During his presentation about the new Brutale 675 middleweight naked bike, MV Agusta CEO Massimo Bordi laid down a sequence of charts in an attempt to prove that these tough economic times offer a great opportunity for a competitively priced, three-cylinder roadster to be successful.
Charts? Statistics? Can any of this really have any role in the final success or failure of a motorcycle? Thankfully, the driving force for success in motorcycling is still the ability to light that sacred fire in the guts of enthusiasts.
I had the opportunity to sample the Brutale 675 on a test track, where I was able to push the bike to respectable levels of performance. First impression? This lovely looking machine has what it takes to get the job done.
Because the Brutale 675 is the naked counterpart to the F3 sportbike, the two models share major mechanical components. This may sound logical, but such practical engineering has not always been the case at MV. But as a result of that common platform, the Brutale 675 is priced at a rather accessible $11,498 in the U.S. An eight-level traction-control system and the EAS quickshifter are standard for our market.
The Brutale’s engine is in a milder state of tune than that of the 126-horsepower F3. There are no titanium valves, compression ratio is reduced from 13.0:1 to 12.3:1, milder cam profiles and timing are used, and 47mm throttle bodies work with single injectors. The result is a healthy claimed 110 hp at 12,500 rpm and 48 foot-pounds of torque at 12,000 rpm.
In terms of its compactness and lightness, the engine is a work of art, and its 114 pounds helps keep the bike down to just 368 lb. dry, says MV. The inline-Three is easily harnessed in a steel tubular trellis-frame chassis spanning a mere 54.3-in. wheelbase.
Front suspension is by a non-adjustable but well-tuned Marzocchi 43mm inverted fork. At the rear, a preload- adjustable Sachs shock is teamed with an aluminum single-sided swingarm. Seat height is 31.9 in., and the saddle itself is narrow where it counts but rather uncomfortable. Because the bike is light, ultra-agile, smooth and civilized, it is more than adequate for everyday commuting or weekend touring, but a more comfortably padded seat would help it be more versatile.
On the track, the 675 was excellent, with quick turn-in, dead-neutral steering and surefooted cornering. The limiting factor in terms of handling was the stock Pirelli Angel tires. These long-mileage tires are perfectly suitable on the road, but stickier rubber would have been nice at the track.
During some street-style “sixth-gear-only” laps, the engine was smooth and flexible but showed its wild side on the hot ones. When the 675 revs past 7000 rpm, the exhaust note comes on strong and the engine starts roaring and screaming. I set the bike’s throttle mode in Sport from the start and switched off the TC. Traction and engine response were excellent when starting exit drives, despite the limitations of the tires.
Otherwise, the MV Agusta Brutale 675 proves to be a true enthusiast’s bike while also offering a versatile, practical personality to go along with it.