The new Brutale 675
turns back the clock to 1966-1971, a period where MV Agusta won multiple world championships with its famous 3-cylinder engine. For the past year or so, the Italian manufacturer has made a big return to the track with the surprising F3 675
superbike; now, this toned-down variant will attempt to the same on the road.
While the F3 675 is ultra-sophisticated and loaded with advanced electronics, the 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 675 comes in as a naked, yet quite spectacular-looking, modern bike that stays in line with previous thoroughbreds from Varese, Italy. Some of the plastics could use a better finish, and a cleaner look could still be achieved by hiding more cables and sensors, but no one can deny that the brand is moving in the right direction.
Ready to attack
The 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 675 shares its fabulous powertrain, half-steel, half-aluminum frame, triple tailpipes, single-sided swingarm, and instrument panel with the race-oriented version. To lower costs, it relies on a suspension with preload adjustment only, while the engine lost its titanium valves and a little bit of grunt at higher revs, instead maximizing low- and mid-range torque for greater flexibility on the streets.
Ergonomics are spot-on. The 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 675's relatively low seat (810 mm), narrow stature, and short wheelbase make it accessible and far less intimidating. The riding position, which puts you close to the fork crown, feels natural and sporty leaving you ready to attack the road with confidence. The gauge cluster provides all the info you need, although poor lighting makes it harder to read.
It doesn't take long to appreciate the sharper ride-by-wire throttle system compared with previously tested MVs. There's no lag or jerky action; only a different feel with more responsiveness than a Japanese competitor.
The 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 675 is pretty lightweight (184 kg with all tanks full), which definitely helps around town and especially in dense traffic. With good tires and a proper suspension, this Italian steed leaves no room for guesswork, threading its way thanks to a docile front-end setup and diving toward the apex more easily than the average sport bike.
There's a price to pay for such amazing agility, however: Stability in corners suffers quite a bit. On the plus side, like any self-respecting MV Agusta, the 2013 Brutale 675 uses powerful, fade-free brakes that are easy to modulate (although the lack of ABS means you have to be extra cautious on wet pavement).
|Ergonomics are spot-on. The 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 675's relatively low seat (810 mm), narrow stature, and short wheelbase make it accessible and far less intimidating. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
Expressive, sweet-sounding engine
Without a doubt, the engine is the highlight of this bike. At idle, the harsh, multilayered exhaust note captivates the mind. When you stay under 3,500 rpm, the triple-cylinder is generally laid-back and easygoing; pushed in the 4,500-7,500 rpm range, it starts to show a more spirited attitude.
Beyond that is where the true character of the 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 675 reveals itself. There's a wild chase for the redline accompanied by delightfully explosive sound effects. Under hard acceleration, traction control kicks in a tad too early to regulate the flow of adrenaline in your body; fortunately, eight levels of adjustment are available, not to mention four different engine maps.
As for comfort, the hard but nicely shaped rider's seat combines with a suspension that does a great job of soaking up road imperfections. The result? You can cover a whole lot of ground before your back and your butt require a timeout. Once again, kudos for the upright riding position, which I found wonderfully suited to enjoying the panorama around a beautiful country road.
In the end, the 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 675 may not be the cheapest naked sport bike on the market, but it proves very agile and rider-friendly, offers adjustable traction control and engine maps, and stands out from the crowd with sexy styling. Prestigious pedigree and good performance also make the Brutale 675 one of the most serious contenders in this segment -- a stunner that's more than meets the eye.
|Without a doubt, the engine is the highlight of this bike. At idle, the harsh, multi-layered exhaust note captivates the mind. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
- Sexy styling
- Expressive engine
- Great agility
- Ideal sporty riding position for the road
- Stability is affected by the short wheelbase and rider's weight over the fork
- Some plastics could have a better finish