MV Agusta President Giovanni Castiglioni and CEO Massimo Bordi had mentioned that there would be a highly extroverted, supermoto-inspired model in the Three line. And the new Rivale (Rival) 800 is exactly that. It’s also a smart investment for MV Agusta, in that it’s based on the engine and rolling gear of the F3 and Brutale 675 and 800. The MV Agusta F3/Brutale 675 chassis is absolutely excellent, and the engine is great in its 675cc or stroked 800cc form (79mm x 54.3mm), which puts out 125 hp at 11,600 rpm and 60 ft.-lb. of torque at 8600 rpm. The Brutale 800’s full electronic suite has been adopted, which includes ride-by-wire, traction control and selectable mapping and all.
Powered by what promises to be one of the best three-cylinder engines in production, the Rivale sports a very aggressive look in every detail. What MV Agusta did not need to invest in technical development, it spent on design and very accurate detailing of every single component—everything from the rearview mirrors and lights the seat and tank. The tank looks a little too bulbous, but it’s well integrated in the design. There are a few touches of excessive aggressiveness in the design, as if MV Agusta were still back in the days when Miguel Galluzzi designed the Cagiva Raptor.
The Rivale is equipped with a 45mm Marzocchi fork and a Sachs shock absorber tuned to offer additional wheel travel, compared to the units fitted on the the Brutale 675/800. Front end geometry has been slightly altered, featuring an extra half-degree of rake. Final numbers have not been released yet, but we do know the Rivale’s dry weight of 375 lb. creates an attractive power-to-weight ratio, made fully exploitable by the excellent chassis and full electronic assist. Stay tuned for more details.