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2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 ABS Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

The new 2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 ABS is a light touring motorcycle that likes to put on a show, a sort of supermotard dressed for weekend escapades.

The goal of the Italian manufacturer is to boost sales by offering attractive, upscale products across all segments. As CEO Giovanni Castiglioni points out, MV Agusta isn't about to go downmarket and sell cheaper bikes than what's in store right now.

Consequently, the new Stradale 800 ABS boasts high-quality paint and casting as well as tighter panel gaps than in previous years, not to mention a more effective routing of electrical circuits. The overall package looks much more refined and sophisticated than earlier generations.

2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 ABS
Photo: MV Agusta

More flexible engine
The 798cc triple-cylinder engine with a counter-rotating crankshaft is the obvious weapon of choice for this magnificent tourer. While it lost 10-25 hp versus the Turismo Veloce and RR, dropping output to 115 hp at 11,000 rpm, there's extra torque at low and medium revs:56 lb-ft at 9,000 rpm to be exact. Revised mapping and increased exhaust flow maintain high-rpm performance until the electronic rev limiter steps in at 12,000 rpm.

As for fuel consumption, engineers claim the 2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 ABS averages 7L/100km, so expect to cover about 250 km at highway cruising speeds with the 16L tank. The revised 6-speed transmission has a lot to do with the bike's efficiency, and it gained a sharper, more rider-friendly hydraulic clutch in the process.

Chassis and electronics derived from F sport bikes

MV Agusta's latest creation benefits from cutting-edge electronic systems that include ABS, 8-level traction control, and four engine maps (Sport, Normal, Rain, and Custom). All bike control parameters can be accessed via the handlebar controls in a setup that should prove easier to use than the one on the Rivale.

Meanwhile, the new instrument panel with eye-catching screen graphics and refined ice-white backlighting is easier to read and offers a complete array of information including gear position, engine mode, traction control level, ABS intervention, and a clock.

The 2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 ABS is built on the Rivale's ALS steel trellis frame and single-sided aluminum swingarm. Both the Marzocchi upside-down fork and single rear shock offer hydraulic compression, rebound, and spring preload adjustment, but suspension travel was increased for more comfort. Seat height dropped to 870mm in standard trim and 850mm with the available low seat. The riding position is more akin to that of a supermotard than an adventure bike thanks to a seat that puts the rider close to the handlebars, with the chest nearly upright, and low-mounted footpegs perfectly in line with the pelvis -- not unlike the Ducati Hypermotard.

Safe and stable
Focused on delivering a stable ride, the 2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 ABS has a steering head angle of 25.5 degrees (24 on the Rivale) and a 1,460mm wheelbase (courtesy of a 30mm longer swingarm). Elsewhere, the powerful Brembo brakes feature Bosch 9 Plus ABS with Rear Wheel Lift-up Mitigation.

Look for basic protection with a narrow windshield offering 50mm of height adjustment (no tools required). On the plus side, you get large, enduro-style hand guards. In the back, the stylish, semi-rigid saddlebags (16L each) integrate the taillights but aren't capacious enough to hold a full-face helmet (there's an optional centre top case for that). They can be removed using the ignition key for sportier riding dynamics.

Ultimately, the 2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 ABS targets new customers looking for a light touring motorcycle that's pleasant to ride and a real attention-grabber around town. Endowed with advanced electronics, quality components, improved fit and finish, and signature MV styling, the Stradale will undoubtedly meet the goals set by the increasingly popular Italian make, which is now backed by Mercedes-AMG.