2010 MV Agusta Brutale 990R and 1090RR First Impressions

Kevin Duke
by Kevin Duke
MV Agusta has revealed the latest iterations of its Brutale naked sportbikes. Although looking much like the previous 989R and 1078RR, these new editions have been full overhauled with revisions to their four-cylinder engines and significant chassis tweaks.

Both versions use a lighter engine crankcase than before, and both have names that suggest a displacement different than what is actually under the tank. The 990R has a 998cc motor, up from the 982cc 989R via a stroke increase and a bore reduction. The larger and more expensive Brutale, the 1090RR, retains the old 1078RR’s 1098cc displacement. According to factory claims, both models have less peak horsepower, but the 989R receives a slight bump in torque. Both models include a traction-control system, and the RR adds features like a slipper clutch, larger brake rotors and forged aluminum wheels.

More info and some early riding impressions from Italy after the jump.

The previous Brutales were massively fun to ride, but their handling qualities bordered on skittish. So MV has given the new versions more sedate chassis specs by lengthening the wheelbase with a longer swingarm and more relaxed steering geometry. Style updates include a new headlight, mirrors with integrated LED turnsignals and a new instrument package. Pricing is typical Italian exotica, with the 990R retailing for $15,000 and the MSRP for the 1090RR set at $18,000.

Our European correspondent, Tor Sagen, is currently testing both Brutales in and around the Misano circuit in Italy, and here are his early impressions:

I have now ridden the two new Brutale models both on the road and on track. I’ve still got more sessions on Misano before I’m done. On the road both bikes have plenty of power and the 1090 RR is one of the best wheelie machines out there as it power wheelies in third gear. Both chassis are composed and stable.

The 1090 RR has got better brakes than the 990 R and a lot more feel. The power band in the 1090 version is also somewhat more pleasing both on the road and on the track and not only because of the extra horsepower. But despite all this the 990 R is still one of the more potent naked streetfighters out there.

Despite the easy wheelies on the road, the Brutale 1090 RR doesn’t wheelie at will out of corners or when hard on the throttle from lower speed. It’s actually very composed and a steering damper keeps the front in check most of the time too.

Turning the bikes hard from left to right on the circuit isn’t the very easiest thing in the world compared to a full on sportsbike. The fuel injection also causes some hiccups here and there both on the road and on the circuit but less so on the latter. The 990 R suffers more than the 1090RR in this area particularly when you want to modulate the throttle from slow to faster.

More to come the full article…

Kevin Duke
Kevin Duke

More by Kevin Duke

Join the conversation