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I spent the day test riding these three bikes: ('06) The MV Agusta Brutale 910, the ('04) MV Agusta Brutale 750S, and the ('06) Aprilia Touno 1000

A little about myself: I am 6'2" 185 lbs. I grew up racing dirt bikes in the NW, got my first street bike at 15, honda F3 smokin' Joes, and have since put about 300 hours on the track with 125cc - 900+cc track bikes. I've got just under 70,000 road miles spread between 6 bikes in 9 years. I'm 24, and I ride very aggressively. I enjoy lane splitting (thank you CHP), 40 mph stoppies, and sustained wheelies through busy streets. I try to keep the stunt riding to a minimum, but I am no stranger to speed, and search for more of it wherever I can. :blah:

Going into this test ride (30 mins per bike), I was dead set on the Brutale 910. I found a great deal on one with 30 miles on it, and was certain to puchase it. I'm a stickler about break-ins (in an unusual sense), so I rode these bikes as hard as I could, and as hard I was comfortable... I hope the dealer doesn't read this.

my riding impressions are:

MV Agusta Brutale 910: pure breed racing machine. Hands down the fastest (fastest = scrariest) bike I have ever ridden. I owned a track-tuned 954RR, have ridden several track bikes, and have ridden the ducati 999R for an extended amount of time (one week), and this makes them feel like dogs in comparison... not dogs, but this feels significantly faster.

Phsically smaller bike. The ergos were good, but not great..... not to mention, one spends so much time hanging on for dear life (and keeping the fucking front wheel on the ground!!!) that one is actually putting most their weight on the pegs vs. the seat. Where's the stabalizer (another $400-600)?!? I've got a size 12 foot, so the foot controls (break/trans.) were anything but convenient. Rearsets (new adjustable foot pegs/controls) would be a mandatory first investment = around $500.

The chassis has racer written all over it. Its stiff and responsive, and despite feeling a little too quick [from side-to-side] at first, I was quite fond of how capable it was. Likewise, the suspension is tough as nails... another plus in my book. I've actually heard complaints in the reviews about the stiffness, but you simply can't give a bike an engine like that, and not have some really serious suspension to back it up. I suppose there is a trade-off there between the track-bred necessity for support and control, and using the bike as a daily driver.

Possibly the most haunting sound I have ever heard from an inline.... truly exhilerating.


MV Agusta Bratale 750S: I suppose this was a little more my speed. I appreciate having to work for my power. I appreciate understanding a bike, building a relationship with a bike, thus, knowing exactely where I can find torque and response, exactely when I need it. This 750 had the Arrow Ti exhaust set on, so the sound was intoxicating to say the least. Pick-up starts quickly after 3800 rpms, but power rolls on at about 8400... and keeps getting stronger through about 13500 rpms. I'm actually not a foremost fan of inlines, but I found myself playing with this engine a lot and really enjoyed it.

Compare/Contrast between the 910 & 750: A battle of raw-refined power vs. a more predictable top end. The 910 is the most "honest" bike I have ever ridden... there were no hidden powerbands, or lags that I could find. Blunt power was available from beginning (realistically about 2500 rpms) through the the red-line. Truthfully, I didn't see a whole lot of logic in the "amount" of power... it almost felt "cocky" to me. It's a track engine, plain & simple. I could see getting used to it around town, but no matter what gear, no matter what rpm, this machine begs and pleads to go faster. I think its great as a weekend ripper, but on a day-to-day basis, it felt like too much for me (thats saying a lot). I found it interesting, because the 750 actually had significantly heavier engine breaking than the 910... seemed a little backwards to me since I try to rely on this engine breaking more on the track than on the street. I'm not sure why/how that is, but the 750 bogs much harder [off the throttle] than the 910. The breaks felt the same to me with both... a little whimpy. Maybe this is an easy fix with some better pads and adjustments in the lines/levels, but with that much speed/power, i need something with more feeling, more response, more bite. The missing low-end power of the 750 was something one could easily adjust to, so it seemed a trivial matter (other than rare emergency needs).

Like the 750, from bars-to-seat, the ergos are great. But, being my size, I felt like (even with the rearsets) I would always feel cramped on the lower half. I suppose this could be one of those few occaisions when I wished I were 5 inches shorter.

Fit and finish with the two were impeccable. The mirrors were a bit comical and I didn't get a very confident feel from the breaks, but everything from the cluster info, to the general feeling of quality was absolute top-notch. Honestly, in a sense, this seems like one of the best values on the market to me.

Of course I'm smilling when i get off either bike.... but just looking at the thing tickles me. The fucking bike is DROP DEAD GORGEOUS!!! Seriously, if you can't get laid riding one of these.... it just ain't gonna happen. Generally the seat cowl is my first purchase with any new bike... but i might keep the pass seat around if i had a Brutale :jerkoff:

Aprilia Tuono 1000: Like the Brutale, this is a very cool bike. To start with looks... I'm hesitant to say i love the Tuono. It looks a bit "pieced together" to me. All the pieces are really nice, high quality, and work great... but as a complete package, one has to be willing to love the power/handling (an easy feat) before they are willing to say "what a fucking beautiful bike".

The Twin is great. As a daily driver, this is an engine that provides power on every level, but won't scare the shit outa you if you "hit it" in the wrong place. Delivery is smooth and consistant - no surprises - but never fails to help you remember how much power it really has. There was little-to-no lag in the low-end, and I didn't notice any hic-ups in the powerband. I've heard this bike with pipes, and the sound is a potent reminder that it is an exclusive italian twin. Stock, however, sounds pretty subdued, and a bit boring.

The Brembos on the front and rear are really gnarley. They will stop you on a dime, but have a very manageable initial delivery... I liked that a lot. Ohlins dampner just provides sooo much confidence in both straight line and cornering. I still don't understand why steering dampners aren't standard equipment on all bikes. Cornering is on rails and totally predictable because of the dampner, despite throttle changes or breaking. The only downfall is that the Ohlins isn't adjustable.... actaully makes me a little unhappy.

Suspension, like the MVs is stiff and consistant. I like the stiffer suspension, both because of my size and my riding style. I didn't make any adjustments, but I know that both bikes are easily adjusted.... (I usually keep my street bikes at max hieght and high+ stiff)

Ergos... I don't have the numbers, but the Tuono sits a bit higher than the Brutale, with a bit longer inseam, and a longer tank length. This is the most comfortable performance bike I have ever ridden. The seat is wider and softer than the Brutale, but (atleast for my body type) has a perfectly complimentary angle to the handlebars.

Comparing twins and inlines is apples & oranges... they are so different. I suppose in the end it will always come down to personal preference.

I have to comend all the riders of the new 910. I consider myself a capable, if not slightly mental rider -- and maybe it was a sheer imbalance of sizes -- but the Brutale 910 is the most wicked, fast, sexy, symphonic, overconfident bike I have ever ridden. In truth, my choice was made for me. I cannot ride the 910 do to its evocation of nerves. I've never felt scared on a bike prior to this.

I'm gonna go with the Tuono. It's the right bike for me with its power, balance, and size... It'll get me to the track and back (to ride my 250) with smiles, make a ballsey daily driver, and I think we can do some great (comfortable) touring together.

If you guys catch me dry-humping one of your MV's outside of the cafe, please be understanding.

cheers, and thanks for your help in decision making.

dougan.
 

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D,
in future could you please make sure you have a bit more detail in your posts :jsm: :jsm: :jsm: :errr: :later:
 

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Thanks for the write-up and sharing your opinion. I've also ridden all three. My own and brief impression based on your write-up:

910: Suspension, chassis and engine is what makes this bike along with ergos (at least for me, 5'8" and 150 lbs). Went with the 910R, and the front forks are even more stiff ... needless to say, all settings were at the lowest for me (even when I take it to the track). The 910R brakes solves the criticism of the brakes on the 910 as it has better feel and more bite. One thing I certainly agree with is that this bike can be made better by after-market rearsets. I find the chassis so stable, I'm questioning whether a steering stabilizer is worth it. Also, initially I felt the bike was rather abrupt in throttle response, but now I'm used to it or at least adapted to it. The Pirelli Supercorsa are among the best tires I've ridden on (I think they only come with the R version).

750: Same chassis and suspension, but found the engine lacking. If you like to shift, this is the bike. Bike requires more attention and effort to keep it competitive. Still a fun bike, but the 910 has more power. There's a saying, "at some point, you will crave for more power."

Tuono: Love the V-twin torque and constant pull, but the bike had poor ergos for me. Felt a disconnection in the sense that I was sitting on the bike as opposed to feeling that the bike was and extension of me. That alone will dismiss any bike.
 

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Thanks for the write up. Well done, I believe you were very impartial. As a owner of a Rotax v-twin, I fully understood your point of view.
I am dwelling about a choice for a second bike, naked type. The Brutale is on my list, together with the Tuono and the K12R. Ergos is a major issue, being 6-2 240# is not an easy task to select a naked bike. So far the best ergos on a naked bike is the k12R. I know, it is not eye-talian, but I have a body that needs to fit.
For long rides through the mountains and back roads, especially 2up with wifey it is very difficult to beat my Cappy. I have 23k miles in 2.5years, from Blue Ridge to Deals Gap, from Hill Country to Big Bend, from the mountains of Pennsylvania to West virginia, I cannot find a substitute, not even the R12GS, that why I am searching for a 2nd bike. I cannot resist, here you have a shot of my Cappy in WV.
When it comes to looks, nothing tops the Brutale!!! And there is more than looks in the Brutale. I know that. I still need to ride one, it has been long time since last time I sat on one. Ergos is my major concern, I am no longer a spring chick!!!
 

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dougan said:
my riding impressions are:

MV Agusta Brutale 910: pure breed racing machine. Hands down the fastest (fastest = scrariest) bike I have ever ridden. I owned a track-tuned 954RR, have ridden several track bikes, and have ridden the ducati 999R for an extended amount of time (one week), and this makes them feel like dogs in comparison... not dogs, but this feels significantly faster.

Phsically smaller bike. The ergos were good, but not great..... not to mention, one spends so much time hanging on for dear life (and keeping the fucking front wheel on the ground!!!) that one is actually putting most their weight on the pegs vs. the seat. Where's the stabalizer (another $400-600)?!? I've got a size 12 foot, so the foot controls (break/trans.) were anything but convenient. Rearsets (new adjustable foot pegs/controls) would be a mandatory first investment = around $500.

The chassis has racer written all over it. Its stiff and responsive, and despite feeling a little too quick [from side-to-side] at first, I was quite fond of how capable it was. Likewise, the suspension is tough as nails... another plus in my book. I've actually heard complaints in the reviews about the stiffness, but you simply can't give a bike an engine like that, and not have some really serious suspension to back it up. I suppose there is a trade-off there between the track-bred necessity for support and control, and using the bike as a daily driver. Possibly the most haunting sound I have ever heard from an inline.... truly exhilerating.

Compare/Contrast between the 910 & 750: A battle of raw-refined power vs. a more predictable top end. The 910 is the most "honest" bike I have ever ridden... there were no hidden powerbands, or lags that I could find. Blunt power was available from beginning (realistically about 2500 rpms) through the the red-line. Truthfully, I didn't see a whole lot of logic in the "amount" of power... it almost felt "cocky" to me. It's a track engine, plain & simple. I could see getting used to it around town, but no matter what gear, no matter what rpm, this machine begs and pleads to go faster. I think its great as a weekend ripper, but on a day-to-day basis, it felt like too much for me (thats saying a lot). I found it interesting, because the 750 actually had significantly heavier engine breaking than the 910... seemed a little backwards to me since I try to rely on this engine breaking more on the track than on the street. I'm not sure why/how that is, but the 750 bogs much harder [off the throttle] than the 910. The breaks felt the same to me with both... a little whimpy. Maybe this is an easy fix with some better pads and adjustments in the lines/levels, but with that much speed/power, i need something with more feeling, more response, more bite. The missing low-end power of the 750 was something one could easily adjust to, so it seemed a trivial matter (other than rare emergency needs).

Fit and finish with the two were impeccable. The mirrors were a bit comical and I didn't get a very confident feel from the breaks, but everything from the cluster info, to the general feeling of quality was absolute top-notch. Honestly, in a sense, this seems like one of the best values on the market to me.

Of course I'm smilling when i get off either bike.... but just looking at the thing tickles me. The fucking bike is DROP DEAD GORGEOUS!!! Seriously, if you can't get laid riding one of these.... it just ain't gonna happen. Generally the seat cowl is my first purchase with any new bike... but i might keep the pass seat around if i had a Brutale :jerkoff:

Ergos... I don't have the numbers, but the Tuono sits a bit higher than the Brutale, with a bit longer inseam, and a longer tank length. This is the most comfortable performance bike I have ever ridden. The seat is wider and softer than the Brutale, but (atleast for my body type) has a perfectly complimentary angle to the handlebars.

I have to comend all the riders of the new 910. I consider myself a capable, if not slightly mental rider -- and maybe it was a sheer imbalance of sizes -- but the Brutale 910 is the most wicked, fast, sexy, symphonic, overconfident bike I have ever ridden. In truth, my choice was made for me. I cannot ride the 910 do to its evocation of nerves. I've never felt scared on a bike prior to this.

If you guys catch me dry-humping one of your MV's outside of the cafe, please be understanding.

cheers, and thanks for your help in decision making.

dougan.
Dougan,
first of all..... this is one of the nicest, most detailed write-ups i've ever read....
it OUGHT to be published in some magazine..... seriously

secondary.....
good luck with the Tuono.... it is a great bike... enjoy it
but please spend time with us over here telling about your Aprilia as well

your words are well-thought out and quite wonderfullly constructed
i will ready you write-up many many many times

thanks again for taking the time to write all that



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I know there has been some criticism of the Nissin brakes compared to the Brembos. Most of you who have test driven the 910s with the Nissins have done so on new bikes. I will till you I had the same impression at first. I thought the Nissins where a little vague, ect.. and seemed out of sorts. However, I have come to the conclusion that the brake pads need some break in time to function optimally, My brakes (after 1,500 miles) have all the progressive feel and stopping power you could ask for. I think if you were on the track for a long time operating at max speed and braking hard, the Brembos may be better. I have had both Brembos and Nissins and to me they are not that different. I really think a good quality pad probably makes more difference than anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm just glad if the write-up could be useful, or make for interesting reading.

My past experience and current knowledge of the bikes tested should have lended further detail in the write-up. But, my friends will be lending me their 910 for 1 day next week, and I hope to have the Tuono by next weekend, so I'd love to provide a better analysis with more concrete familiarity.

**as a correction: the Tuono is using a "Sachs" stabilizer. Soon to be replaced by a GPR stabilizer!

additionally... for those who haven't used stabilizers in the past, I find that they can be one of the most beneficial tools for increasing confidence and performance with any bike... no joke. Especially with a bike that is so prone to lifting the front end (IMHO, any performance bike that doesn't lift the front end under hard accelleration is under-powered), it is essential to maintain absolute stability coming out of corners, or even avoiding the straight-lne "wobble". This coming from a previous skeptic.

I've appreciated my time here and look forward to returning with more information.

cheers.

dougan.

PS: I'll be spending the entire day with a Leo Vince 749S tomorrow (including time with the tuner and a dyno). I should have remarks posted by sunday on the Ducati forum.
 

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Great write up Dougan. Having owned a 750s & now a 910s I agree with your observations between the two. Can't fault the brakes mind you but yes the 910s is a demonic beast just waiting to kill you. For that I love it & look forward to taming it someday. :bash: :king:
 

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Have an 04 Brutale 750S and an 03 Tuono Factory. Your observations are right on, but I thought I'd add a couple of "long-term" observations. I'm 6', about 175 lbs, early fifties, been riding since I was a kid and held an AMA pro road racing license for about a decade last century. I've got lots of track time from long ago, and many miles on the street. Have had way more bikes than I can remember from just about every continent, and most engine configurations.

The Brutale is very cool to ride. Suspension is good but not great. Brakes are good but not great. Ergos are fair - seat sucks (both angle and support), non-adjustable levers are too short, slightly cramped overall feel. The bike just feels small, but highly maneuverable. Short rides are a blast, but longer rides are very wearing. Build quality is good, but some of the plastic parts just feel cheap for an Italian special. Sound is amazing and the bike is just drop dead beautiful! I enjoy riding the Brutale, and the harder you work it, the more satisfying it is. But you need to work it to get the most out of it. It is not particularly relaxing - not that you always want to relax while riding, but sometimes enjoying the view is part of the fun. Range sucks - where does all that gas go!?

The Tuono is amazing. Fantastic suspension (note it has Olhins front and back - stock on the factory model) - the best I've ever ridden on. Front brakes are fantastic - super linear, super strong, rear sucks and is nearly useless. Ergos are good - seat support is fair, but position is good (a Sargent fixed this), controls are excellent, could use about an inch or two lower foot pegs if they wouldn't drag. The engine is amazing, twin torque with fast revs and great top end pull. Short rides are a gas, and I've toured on it for up to four days at a time. Ride it hard and it rewards, relax and you can just enjoy the ride. Every ride leaves you relaxed, exhilarated and with a smile that is hard to wipe off your face. Build quality is very good, but not great. Sound is OK. I've just never found it to be a beautiful bike but its other traits make up for the looks. Not sure about the looks of the 06 models. Overall, it's as good a bike as I've ever owned.

If I could only have one bike, the Tuono would be it hands down. That said, I enjoy the Brutal for what it is.
 

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spalding12 said:
the more i read this thread, the happier i am that my 910R will be coming soon

1. i'm only 5'6".... i'll fit on this bike better than most of you above
2. i'll have the brembo brakes... addressing the braking issues above

now.... about that steering dampener????
You'll undoubtedly love the bike. As for the steering dampener, I usually wouldn't ride a sport bike without one ... well, they all actually came stock on the several ducatis that I have. But I have crashed on another bike (a Japanese make) without one and it was entirely due to not having a steering stabilizer. I was actually waiting for a steering dampener to come on the market for the Brutale, but now I'm willing to wait to see the bike's response as I push it more. If you intend to do mainly street riding, you don't need it. But I have ridden the 910R hard, even on the streets, and it took bumps with ease in turns as well as speed in excess of 100 mph. I did not notice headshakes with bumps or at high speed. Yeah, the bike got bounced around, but that was the whole bike and not just the front end. The Marzolli fronts are incredible at guiding the bike and holding steady. If you only do one thing to the bike, I would highly recommend that the suspension gets set up for your dimensions.
 

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herrsonic said:
You'll undoubtedly love the bike. As for the steering dampener, I usually wouldn't ride a sport bike without one ... well, they all actually came stock on the several ducatis that I have. But I have crashed on another bike (a Japanese make) without one and it was entirely due to not having a steering stabilizer. I was actually waiting for a steering dampener to come on the market for the Brutale, but now I'm willing to wait to see the bike's response as I push it more. If you intend to do mainly street riding, you don't need it. But I have ridden the 910R hard, even on the streets, and it took bumps with ease in turns as well as speed in excess of 100 mph. I did not notice headshakes with bumps or at high speed. Yeah, the bike got bounced around, but that was the whole bike and not just the front end. The Marzolli fronts are incredible at guiding the bike and holding steady. If you only do one thing to the bike, I would highly recommend that the suspension gets set up for your dimensions.
thanks for this great post
i am a HUGE fan of steering dampeners as well
..... the "look" on the Brutale would be quite interesting

as for setting up the suspension for me... i surely hope that i can find someone to help me do JUST that

thanks for the great advice

have you seen any pictures... of a Brutale with a steering dampener installed?



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spalding12 said:
thanks for this great post
i am a HUGE fan of steering dampeners as well
..... the "look" on the Brutale would be quite interesting

as for setting up the suspension for me... i surely hope that i can find someone to help me do JUST that

thanks for the great advice

have you seen any pictures... of a Brutale with a steering dampener installed?
go to the emotouk.com website. I think they have some pictures.
 

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