MV Agusta always finds a way to debut one of its fashionable flagship models at the EICMA show in Milan. And while financial woes may have the Italian marque down, MV Agusta is by no means out with yet another beauty coming to light at this year’s Milan Bike Show – the 2017 Brutale 800 RR.
The Brutale model lineup has a rather confusing history, with multiple displacements and engine configurations, as well as various specifications within these divisions… But let’s set those discrepancies aside for the moment and first appreciate that the Brutale is one of the most visually striking designs in all of motorcycling. It’s styling may divide opinion, but the naked Brutale commands attention – its bold, aggressive lines punctuated by the curving, serrated pattern of its exhaust.
The 2017 RR styling has been updated and revised, yet maintains the predecessor’s signature looks. Probably the best example of this revision being the distinctively curved exhaust, which MV describes as “organ pipe” silencers, which hold the same general shape but appear larger and increase in volume. Other visual changes include the new LED taillight and indicators, with the fuel tank shape also revised. Again, the Brutale may divide opinion but most will still find it a visually alluring ride.
Alright, now back to the nitty gritty technical details. The Brutale 800 RR is based on the 798cc Inline Triple powering MV Agusta’s 800 designs, but the RR spec means added performance from engine tweaks like dual injectors for each cylinder. The 2017 800 RR claims 140 hp at 13,100 rpm and 63.4 lb-ft of torque at 10,100 rpm. That’s a dramatic jump from last year’s standard Brutale 800, which registers 116 hp and 61.2 lb-ft at a respective 11,500 and 7600 rpm. But that’s an apples to oranges comparison, as the standard Brutale sports a more street-friendly powerband than its higher-revving RR sibling. This 2017 RR is remarkable, however, in that it’s high-performance Triple meets Euro 4 regulations yet still retains its potency. In contrast, the standard 2016 Brutale’s Euro 4 update saw a loss in horsepower.
So what’s changed? MV hails refinements to the engine reduce not only emissions but also suppress noise by 50% compared to its predecessor. The list of new engine components includes a mechanical cam-chain tensioner, harmonic damper, camshafts and valve guides, all designed to reduce vibration and noise. The countershaft, starter motor and primary gear drive were also revamped to improve reliability. Transmission gears were tweaked as well for smoother shifts.
What’s unchanged? The Brutale’s 798cc displacement, including 79mm bore and 54.3mm stroke are identical. The electronics are familiar too, with the ride-by-wire Brutale RR offering four engine maps and an eight-level traction control system, although MV notes the throttle unit has been updated and the dashboard now includes on-board diagnostics. The Brutale also returns its impressive electronic shifter, which allows for clutchless shifts up and down the six-speed transmission. And if you want to shift by pulling in the clutch lever like an old fogey, the Brutale features a hydraulically-actuated wet clutch with slipper function.
Beyond that the Brutale is largely unchanged. Suspension components include a 43mm inverted Marzocchi fork and Sachs shock, both offering three-way adjustable for compression, rebound and preload. Brakes are very posh Brembo – 320mm discs and radial-mount four-piston calipers up front and single 220mm disc and dual-piston caliper out back – with Bosch 9 Plus ABS coming standard issue. Steering geometry is identical too, as is the 385.8-pound dry weight and 4.36-gallon fuel load.
The one notable update to the 2017 chassis is a new steering damper, offering eight levels of adjustment. This is a welcome change, as an ineffective steering damper was one of our few complaints during a previous ride experience aboard the 800 RR several years ago.
The 2017 MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR will be available in Carbon Black Metallic and Red Shock Pearl / Carbon Black Metallic colorways. MSRP is not yet available, but start saving up your lira now because this bike will likely command a pretty price.