2012 MV Agusta Brutale 675 Review
Exotic Italian streetfighter at a relative budget
We just finished riding the sexy MV Agusta F3 at New Jersey Motorsports Park. It works nearly as well as it looks, which is quite a statement about what could be the sexiest sportbike on the market. Tune in on Monday to read our report and watch a video of it.
MV Agusta has launched the Brutale 675 to be its budget contender enabling the Varese firm to tap into a bigger market. A budget MV Agusta, however, is still expected to place itself right at the top in its segment.
The Brutale 675 features a newly developed three-cylinder engine based off the highly compact design used in the F3 I tested a few months ago, now rated at 108.5 horsepower instead of the 129 hp in the F3.
The swanky naked streetfighter is aimed right at motorcycles such as the Triumph Street Triple R, Honda CB600F, Kawasaki Z750, Ducati Monster 1100, Suzuki GSR750 and Yamaha FZ8. At €8,990 (roughly $10,945) the Brutale 675 is definitely in the upper range in terms of price, but this is now the cheapest entry in the MV Agusta lineup. The F3 and B3 are the first two models in what MV promises will be an extensive line-up featuring affordable three-cylinder power.
Like the F3, the Brutale 675 features 8-stage traction control and three riding modes, which straight away makes it one of the most high-tech middleweight nakeds. In a motorcycle with 108.5 horsepower that weighs only 368 lbs. dry, I’m personally not very interested in traction control nor ABS brakes unless I’d get to trash it on a wet road. Instead, we enjoyed hot temperatures and dry roads, so I started out with everything turned off. ABS brakes aren’t available with MV Agusta yet, so that’s out of the question anyway.
The 675cc Triple growls to life when fired up, sounding like something quite a bit larger than a 600. The B3 isn’t the naked with the lowest seat height in the class, but it’s maybe the most compact and still novice-friendly. It’s easy to release the slightly heavy clutch and get moving in first gear. The balance whilst moving slowly out of the factory gates is almost perfect.
The Brutale 675 is very easy to get used to. Fellow motorcycle tester Toshi from Japan comments that the B3 suits him perfect and he’s not a big guy. I’m 6-foot and also felt comfortable despite the compact externals.
MV Agusta has opted for Pirelli Angel ST tires in standard sport dimensions of 120/70-ZR17 front and a 180/55-ZR17 rear and provide superb everyday grip. With only 368 lbs. to stop, the radial-mount Brembos feel more powerful than on something with more bulk anyway.
The 43mm Marzocchi fork feels good for sporty riding but felt a bit hard for our varied riding. Hard on the brakes it’s great but perhaps lacks a little feel if the cornering isn’t fast enough. The Sachs rear shock tackles all I can give it and the standard set-up works just fine for a road ride. The Brutale 675 likes to go fast, and the faster we go the better everything feels.
The Brutale 675’s chassis and engine are impressive. This version of the 675cc Triple responds nicely from around 4500 rpm despite the max torque figure (48 ft-lbs.) only appearing at 12,000 rpm. It’s by no means a torque monster, but it can be ridden comfortably on low revs and high gears for an economic and relaxing commute. The real fun starts at 10,000 revs when the Triple roars out of the three stubby pipes on the right-hand side.
The fuel injection and ride-by-wire throttle response is much improved over the F3, and coupled with a very smooth gearbox, it’s just a delight to change gears. The clutch is a bit hard which could make you tired in the long run.
The mixed steel trellis and aluminum chassis hugs the super compact engine and makes for a very light and easy-handling motorcycle. Changing direction is even easier than on the F3, so the Brutale 675 is one quick motorcycle when it comes to cornering. Connected to the chassis is a single-sided swing arm which, due to the short engine, is very long to provide plenty of stability.
The Brutale 675 feels like that type of motorcycle that will obey any little input, and for that reason it can be ridden really hard. We weren’t really going fast enough in perfect conditions to test the traction control, so riding with TC off was the best for this test.
A rider’s motorcycle it is then, and much more than just a daily commute vehicle. Shortly MV Agusta will also offer the EAS quick shifter option for a €300 (roughly $365) premium. MV Agusta will likely offer an ABS option next year for those that must have that extra safety.
The Brutale 675 has approximately 18 horsepower less than the F3, but for pure road riding you really don’t need those extra ponies when you can have so much fun on the Brutale 675. The B3 is perfect in town with a riding position that doesn’t make your arms tired, but it still maintains a sporty stance more so than the other offerings in this segment.
The Brutale 675 instantly looks a little more modern than its 4-cylinder rivals, and the iconic MV front headlamp is reworked a little to accommodate modern solutions such as LED lighting. Looking at the B3 right next to a B4, there is something missing in the front exhaust area where on the B4 the lines are perfect whilst there is a lot of air around the three pipes exiting the cylinders on the B3.
Massimo Bordi, MV Agusta General Manager, told us the Brutale 675 was the last model the late Claudio Castiglioni signed off in its entirety. Bordi promises many more exciting models from MV Agusta in the future, and already at this year’s EICMA show in Milan we will get to see the next one.
It’s been quite a wait for us to test the all new Brutale 675, but the wait was worth it. The Brutale 675 is a fantastic motorcycle that can do both fast and slow riding almost equally well, but with an emphasis on the fast. The midrange has been tuned for road usage whilst maintaining an exciting top end. The super compact engine and chassis just fits the Brutale perfect, so it’s very evident that this model was in the planning at the same time as the F3.
If you’re a purist I suspect that you’ll still stick to the old Brutale with the more powerful 4-cylinder engine, but if you fancy something new with an entertaining Triple engine, then the Brutale 675 is it. It’s slightly more hardcore than the rest but in a good way. However, you’ll have to wait until early 2013 to get one in America, pricing yet to be determined.