2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 Review

There’s an even more pragmatic MV Agusta coming in the Turismo Veloce, and I’ve a feeling we’ll be seeing more versatile models from MV in the future. But for now, the Stradale 800 is the most comfortable, user-friendly motorcycle in the MV range. Who would have thought the bespoke maker of sporting motorcycles would launch a quasi sport-touring bike with bags and a small windscreen?

Straddling the Stradale, it’s immediately apparent that this is a different kind of MV Agusta. The fairing and cowling design are the same as the Rivale but that’s it, everything else is pure Stradale. The beautifully stitched leather seat is comfortable, and neither too tall nor too short. The standard 34.2-inch seat can be swapped for an optional 33.5-inch high one. The reach to the handlebar allows a vertical seating position with no strain on my wrists.

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2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 First Impressions

Motorcycle.com’s European correspondent, Tor Sagen, has just completed riding the 2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 in Southern Spain, where he provides these first impressions. As mentioned in our preview of the Stradale 800 from EICMA 2014, this is MV Agusta’s attempt at tapping into the lightweight touring market. Whereas the Turismo Veloce has a more substantial half fairing and windscreen, the Stradale takes a more minimal approach, essentially slapping bags and an adjustable windscreen onto a Rivale.

To recap the Stradale’s vital stats, it’s powered by the same 798cc Inline-Triple as the Rivale, with counter-rotating crankshaft to minimize inertia during side-to-side transitions. The Electronic MVICS suite is back, which includes four different power modes, ABS with rear-wheel lift mitigation and quickshifter for full-throttle clutchless upshifts. Crucially, the Stradale gets a 4.2-gallon fuel tank, 1 gallon larger than the Rivale for more touring range. Stay tuned, as Tor will return soon with a more substantial Stradale First Ride review. -TS

The 2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 is the first MV Agusta I’ve ridden with saddlebags. The Stradale is not exactly a touring bike, but it’s as close as MV’s ever been. The Tourismo Veloce, MV’s other new touring rig, will arrive early in 2015, but it’s unlikely the Stradale 800, with its Rivale-inspired tilt to touring, will steal any of its thunder.

At first glance, the Stradale looks like the Rivale, and it’s mainly because most of the design features are borrowed from the Rivale. In the engine bay, we find an 800cc Triple with 115 horsepower and a torque curve optimized for everyday riding. The swingarm is longer and the suspension softer (than the Rivale), which makes the Stradale the very best everyday MV Agusta to date, in my opinion.

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Best Streetfighter / Hooligan of 2014

By John Burns

With this bike, the advertising is actually pretty accurate. KTM’s website concludes the Super Duke R’s descriptor with this: “The new KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R transforms optimum performance with maximum safety into ultimate riding pleasure.”

Yes it does make 156 hp on the Dynojet 250, only a couple more than the BMW S1000R it narrowly beat out this year, but the KTM also makes 96.5 ft-lb of torque to the BMW’s not-quite-80, and in comparing those numbers you’ll find a big part of the KTM’s magic. Twist the throttle a little and bimble along slow as you want. Give it a big whack and become Gumby, as the Austrian express pulls you by your elastic arms into next week. There’s no waiting, no necessity to plan your trip ahead of time.

2014 Super Naked Street Brawl + Video

It’s fast enough to be scary, really, if not for all the ingenious electronics that keep you from hurting yourself. Ride-by-wire gives you the engine response you should’ve requested. Lean-angle-sensing traction control has your back in Rain, Street and Sport modes (or you can turn it off). Antilock brakes also take their cues from the mode you select, and add Supermoto as well – which allows you to lock the rear but not the front.

The performance is definitely there, but what boosted the KTM into the win was its even more impressive user interface. Tall riders who moan about not being able to fit on hi-po sportbikes, especially for lack of legroom, should try on the SDR for size. Its handlebar has a bit more rise than its competitors, placing the rider in an almost adventure-bike uprightness that works amazingly well everywhere. The transverse V-Twin layout lets it be skinny between your knees and ankles, then its big fuel tank bulges out in the right places for both trackday elbow dragging and comfy commuting, while air flows smoothly around the gas tank and headlight nacelle. Although lacking electronic suspension, the Duke’s manually adjustable units are practically faultless – they maintain order in the face of complete chaos and also lull you into a false sense of being on some sort of sport-tourer when the road goes straight and flat. We can’t remember a bike that blends this much performance with so much comfort and ease of use.

This one’s a game changer, and a strong contender for the coveted MOBOTY14, it really is.

Former GP racer Jeremy McWilliams explains his role in helping KTM develop the Super Duke R, with some lovely track footage showing the SDR’s sensational performance capabilities.

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Mega Motard Shootout: 2014 Ducati Hypermotard SP Vs. MV Agusta Rivale + Video

By Tom Roderick and Troy Siahaan

The coolest thing about the Ducati Hypermotard SP and MV Agusta Rivale is that both bikes are built for the sole purpose of having a damn good time. Where other motorcycles must perform dutifully to their design parameters such as sport-touring or dual-purposing, these two party animals have no such restrictions.

Party animals have their drawbacks, though, the worst being their proclivity for convincing you to do really stupid things at incredibly inappropriate times. For the record, no cute, furry four-leggers were harmed during this shootout, but laws were intentionally, repeatedly flouted, ignored and broken. No, seriously officer, it’s our job.

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