UK's Bike Magazine on the Brutale 920 and things MV - January 2011 - MVAgusta.net
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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UK's Bike Magazine on the Brutale 920 and things MV - January 2011

This months Bike magazine in the UK (our best selling magazine) carries a number of articles on MV and in particular the Brutale 920. I have reproduced the main stuff in this thread including the full conclusion at the end. Remember don't shoot the messenger; these are not my views and as yet I have not entered into the debate or expressed my views.

The first is an interview with Giacomo Agostini where he talks about his his record 122 GP victories and his glory days in the 1960's and 70's. There is a lot in the article about MV and as he says 'If I go for a ride in the mountains I have an MV Brutale and if I have a long way to go I have an MV F4 Ago.' Of course!

The next article pits the Brutale 920 against a Yamaha FZ1. The point of the article is to examine the fact that 'Iconic Italian Brand, that is still considered exotic and out of reach, can be bought for the same wedge as a mainstream bike is a little hard to digest. Especially when the Brutale 920 is more fun to ride than the FZ1.' The conclusion is that whilst the Brutale is the one they want to ride, the bike they would like to find loitering in the garage on a Sunday morning, you would trust the Yamaha more. 'If we had to ride to Scotland now, this moment, I'd take the FZ1.' So would I says the writer, 'its hard to say why and perhaps comes from the Yamaha solidity, classier (and more consistent) finish, better clocks and superior mirrors. And familiarity; owning an MV Augusta is something only a few have ever done and so there's caution attached.

Next they look at the Brutale 920's practicality. It concludes, 'Unfortunately while the Brutale brings new found usability, its still a tad lacking. It has the stupidest trip meter ever, hold down the one or two different buttons 37 times for 5 seconds each and the navigate through 86 sub menus. Its got a big tank yes (bigger than a BMW R1200GS), but it needs one as it gulps fuel (yet they quote the FZ1 as 35mpg vs. the 920 at 38 mpg?). The hazard button is tucked out of reach. The mirrors are terrible. The power mode button seems to make no discernible difference and it has traction control but nobody trusts it (this is contrary to their road test of the 1090 some time ago where they said 'Trust the traction control'). And because of the dash (controls) you're never sure if its armed or not. Buying an MV Augusta no longer means having to tolerate rock-hard suspension and a seat that's as splintered fence post. But it seems you still have to make allowances for, well..... let's call it character.'

Test 3 is the 920 vs used MV F4 750S. 'Next tothe F4 the Brutale might as well be invisible. The flat matt black skulls in the shadows, while the F4s red and silver turns light waves into photons of desire.' The 920 is the first of the mass produced modern MVs, the F4 was second hand and cost less than 1/2 yje 920's price tag 'Maybe there is such thing as a bargain MV Agusta.' However they conclude that the presence of the F4 makes the Brutale look the cheaper of the two. The Brutale is ugly, dribbly excess weld whereas the F4 is neater'. The brake and gear pedals lack the F4's smart eccentric adjusters and the main wiring loom, visible behind the frame, looks to be wrapped in tape, while the F4 has a plastic shield. The F4's shock has full adjustability and a remote reservoir, the Brutale lacks both.' 'The Brutale looks quite cheap' says Mike, 'The plastic clock cowl has this naff little black MV logo moulded into it. They have got such a fantastic badge with such heritage and history, but it needs to be beautifully represented, not like the cheap little sticker on the handlebar clamp.' However, 'while Mike is not impressed by the finish, he's blown away by the Brutales riding experience. I just jumped on it and within a minute I was happy going at a decent speed. I wouldn't have on the F4.' They conclude that they still do not want the 920 though, 'The Brutale could be anything. The two things that should sell it above a Japanese version is that it says MV and it looks stunning. And it doesn't, not in the same way the F4 does. It needs to feel exclusive. The F4s an old bike now, an old idea, but I still look at it and think WOW'.

Test 4, the Brutale vs the Triumph Speed tripple which Bike consider to be the naked benchmark from a riding experience. Their conclusion 'Both machines have presence, both make you feel good and both readily indulge in some one wheeled tomfoolery. But we'll take the Triumph's clocks and its mirrors. And its price. Not only does the Speed Triple out perform the MV, it's also a considerable £1200 cheaper. Top spot in the naked sector is untroubled for the time being' they think.

They then consider putting the MV in your garage. They like the toolkit, service intervals are quite short, heavily branded- logos everywhere so you won't forget what you are riding. Trapped thumbs on steering lock. The dash is compact with decent graphics but it looks like someone has prodded it with a fat finger ?? Squidgy buttons, cannot even reset the trip without a secret button combination and use of a sub menu. Accessing the traction control requires a whole afternoon!. The normal and sport modes showed no difference to throttle performance on their Dyno. The traction control is hard to get to the settings, difficult to know what you have selected, and allows worrying slides in the wet, even on its most cautious settings. The seat is comfy , lower and narrower for a more relaxed stance. Pillion seat is a decent size but the handles moulded under the seat are not. High pegs in a funny location and even under relaxed or moderate acceleration make it really hard hard for the passenger to keep their feet down. MV's user friendly touch did not really touch the mirrors which are poorly positioned, awkward to adjust (glass moves in body) and crippled by vibration. Over shoulder glances are essential. Fuel economy they got 38.1 mpg giving a 194 range, motorway riding would see it cruise past 200. 'But the MV can also claim to have covered a greater distance - most bikes are within +/- 2 miles on their economy test (80 miles), but the Brutale reckoned it was more than 86 miles.

Numbers and other stuff. Motorway; engine buzzy and wind protection limited. A roads; engine likes being in a high gear and demonstrates midrange response, no need to tap down for overtakes. Long fast corners can introduce a bobbing sensation from the soft rear - wind up damping to sort it. B Road; comes alive, dashing from tight corner to challenging twist in a high volume of snappy gearing, accidental wheelies and immediate response. Agile chassis flicks like a 50's hair-do, but there's more than the odd front end wriggle ready to keep you on your toes.' City: light controls, dominant riding position and low gearing for the i'm the winner from the lights. But the motor hunts and stammers very slightly at 30 mph in second or third gear and the steering lock is rubbish. Starting; reluctant to start on three or four occasions. Cute choke. Mirrors; looking at your reflection in the back of a spoon, move away to one side and shake it violently for an authentic Brutale 920 mirror experience. Performance: top speed 153.9 mph (blustery head wind) 0-60 in 3.71S, Quarter mile 11.16S @ 127.2 mph. Top gear roll on 14.38S (40-120 mph). Braking 70-0 in 50.6m.

Final conclusion in full 'I can remember experiencing red blooded lust while reading the early tests on the F4 750. I stood at the NEC show with my jaw on the floor and jostled for a look at the first one at the local bike meet. MV meant quality, class, superiority, rarity... true exotica. And now just about anyone can buy one for no more that its contemporaries. This is brilliant. But I would not buy one. MV has clearly stood back from its entire range, looked closely at the more popular brands, and implemented changes based on their findings. Suspension no longer acts as a steel beam, the engine does what you want and expect when using the throttle, and function is no longer a poor relation to form. This Brutale is the most accessible and usable yet - its more fun and alluring than a Yamaha ZF1 (at the same price), has most of the refinement you'd expect from what is essentially a naked sportsbike and its comfy. Yet it's still desirable, with typical MV styling and components, despite being built to a cost. Nothing broke or fell off. It's good. However there's is a hint of the other side of the exotica gold. The Brutale comes with suspension settings that are a little mismatched, with softer rear and firm front (crikey!). The turning circle is huge, limbs foul the tank, mirrors are aweful, clocks frustrate on every ride, and the electronics are either too complicated or don't function, depending on... well, tide times probably. The engines too thirsty too and occasionally struggles to start. You'd endure such niggles on a track focused tool of tear-inducing beauty, but I expect more from a regular bike aimed at established mainstream rivals. That said, there's no escaping this is still an MV. It sounds good, looks and goes like an MV should. Its a far better ride than its predecessors and doesn't go for silly money. So if you hanker after something different, then exotica has never been so capable or affordable.

MV Augusta Brutale 1090RR

Last edited by Mark Smith; 12-03-2011 at 05:23 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 06:31 AM
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They say it's thirtsy, but also they say they get more miles from it than other bikes and it does 38 mpg. wtf?

Thank you for your time to retype this.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 07:38 AM
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Thanks for writing that up, interesting read, even if I disagree with most of it.

How can they complain about the consumption, and then show it is better than the bike it is up against. I find the 920 to be good for the mileage.

Mirrors are terrible? Then says the S3 are better. Well on my old S3 the mirrors were much worse and I was only ever looking at myself. There is no vibration compared to other bikes, but I agree it is a pain to move the glass inside the holders.

Not sure of the point about comparing with the F4. Different bikes, different eras. Is he just wanting to point out that he does not like the fact that for MV to continue existing they have decided to make more "accessible" models? In fact, i am convinced that he has decided that if other people can own an MV, then it is not exclusive enough for him to like....

The S3 is a great bike, but the Brutale is different in so many ways. If anything I prefer the Brutale, so far possibly the best bike I have ever had. Both bikes are top class, the 920 being more comfortable, and almost more relaxed.

Trip reset? Same on all Brutales, no? So why bring this up as an issue on the 920 but it is a none issue on any other model?

Sport vs Normal. Well, i may not be a dyno, but there is a huge difference between them when you are riding in the city.

Pillion positiion. Either the guy is an idiot when riding with a pillio, but my wife has never complained about not being able to keep her feet on the pegs under "relaxed to moderate" acceleration.

"Over the shoulder glances are essential". When I learnt to ride nearly 20 years ago, we were told they are essential no matter what. More proof to me that the guy is an idiot of a rider.

City riding. I had read many people complaining about the Brutale in the city, but I do not have such an issue on the 920. It is as calm or violent as you want to ride it.

Conclusion: it sounds like this guy has a bee in his bonnet as MV are trying to become more mainstream to help keep them afloat. Certainly wouldn“t trust this guy on his writing, makes MCN sound balanced.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 08:00 AM
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Thanks for the post and welcome to the forum.

910R, S4RS Monster,'78 BMW R100S, Heritage Softail, Chrome V-Rod, Sportster 48, Kawasaki Concours 1400, '07 Ultra Classic with sidecar, yellow Vespa LX 150, a cool little Ruckus, and a very understanding wife........
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 08:56 AM
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Yeah, he just has a different view of bikes than I do. What's the big deal about an tripmeter? I wouldn't care much if the bike didn't even come with one. And mirrors can be replaced. Who would let a couple niggling things like that keep you on a boring bike like an FZ1? By the same logic, I'm thinking he must have married a fat, homely chick so he wouldn't have to worry about her ever asking him for much or cheating on him.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 10:24 AM
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I got the mag a couple of weeks ago,overall I think they liked it . The trip thing and no clock annoy me but the overall general MV experience so far has been great.
This bit made me laugh :
" Mirrors. Look at your reflection in the back of a spoon . Move it away to one side and shake violently for an authentic Brutale 920 experience .

Brutale 800 Italia
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 10:46 AM
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Did they compare the FZ1 to an R7?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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I think there is a lot of truth in what everyone's said. My take is that it is a bit like a Top Gear car review (if you have never seen Top Gear look on youtube). If you get to drive or ride everything then you are looking for that little something different, a differentiator. MV making a more mainstream bike blurs that line and starts to put them in the same bucket as (in the article) a FZ1.

Most of the rest of us only get to have one bike and then its on a budget. So we look at things slightly differently. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Mark

MV Augusta Brutale 1090RR
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 06:17 AM
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I had to laugh at the picture captions that said the C spanner was to big for the rear shock.............because its for adjusting the chain,,,,,,,,,,,,muppets.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Smith View Post
Test 3 is the 920 vs used MV F4 750S. 'Next tothe F4 the Brutale might as well be invisible. The flat matt black skulls in the shadows, while the F4s red and silver turns light waves into photons of desire.' The 920 is the first of the mass produced modern MVs, the F4 was second hand and cost less than 1/2 yje 920's price tag 'Maybe there is such thing as a bargain MV Agusta.' However they conclude that the presence of the F4 makes the Brutale look the cheaper of the two. The Brutale is ugly, dribbly excess weld whereas the F4 is neater'. The brake and gear pedals lack the F4's smart eccentric adjusters and the main wiring loom, visible behind the frame, looks to be wrapped in tape, while the F4 has a plastic shield. The F4's shock has full adjustability and a remote reservoir, the Brutale lacks both.' 'The Brutale looks quite cheap' says Mike, 'The plastic clock cowl has this naff little black MV logo moulded into it. They have got such a fantastic badge with such heritage and history, but it needs to be beautifully represented, not like the cheap little sticker on the handlebar clamp'...The two things that should sell it above a Japanese version is that it says MV and it looks stunning. And it doesn't, not in the same way the F4 does. It needs to feel exclusive. The F4s an old bike now, an old idea, but I still look at it and think WOW'.
The review is a little nit-picky, but this part is spot on. That's pretty much how I felt checking out a 920 at the dealer. I can't put my finger on it, but the bike just felt... devoid of any passion. I'm sure it's still a blast to ride, but the devil is in the details and the new model has got them all wrong IMO.
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