstances. I'd also like to know how to answer questions about the bike quickly and politely so that I can get on with the ride. It's amazing to me how many people stop dead in their tracks when they see this bike.

"When in doubt - hit the throttle, you'll either solve the problem or remove the suspense."

Last edited by lencap; 04-18-2010 at 07:32 PM.
lencap is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 07:53 PM
CAG
Senior Member
 
CAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Home. In Dixie.
Posts: 13,695
Send a message via Skype™ to CAG
Great post.

I must have an unfriendly face. Rarely does anyone ask me about the bike whether I'm riding the Brutale or an F4.

Two things you can do to help the throttle. If you look at the left side of the bike, on the back of the throttle body, you will see two springs that aid in returning the throttle to its closed position. A common modification is to remove one of those springs.

Secondly, you can change the rear sprocket to 39T from the standard 43T. It will give you more speed, which you will probably never use, but it is a lot less jumpy in 1st gear.

If you find it tips in too easily or feels too quick in the turns, you can adjust suspension settings.
CAG is offline  
post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 09:14 PM
Senior Member
 
greminn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Posts: 1,493
New Site Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAG View Post
I must have an unfriendly face. Rarely does anyone ask me about the bike whether I'm riding the Brutale or an F4.
Had to ask when you are passing them round the outside!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lencap View Post
low speed control
You get used to it i guess, slow 180 degree u-turns are always a little difficuilt on the Brutale given the turning circle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lencap View Post
full lean angles?
The brutale run rings round a "sports bike" once YOU have the knowledge and confidence todo it. The suspension is very unforgiving (uncomprimising?) and it took me a long time to get into that.. .I went from a Honda 250 to the 910R and have struggled (or so i thought) with it for a year. Then i went to keith codes superbike school on ZX6R (the brutale was broken at the time) and it it taught me that its not the bike, its the rider... and now the unforgiving suspension is a blessing and i dont have chicken strips! Also, im starting to go faster round corners than some of my mates who own "sports bikes"...

Im reminded of something a mate who owned a 910R said to me.. "the R1 owner was very surprised that i passed him on the track, round the outside!, then powered away from him down the back straight"

... still cant get my knee down yet, grumble grumble... (bring on level 3 huh cruiser?)

Cheers, Simon


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Brutale 990R LE - Number 121/500
Brutale 910R

New Zealand MV Owners Group: For more info, go to the NZMV our website
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
to join our mailing list & find us on Facebook.

Last edited by greminn; 04-18-2010 at 09:17 PM.
greminn is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 10:34 PM
Established Member
 
Squid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 178
Uh Greminn...Challenge. of course it's the rider and not the bike, but all things being equal, the Bruatale or any other naked will not run rings around a sport bike. I have a 1090rr coming and have ridden it, I also have a 1198s, and it's no contest....if it was, they would be riding nakeds at WSBK and MOTOGP.
Squid is offline  
post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 10:39 PM
Senior Member
 
dmac666's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Canberra
Posts: 300
Hi Lencap,

What CAG said, disconnect that spring. When I'm maneuvering around like that (carpark work etc), just pull the clutch in, do your U-turn and then motor off. Treat it like a Moto-x bike.

Dave.
dmac666 is offline  
post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 10:42 PM
Senior Member
 
greminn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Posts: 1,493
New Site Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squid View Post
Uh Greminn...Challenge. of course it's the rider and not the bike, but all things being equal, the Bruatale or any other naked will not run rings around a sport bike. I have a 1090rr coming and have ridden it, I also have a 1198s, and it's no contest....if it was, they would be riding nakeds at WSBK and MOTOGP.
Yea - i know what you are saying, its just the Brutale is a sharp, pointed insrument - and it does what it was made for REALLY well. Of cause the R1 is going to pass you mid back straight, but thru the twisties... i agree with what you are saying tho. I got a bit carried away...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squid View Post
of course it's the rider and not the bike
Again - i understand that NOW.. but 6 months ago, i was saying "is this me? is this too much of a bike for me?". What you are saying is true, but as a newbee learner, you dont understand this and always doubt yourself first.

Cheers, Simon


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Brutale 990R LE - Number 121/500
Brutale 910R

New Zealand MV Owners Group: For more info, go to the NZMV our website
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
to join our mailing list & find us on Facebook.
greminn is offline  
post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 10:57 PM
Established Member
 
Squid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 178
No probs. I have a huge learning curve myself as I have only ridden sports bikes and cruisers..nothing in the middle like this Brutale. Keeping fingers crossed I don't do something stupid by getting over my skiis.
Squid is offline  
post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 11:00 PM
Senior Member
 
greminn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Posts: 1,493
New Site Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squid View Post
No probs. I have a huge learning curve myself as I have only ridden sports bikes and cruisers..nothing in the middle like this Brutale. Keeping fingers crossed I don't do something stupid by getting over my skiis.
I have a mate with a 1098S that we do bike swaps every now and again - we both agree that the Brutale is the weapon of choice in the tight stuff. It just begs to be trashed from side to side - the Ducati just does not feel the same.

Cheers, Simon


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Brutale 990R LE - Number 121/500
Brutale 910R

New Zealand MV Owners Group: For more info, go to the NZMV our website
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
to join our mailing list & find us on Facebook.
greminn is offline  
post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 11:38 PM
Senior Member
 
Mikeduc2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: North Los Angeles County, California
Posts: 337
Lencap, don't be too concerned. You're not alone with the "issues" regarding the snatchy throttle response and u-turns. I'm on my 2nd Brutale (first was a 2004 750). I'm now on a pristine orange 2008 910s with 1500 miles on it. Just got the bike a week ago. I just put over 200 miles on it today riding through central california (Santa Barbara) and i know im in love with this bike. While I'm pretty comfortable in the twists, I still grumble in the tight maneuvers and the abrupt throttle response. I just accept it more or less as being part of the bike's personality. But with time, you will get more comfortable with the bike. My Ducati 1098s has it's share of foibles....but i love it for it's own strengths as well. Just give it time and practice.

Mike

2008 Brutale 910s
Mikeduc2 is offline  
post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 11:40 PM
Senior Member
 
Mikeduc2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: North Los Angeles County, California
Posts: 337
Quote:
Originally Posted by greminn View Post
I have a mate with a 1098S that we do bike swaps every now and again - we both agree that the Brutale is the weapon of choice in the tight stuff. It just begs to be trashed from side to side - the Ducati just does not feel the same.
I agree with you there...

I know my 1098s is a "faster" bike but in the tight twisties, I prefer my Brutale. The sensation is more than about raw speed.....it's the intangible feeling and feedback.

Mike

2008 Brutale 910s
Mikeduc2 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to use all of the features of the MVAgusta.net site, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome