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Part beauty, part beast: Test riding the MV Agusta Brutale 1090

MV Agusta, the iconic Italian motorcycle artisan, is now in India officially, and we are rubbing our eyes in disbelief

For the uninitiated, MV Agusta, or Meccanica Verghera Agusta — founded by a Count, no less — has been creating exquisite art on two wheels for the past 70 years. From faired super-sport bikes to sculpted muscular examples, MV Agusta tends to capture the imagination and hearts of several motorcycle aspirants (being out of reach for many, it goes without saying).

Just look at Brutale’s proportions: the wheels, the panels, the headlamp garnish, the 23-litre tank, and that red-head engine — weak-in-the-knees stuff, to say the least. Take a closer look around and you begin to notice detail in every part of construction. The minor etches in metal. The extra winglet of construction to make it stand out. The softer side of it has been coaxed to bend in ways.

The window into the bike’s electronic wizardry
The window into the bike’s electronic wizardry

Time to wake the animal. The Brutale 1090 is surprisingly light. Push the starter and the 1,078-cc in-line four comes to life with an unholy combination of bark and growl. The 1090 makes 144 PS at 10,300 RPM and 112 Nm of torque from a relatively low 8,100 RPM. Want more numbers? It weighs just 183 kilograms, as much as some twin-cylinder naked-streeters we have on sale here. Let’s put things in perspective: that's almost 800 PS/tonne. Hypercar-rivalling stuff this.

This inline-four produces 144PS and 112Nm
This inline-four produces 144PS and 112Nm

The 0-100-km/h dash is measured in blinks we couldn't have counted. If you're not careful, first gear can take you closer to triple digits than you'd like. Short-shifting, at least in first, is a good idea. The delivery is ferocious enough to match its looks and its name. That’s also down to the closely stacked ratios of the six-speed ’box. There’s no overdrive, so it’s a seamless slugfest of horsepower, if you have the road and the cojones to get the needle soaring. The front feels light with every twist of the throttle, every gear-shift.

The single-sided swingarm and gorgeous wheels are standouts. Pics/Sanjay Raikar
The single-sided swingarm and gorgeous wheels are standouts. Pics/Sanjay Raikar

Yet there are electronics to ensure you don’t kill yourself as far as they can help. There’s Bosch ABS with rear-wheel lift mitigation. That explains why a 180° flip didn't occur with a ham-fisted approach. Even with alarming cross-winds, getting up to 180 km/h was no biggie.

Getting to the tight, blind corners and hairpins, we crouch and try and wedge ourselves into the bike as best we can, and start warming up the fat Pirellis. There's little respite. As temptation knocks at the sight of even the slightest straight, the right wrist works independently and it's up to 125 km/h before the eyes can nudge the brain. The ABS-packing twin 310-mm floating rotors do a commendable job, the 50-mm Marzocchi fork compresses, and, soon, we are sweeping through the long right-hander.

There’s an instant surge of acceleration every time you even whisper into the throttle and the soundtrack from the four-into-one-into-two exhaust sends a chill down your spine. Rewarding. Given the opening and the opportunity to attack, the Brutale 1090 always delivers, and you’re surely going to be smiling wider through the next bend.

At Rs 20.1 lakh plus tax, the Brutale 1090 is one of the most frantic ways to satisfy your inner biker. There are people crazy (but responsible) enough to get one as, maybe, a weekend-rider that would double up as an occasional commuter to the office.

Need to know

MV Agusta Brutale 1090

Chassis: Steel trellis frame

Engine: 1,078 cc, 16V DOHC, liquid cooled, in-line four

Max Power: 144 PS @ 10,300 RPM

Max Torque: 112 Nm @ 8,100 RPM

Transmission: Six-speed

Weight: 183 kg (dry)

Price: Rs 20.1 lakh (ex-showroom)

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