2021 MV Agusta Brutale and Dragster Line - First Look
Massive electronics update bring the Brutale and Dragster into the 21st century.
It says something when the biggest talking point about an updated motorcycle is the electronics package, but that’s exactly where we’ll begin as today MV Agusta has announced its updated Brutale and Dragster lineup for 2021.
Now, to be clear, there’s plenty to talk about with the Brutale and Dragster. You don’t have a rolling art exhibit like these two bikes and not talk about them, but focusing too much on the nuts and bolts of these two machines is not really the point. Let’s just take a second to admire the eye-catching looks MV designers have so masterfully sculpted.
Love them or hate them, the Brutale and Dragster RR are not motorcycles you’re ambivalent about. The minimal yet angular styling for this middleweight streetfighter family is as stunning as ever, even down to the three styled exhaust outlets that expel the 798cc Triple’s spent gasses. With the Dragster the extremely short tail section helps the eye capture the extreme compactness of the bike, while the wire-spoke wheels are proudly on display to enhance the stunning image. But these days in the sportybike world it seems you’re only as good as your electronics package, and MV Agusta has finally joined the modern age.
Taking advantage of its exclusive partnership with Milan-based company e-Novia, the 2021 Brutale and Dragster now wear a 6-axis IMU from them, enabling the traction control, launch control, front lift control, and cornering-ABS to be, in MV’s words, “precise and accurate.” Regarding the C-ABS, its control module is a MK1000 unit from Continental, continuing a partnership that has lasted for some time and eschewing the Bosch system seen on most other motorcycles.
Nonetheless, incorporating a six-axis IMU and the brains to fully take advantage of it brings the Brutale and Dragster 800’s performance capabilities on par with the competition. Its front lift control, while ostensibly a way to keep wheelies in check, is more accurately described, at least by MV’s head of R&D Brian Gillen, as a way to maximize acceleration.
Turning our attention to some electronics we actually can see, there’s now a new 5.5-inch TFT screen. Apart from showing you all the usual information you’re used to seeing in a gauge display, with the MV Ride app it can pair with your phone and record and share your route. It can display turn-by-turn navigation right there on the screen. And now that there’s cruise control on the Brutale, your hands are (momentarily) freed up to check what the next few turns or exits will look like.
Engine and Chassis
Moving to the hardware side of things, both bikes keep the counter-rotating 798cc Triple. It’s now Euro 5 compliant and MV says it still pumps out 140 hp. A redesigned exhaust system surely helps it meet tightening emission requirements, while inside the engine DLC-coated tappets and sintered valve guides help keep the top end more reliable. New fuel injectors raise injection pressure from 3.5 bar to 4.0. Down below you’ll find new crankshaft main bearings, piston rod bearings, and countershaft bearings to reduce friction. On the gearbox side, EAS 3.0 has a new sensor for faster, smoother, more accurate gear changes.
On the chassis side, the frame has new side plates for improved torsional and longitudinal rigidity, while the rear suspension linkage now has a different progression rate. The shock itself gets a new spring and the internal valving is altered. Up front the Marzocchi fork also gets new valving to match the rear. From where the rider sits, literally, there’s new, more comfortable seat foam to better cushion your backside from high-frequency bumps.
One of the Dragster’s most distinguishing features is its huge wire-spoke wheels, and for 2021 that trend continues. Spooned onto that six-inch rear wheel is a 200/55 series Pirelli tire. Its profile is now said to be taller to give the bike better handling abilities.
Speaking of gear changes, continuing on in 2021 are the Brutale and Dragster RR SCS. In short, the Smart Clutch System, built in collaboration with Rekluse, basically eliminates the need for the clutch lever so there’s no fear of stalling. This sounds appealing if you live somewhere with lots of congestion and lane sharing is illegal. Fortunately, if you do want to keep clicking off gears, a fully-operational shift lever is still in its usual spot.
Rounding out the lineup is the Rosso. Some would say this is the “dumbed down” version of the Brutale and Dragster, but other than a reduction in power to 112 hp, all the other changes apply to the Rosso as well, including the IMU, TFT screen, and suspension updates. Stylistically, both Rosso models get cast wheels, and while that’s a bigger visual difference on the Dragster, the split 10-spoke rear wheel on the Dragster looks especially cool. The Rosso is less expensive than the standard models to help attract more riders to the brand, though official US pricing for any of the models hasn’t been confirmed as of press time.
|Colors||Brutale RR/Brutale RR SCS/Brutale Rosso:Carbon Black Metallic/Avio Grey MetallicShock Pearl Red/Avio GreyAgo Red (Brutale Rosso)|
Dragster RR/Dragster RR SCS/Dragster Rosso:Matt Magnum Silver/Matt Metallic Dark GreyMatt Magnum Avio Grey/Matt Metallic Dark GreyMatt Ago Red (Dragster Rosso)
|Engine Type||Liquid-Cooled three-cylinder with counter-rotating crankshaft; 4 valves/cylinder, DOHC|
|Engine Management||Integrated ignition – injection system MVICS 2.1 (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) with six injectors. Engine control unit Eldor Nemo 2.1, throttle body full ride by wire Mikuni, pencil-coil with ion-sensing technology, control of detonation and misfire. Torque control with four maps. Traction Control with eight levels of intervention|
|Bore x Stroke||79 mm x 54.3 mm (3.1 in. x 2.1 in.)|
|Final Drive||Chain 16/41|
|Fuel Capacity||4.36 gallons (16.5 liters)|
|Torque||64 lb-ft at 10,250 rpm, claimed|
|Horsepower||140 @ 12,300 rpm (112 hp for Rosso models)|
|Chassis Type||Steel trellis|
|Rake/Trail||24.5º/4.1 in (103.5 mm)|
|Front Suspension||Marzocchi “UPSIDE DOWN” aluminium telescopic hydraulic fork with DLC treatment, with anodized fork legs and having rebound-compression damping and spring preload external and separate adjustment, 43 mm diameter, 4.92 in (125 mm) travel|
|Rear Suspension||Progressive Sachs, single shock absorber with rebound and compression damping and spring preload adjustment, 5.12 in (130 mm) travel|
|Front Brake||Double floating disc with 320 mm (12.6 in.) diameter, with steel braking disc and flange, Brembo radial-type calipers with 4 32 mm pistons 32 mm (1.26 in.). Cornering ABS standard|
|Rear Brake||Single 220 mm rotor with single 2-piston caliper, Cornering ABS standard|
|Rear Tire||180/55-17 (Dragster: 200/55-17)|
|Front Wheel||3.5″ x 17″|
|Rear Wheel||5.5″ x 17″ (Dragster: 6.0″ x 17″)|
|Dry Weight (claimed)||385.8 lbs (|
|Ground Clearance||5.31 in (135 mm)|
|Length||80.51 in (Dragster: 80.12 in)|
|Seat Height||32.68 in (Dragster: 33.27 in)|
|Wheelbase||55.12 in (1626 mm)|