Ashish realises a childhood dream, as he gets his first ride on an MV Agusta. And now that the brand is in India thanks to the Kinetic Group, you could to…
It’s 2am – time to get some sleep. Barely a few minutes later, the alarm goes off. Well, if you consider that ‘barely a few minutes after’ is basically 5am. I’ve got an early morning flight to take. Time to be rapid. Very! Still, I was fuming at that alarm clock.
I’ve been a forever fan of MV Agusta. It all started when I was given a scale model of Agostini’s race-bike. I was four-years-old back then. The ‘red-and-silver’ motorcycle maker became my favourite. And it remains so till now. But I need to confess something – I hadn’t ridden an MV before this day. That love for the brand stems from just how beautiful these things look, and the passion invested by every artisan who works on them. I’ve watched documentaries, and read numerous articles. Italy is home to many iconic, unparalleled, motorcycle brands – Ducati, Aprilia, Bimota, Benelli, Moto Guzzi, among others – and each of them is about undying passion and exquisite work. All of them are equal – and, yet, some are more equal than others. And that’s where MV Agusta has been able to carve out a niche for itself.
I reached Kinetic’s facility in Pune, and it was time to get down to business. Now, for those of you who are preparing to blast me with rude comments for not telling you about the hard-core performance and handling, please pause. I got very limited riding time (thanks to the constant downpour). Plus, I rode the Brutale much like how it’s been positioned – a street naked. We hadn’t planned a track-test – but that may change in the coming months, once I’ve done enough pleading to get the guys at Kinetic-MV Agusta to loan me a bike for some track-time at the BIC.
Italians are possibly the most stylish and fashion-forward people. They also create some of the most striking machines. While the Brutale isn’t an instantly, outlandishly, standout design, it does look quite good. And the build quality and finish is top rate.
It’s got that proud Italian personality in the way it announces its presence. It’s got a ‘don’t care’ attitude – borderline rude – but exactly the character element that lends it a distinct nature. It mocks the green mentalists and conservationists. The 789cc (123bhp, 81Nm) engine makes a sound worthy of a serious, performance-focused sport bike. It’s proud of being loud and raw. The Japanese would say it has an ego problem, that it’s vulgar. The MV would take it as a compliment. In a market that flaunts synthesised sounds, the MV here sounds refreshingly industrial in some ways. It’s beautiful!
I didn’t really get enough seat time on the Brutale. The relentless shower, sodden tarmac and oafish motorists ensured that I couldn’t really go out there and burden the sidewalls of the tyres. But I did get a little bit of a free space to open the throttle, and get the revs up to about 8-9k. Because there was a marketplace right around the corner, I did manage to ride the Brutale through some serious everyday traffic too.
The engine is a masterstroke. Yes, it can be a bit rough when it’s cold, but get it warmed up and it settles down quite well. It’s not overly high-strung – and that’s the most crucial bit. There’s a very good spread of torque in the lower revs, and you can go along at reasonable city speeds – even in top gear. And, when you feel the need, just open the throttle and the strong mid-range will propel you towards a high heart rate in no time.
While the Brutale doesn’t come with a slipper clutch, it does have an electronic trick to get those fast gear changes done. And while you can clutch every gear in, try going through the cogs without the clutch – I found it to be much smoother. What I didn’t find that good was the fact that the seat was quite hard, and the suspension could do with slightly more give. Wearing regular jeans, it can leave your backside a bit sore. And it’s a bit of a pest to get into riding pants for your daily commute – something that my everyday-superbike-riding friends tell me. The bike also gets hot, and your legs can get uncomfortably warm.
Yes, I’ll have to reserve judgement till we get the bike for a little longish time – but nothing can take away from the fact that I’d finally spent time with a name that I’ve fancied for years. A child was left beaming – the child inside me. I’d become the four year-old who’d met his hero brand, and I want to do it again-and-again. And again!
I got back home, downloaded the pics on my laptop and started going through them. A smile was plastered on my face. I lounged a bit, ready to sleep. And, just then, I spotted the alarm clock. It’s no more…
- MV Agusta Brutale
Transmission: 6-Speed / Constant Mesh
Power: 123bhp @ 11,600rpm
Torque: 81Nm @ 8,600rpm