MV Agusta have chosen the perfect name
for this bike. It really is, well... brutal.


Over the years I've ridden only a handful of bikes fast enough to scare me; my original Yamaha R1 and Kawasaki ZX10R being the most memorable examples. The Brutale 1090RR now joins that list.

Right from the off it tried to spit me off the back. The power delivery is akin to a big bore motocross machine. Modern sporty bikes don't tend to have such massive torque at low revs anymore. The fashion of late has been screaming rev limits at the expense of torque. The 1090RR engine is taken from last years' flagship F4 superbike monster, so I was expecting a rev-happy screamer. There was so much shove that I had to double check with STP Motorsport that it was running standard gearing. Even so it'll still top 165 miles per hour. Whoever tested this has a much stronger neck than me! That figure is entirely credible. Wow!

Mojo had found a good spot to grab some photos so we pulled in while he sets up his camera gear, the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the power of this bike. An empty piece of fresh tarmac that comes from nowhere and goes there too. Built for an Industrial Estate that is nowhere to be found and shut off with bollards at either end, just wide enough to fit a bike through.

In the 100 metres or so of road the MV lifts the front wheel in first gear. Then second, and again in third. No clutch, just throttle. All of this using less than half of the available rev range - a complete animal! On more than a few occasions I found myself running out of road. Just as well then that the Brutale is equipped with Brembo Monoblock Calipers powered by a Nissin master cylinder. I struggle to get passionate when writing about brakes. They either work well or they don't.

The stoppers on the Brutale are almost as impressive as the engine. It's no good having powerful brakes unless you have good feel through the lever. Both power and feel are in abundance on this machine. I was genuinely impressed. If stoppies are your thing then you will be spoilt. Hard braking will usually throw up another problem in the form of a juddering back wheel. Thankfully the slipper clutch fitted to the 1090RR works seamlessly.

It isn't just an old fashioned brute of an engine either. MV have reigned it in with an eight stage traction control system. It isn't the most refined, however - it runs off engine speed sensors rather than more sophisticated wheel speed sensors. If the rear wheel spins up it senses this and retards the ignition, hopefully saving your bacon. In all honesty I couldn't feel it working but I'm sure that it would make a handy addition for track use.

The Brutale has lots of high quality components all over it, as do the majority of Italian bikes lately. It may not have the Ohlins trickery found on the Ducati Streetfighter but the Sachs shock and Marzocchi do a brilliant job. Coupled with the Dunlop Qualifier rubber the handling was on par with the engine and braking - fantastic.

Comfort is also a strong point. I also spent time aboard the F4 and getting on the Brutale is a pleasure in comparison. The riding position is roomy and the wide, flat bars make it effortless to muscle around. It isn't the lightest machine in the class by a fair margin but it holds this weight well and unless I read the weight figures on paper it would be impossible to guess.


The more time I spend riding the Brutale the more I start to bond with it. There is a permanent smile etched onto my face. Then the fuel light comes on. Ouch! Surely it wasn't that long since I last filled up? It is a thirsty beast, but with a massive 21 litre tank, stops at the pumps are less frequent than perhaps they should be.

Even if the Brutale leaves you penniless due to its unquenchable thirst for Super Unleaded you can at least spend time poring over the beautiful details. The rear wheel for example is a work of art sitting proudly on full display on its single sided swingarm. The spokes are miniscule and it's hard to believe they can withstand such power. The twin exhaust system is kept stacked and stubby to avoid hiding the beauty of the rear wheel. The howl emanating from them has to be heard. The Italians somehow manage to get away with fitting loud exhausts as standard, and I have no complaints on that front.

Basking in a rare moment of sunshine while Mojo did his thing we were in agreement. The Italians know how to style a bike. Now that the F4 has developed a stubbier nose the Brutale is my favourite looking MV Agusta. Where riding enjoyment is concerned I'd choose the Brutale over the F4 as well. Being a diehard sportsbike fan this surprised me somewhat.
The fact is that for 99% of road riding the Brutale is more fun.
More torque.
More low down power.
More real world comfort, and most importantly, more grins.


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