When MV Agusta’s Claudio Castiglioni and Massimo Bordi announced their future plans after the former’s reacquisition of the Italian brand from Harley-Davidson last year, Castiglioni stressed that for the company to survive, it must increase production numbers. This would require building some lesser-priced models more accessible to a broader range of consumers. Naked standards are a natural fit for MV Agusta.
A 921cc version of the Brutale is the first of these “gateway” models. The radial-valve Four is less radical than its 990 and 1090RR counterparts in terms of bore/stroke ratio. Stroke measures 55mm—same as on the 990 and 1090—but bore is down to 73mm. Fed by a quartet of 46mm Mikuni throttle bodies and compressed at 13.0:1, the new engine delivers a claimed 129 horsepower at 10,500 rpm, with 70.1 foot-pounds of torque at 8100 rpm.
The injection/ignition system is managed by the latest Marelli 5SM ECU and offers two power delivery modes: Standard (97 hp) and Sport (the full 129 hp). The torque curve is also radically modified in its peak value, reduced to 63 ft.-lb. at 5500 rpm in Standard mode. A traction-control system offering eight selectable levels of intervention is included as standard equipment. In full-power mode, claims MV, the Brutale is good for 165 mph. (Doesn’t sound like much fun on a naked!)
The rolling gear has been duly adapted to the bike’s more flexible mission. The basic measurements remain unaltered, with the wheelbase spanning 56.3 inches and the front-end geometry set at 25 degrees of rake and 4.1 in. of trail. The major components remain first-class, with a 50mm Marzocchi inverted fork and a Sachs shock, both fully adjustable. Radial-mount, four-piston Brembo calipers pinch 310mm discs. The only structural variation to the legendary MV frame is represented by a new, stiffer steering head, and the suspension has softer standard settings. Pirelli’s new Angel sport-touring tires in 120/70-17 and 180/55-17 sizes are fitted front and rear.
Minor styling updates underline the new bike’s personality, while a major evolution comes in the form of a more comfortable seat with a lower, 32.5-inch height.
As of this writing, MV Agusta USA isn’t sure about its plans to import this version of the Brutale, but if it were to do so, don’t expect it to arrive earlier than 2012. The bike will go on sale in Italy soon, with a retail price of about $15,500 (11,990 euros) at current exchange rates, it is about $4500 cheaper than the 990RR in that market. Two color options will be available in Italy: Titanium Gray and Matte White.