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The looks of an angelic Satan, the sound of duelling chainsaws – MV’s new 800 RR is simply delicious

My first ride on a MV Agusta Brutale wasn’t so much a ride, as a long succession of laughing fits. How the hell had someone produced such a raucous machine in 2004 (the first Brutale was released in 2001), right when other manufacturers were delivering new levels of bland. It was too loud, too peaky, too temperamental – I loved it.

That early Brutale was a real rider’s bike: you bought it for no other reason than to soak up all the emotions riding a motorcycle can bring. It wasn’t super practical, refined or in any way sensible. I thought it was a brave, but most probably short-lived model.

Thankfully I wasn’t the only one who appreciated the two-wheeled craziness a Brutale offered, and the model has thrived.

And now, here we are with the 2018 800 RR – and it’s the best Brutale yet.

Brutale RR 800

Australian Motorcycle News was offered this bike fresh off the boat, with just 20km on the clock and looking so scarily new, I felt destined to be the first to put a scratch on it. Which would be a travesty given I reckon it’s still one of the best-looking bikes ever made. Although we had it for only a single day, it was better that, than missing the chance to ride it until later.   

Walking around it for the first time, my hand dragging over the outlandish lines, wondering what those pipes will sound like since Euro4 regulations influenced its trademark sound. I also feared for my licence. A Brutale has a way of making sane men and women ride with the kind of freedom this bike oozes. Try explaining that to a speed camera.

Firing it up, my concerns regarding a diplomatically-muted exhaust bark were blown away, literally. It still sounds angry, though more refined and the sheer joy of snatching two rapid downshifts into a corner have to be heard to be believed.

Read the full feature in the current issue of AMCN (Vol 67 No 14)  on sale now


Brutale RR 800