MV Agusta 1090 Brutale (2012) – The Silk Sledgehammer

This review was written a few years ago…I was so impressed by the 1090RR that a bought one a few weeks later. Read why here:

Having ridden the highly impressive MV Agusta 675 Brutale I was understandably keen to try its’ 1090cc big brother. For me it made an interesting point of comparison with the 2007 Yamaha FZ1S I owned until recently and the Triumph 1050 Speed Triple I rode a couple of years ago.

Such a Good Looking Bike

Like the rest of the MV range the 1090 is very well styled package, managing to pull off a certain panache that neither the FZ nor Speed Triple can match. The 1090 conveys a no nonsense sense of purpose, brooding and straining on the leash…keen to be set free.

The best looking of the big naked sports bikes?


The particular machine I rode had been sharpened further still with a revised engine mapping, bespoke exhausts and suspension tuned by a well-respected specialist. There was a price to pay however as at idle the engine ‘hunts like a bastard’ according to the dealer principle. I quite liked this, it served as a welcome antidote to the somewhat anodyne nature of certain modern superbikes.

At Home Immediately

Once riding the beast I felt immediately at home. This surprised me a little as I thought the seat height might be an issue for a stumpy chap like me. I was really pleased to see a proper analogue rev counter too. I am an analogue sort of guy…

A proper rev counter for a proper bike…

Even the MV badge possesses a certain flair…

Love at First Sight

Straight away I LOVED this bike; properly quick. This a potent bike with well over 160bhp on tap. The MV is still an absolute delight to push through a series of tight and demanding bends. The brutish engine and sonorous exhaust being the perfect partners in crime. I could throw the bike about with aplomb: The 1090 always felt planted and secure. Directional changes were sublime for such a big, powerful bike. The Brutale would positively roar out of bend, slingshot propelled by that fabulous motor towards the next challenging twist and turn. The the fantastic, confidence inspiring brakes would shed the speed with ease.

This is one superb bike, with dollops of real world muscular performance in sharp, stylish package. For me this is the best bike I have ridden in years and to say I am smitten would be something of an understatement! Please God don’t let me near any finance forms!

In the words of Madness…It must be love, love…

This Could be the One!

To be honest some of the more prosaic details passed me by such was the pleasure of riding this bike. Time to have a think and have another look in the cold light of day. Right now my Ducati is on sticky ground…

Words and Pictures: Tony Donnelly