DAMN this bike is heavy...oh...what was I saying again? I forget.
THAT is how my epic journey began which covered more than the entire country of Italy or the entire United Kingdom (smaller than Italy actually). I found the bike to be a bit of a surprise.
I generally don't like big heavy liter bikes. I like small nimble bikes. The Daytona 675 is my favorite but I even enjoy the Ninja 250 in the twisties and for city riding. The torque on the Kawasaki Z1000 has me rethinking that but the Brutale...oh the Brutale...almost 100LBs (not sure about this...wet weights I found don't add up)lighter!! Black magic! When I first took the Brutale off it's stand, I was like WOW...this thing is heavy! I prepared myself to be a little let down because of weight. This was the LAST time I had any thoughts about it's weight. Somehow it's so well balanced, I just don't feel it, even in the tight technical curvy roads in the mountains.
Power? Well, let's say I was SHOCKED it only topped out at 165MPH. I was SURE it could go faster. How could something THIS fast and punchy in every gear be limited to a speed a little R6 could probably top. I still don't get that and maybe some technical wiz kids here can chime in on that. Power starts early and HARD! You never downshift for power unless you are chasing a Lamborghini and only if the Lamborghini is being a maniac (and I saw a few). If you twist the throttle all the way from 75MPH in 6th gear, this is one of the FEW times you won't get a violent acceleration from an aggressive twist of the wrist, BUT...you will be going VERY fast VERY soon! It's hard to describe. Imagine driving a high end Mercedes like an E550. It's that luxury car super smooth acceleration where you just simply end up going super fast and not realizing it, although, being on a bike AND with no good wind protection, you DO notice it but not because of anything aggressive or violent in anyway.
Basically, the way you ride this bike is all about limiting power, NOT tapping into it like you would on a japanese supersport. You quickly rush out of 1st gear and 2nd and 3rd. Short shifting is a way of life now but yet...the bike is still brutal, just not as much. You would have to stay like 3+ gears ahead to tame this beast. Here is the important factor though. This beast has class! Imagine some random kid in his garage giving a 200HP car 900HP with over 900LBs torque. Forget about how much this car would break down for a second. Just imagine how dangerous it would probably be. How unmanageable. That is NOT the Brutale. The Brutale uses sophisticated engineering to make all that power usable and controllable. Intermediate to advanced riders will be able to control the initial power curve with a fine tuned wrist. Yes, this bike can very easily wheelie or violently surge (8 traction control modes!! NICE!), but ONLY because of YOUR bad throttle inputs. Skilled riders need not worry. Young immature hotheads, you better put that traction control on highest setting and get ABS. By the way…good cruising on this bike well into the power band at any speed. If you are in power band, you BETTER be PASSING through! NOT a place to hang out. She gets REALLY jumpy at the slightest movement of your wrist.
Handling? Wow! Is this bike really a Liter bike? *twists throttle* Oh...OK..yeah. Well, it sure does not feel like one. The baby handles very well in tightest of turns and I sure have the experience to back that up. I took it into the mountains in Italy (You GOTTA do this one day for sure!) and even in the rain. Very confidence inspiring although we were short shifting for sure in the mountains especially when wet. This is where tapping into that smooth powerful luxury car acceleration works very well. Drama free apex exits and just enough pull from relatively low RPMs. I feel you are able to comfortable maximize the power of this bike given the traction limitations. The Pirelli Supercorsas where less than impressive in the wet however. I felt unnecessarily nervous about grip in the wet while taking tight turns. The rear end in fact stepped out a couple times due to having too much power on corner entry but I did not feel like I was pushing hard enough to be sliding. As a rider who generally only slides when I have 4 wheels, the slides were uneventful. Imagine being afraid of needles, then the doctor sticks you and you barely feel a prick and you say “Ummm..THAT’S it??”. Traction control may not have even been on (don’t ask!).
Looks? Well, I don’t really like naked bikes. That being said…this bike is BEAUTIFUL! I kept finding groups of people checking it out and taking pictures. One person in Rome asked to take a photo sitting on it. One day while parked next to hundreds of Lamborghinis, I came back to find to professional photographers doing a “photo shoot” on the bike. Got a thumbs up from a Lamborghini driver on the road and on and on. This bike is a superstar for looks, almost as much as for power. I took lots of really nice photos in Milan at night in the rain. LOVE the way they came out!
Reliability? Well, did over 1000 HARD miles with no engine problems. It starts right up every time. Only thing is it seemed to really like neutral for some reason. It may just need adjustment but going from 1st to 2nd requires a bit of commitment. Not impressed with the transmission at all for this reason. It’s good otherwise.
Sound? You GOTTA hear this baby when decelerating! It’s got this rough kinda pops and spits and rumble that I wish was WAY louder. Love it!
Smell? What are you? Some kind of weirdo? It smells like a bike! Come on bro! LOL
Efficiency? Well, as you have probably heard already this bike drinks gas like a just rescued desert walker drinks water…VERY thirsty this bike! Almost felt like the Lamborghinis were getting better mileage…right…lol
Comfort? We were running 3+ hours stretches and to do that on a bike like this and get away with it says a lot. I can’t imagine any bike being much more comfortable than this. Nice coverage on the seat, unlike the typical supersports would have.
Braking? Powerfull but raw is the best way I can describe them. I prefer the braking on the Daytona 675. Those seemed more refined and powerful. These felt a bit brute but effective none the less. 320mm disc and Brembo is a wonderful thing!
Overall the bike is very impressive. I think it separates itself from the pack not only on looks, but on serious racing heritage. It rides like an undercover super sport pretending to be a naked standard bike. Love how nimble it is and how you get that punchy power everywhere, every time and the comfort and looks and the sound and the handling! How can it be made better? Better transmission possibly assuming the bike does not just need adjusting. Would also like to see better build quality. I don’t like how squishy the gauge cluster is and the buttons. Also, the mirror fell off, which was disappointing considering the price. This however puts it well into the class of exotic vehicles. The faults I find with it are just like what you might find with a Ferrari or example. If you want a car that is super reliable and carefree and economical, you get a Lexus or a Honda, NOT a Ferrari. Same with motorcycles. You get a Honda or Kawasaki, not an MV Agusta or Ducati. Exotic cars/bikes are NOT for everyone. I think they are for the consumer looking for something really special and is willing to deal with the negatives of going that route. The ONLY reason to buy a bike like this is because it’s what your heart wants and boy does my heart beat for the BRUTALE 1090RR! WOW!