2023 MV Agusta Brutale 800RR: 5 Things You Need To Know
Exotica has its quirks
It’s hard not to stop and stare at the MV Agusta Brutale 800RR. Its minimalist design leaves plenty of white space for the eyes to imagine what could be, while the space that is filled leaves the eyes admiring the lovely forms and sharp edges. There’s no doubt the Brutale 800RR is an attractive motorcycle to look at, but how does it fare against its contemporaries? To find out, we put it up against the Ducati Streetfighter V2, Triumph Street Triple 765RS, and KTM 890 Duke R to find out.
You’ll have to read the Shootout to see how the MV did, but after spending some time with the bike both on the roads and on the racetrack, we’ve come away with Five Things You Need to Know about the MV Agusta Brutale 800RR.
Improved Power Delivery and Engine Performance
Traditionally, MV engines have been able to make power, but haven’t been very refined in how that power is made or delivered. The 2023 Brutale 800RR changes that and features a more refined power curve and fuel delivery, offering a linear power plant that the rider feels more connected to. Better still, the 800cc Triple engine sounds absolutely brilliant, even with the stock exhaust, the closer you inch to its 13,000-plus rpm redline.
MV's Questionable Quirks
As far as pure emotions go, the MV Triple riled up all four testers in our recent test. Some described it as having a unique and intense character, while others simply called it a wasp's nest, particularly when revving towards the redline. The autoblipper gets praise for being well executed and enhances the overall riding experience, providing satisfying pops from the exhaust during upshifts.
Things take a turn when you get to the bike’s electronics. Our test bike would have intermittent cases where check engine lights would flash and traction control had been disabled, even though everything seemed normal and we had only ridden the bike under normal conditions. If we actually owned this bike, it would be cause for alarm – even more so if our dealer were several hours away.
Beauty comes at a cost, it seems, and the Brutale 800RR’s notable drawback is the complete discomfort from the seat. Not only is it not well padded, but the contours are so narrow that they dig into your thighs (and sometimes other places!). Riding in a straight line for an extended period becomes a challenge, if you catch our drift. Also, the rather straight angle of the bars isn’t so bad in isolation, but in comparison to the more comfortable bends that the other three bikes have, you realize you’re sitting a little awkwardly on the MV. Then again, if you don’t ride other bikes you won’t even notice.
Handling and Stability
There are mixed feelings with the Brutale 800RR’s handling and stability. On smooth roads it’s an agile and quick little thing. A short wheelbase clearly helps with that. Even still, there’s quite a bit of chassis flex and a little head shake if you’re riding it hard, especially on the track. It’s not daunting – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. It makes you feel like you’re getting the most out of yourself and the bike while it’s happening. It may not necessarily translate into fast laps, but it’ll definitely get your blood pumping. In a good way.
However, this same excitement is what hurts the MV on uneven surfaces. Choppy pavement gets the chassis bent out of shape, contributing to a lack of stability and confidence, especially when encountering bumps mid-corner. The whole bike suddenly feels like an out-of-control handful. Clearly, that’s not a good thing. Adjusting the clickers helps to a degree, but this goes beyond the scope of changing a click here or a turn there.
There’s a cost for exotica, and the MV Agusta Brutale 800RR is the perfect example. For nearly $20,000, this is the most expensive motorcycle in our test – and by a huge margin over the Triumph and KTM. It’s great to look at, and a thrill ride in the right conditions, but in our opinion, you have to really be a fan of its looks or riding character to like it better than the Street Triple or Duke.
Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at Motorcycle.com in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.
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