MV Agusta 675 Brutale – Review

Spine Tingling

Recently I was lucky enough to visit the IoM TT races for the first time. One of the (many) things to stick in my memory was the distinctive wailing howl of the MV Agusta 675 race bikes. They stood out from the four cylinder norm, so when the opportunity arose to ride a MV 675 Brutale I eagerly took it!

Neat, stylish, purposeful

Clearly aimed on the Triumph Street Triple the Brutale manages to be stylish, purposeful and aggressive all at the same time. Neat detailing abounds and the bike has quality, precision feel, reminiscent of an expensive watch. The impression only strengthens once you climb aboard, it feels like slipping on an expensive hand made pair of Italian shoes: Simple, stylish.

Neat detailing abounds, giving the bike a bespoke, quality feel

Firing up the triple is an aural delight and I was instantly transported back to the IoM. The next 40 miles or so were an absolute joy as I took in the superb, sinuous roads that surround the dealership deep in the heart of rural Herefordshire. The twisting, undulating roads were absolutely perfect to explore the considerable abilities of this fabulous, fun motorcycle. The free revving engine, powerful progressive brakes working in unison with suspension that I found to be just about perfect: Compliant, but not soft…controlled.

Do you really need a Quick Shifter?

The Brutale also boasted a quick shifter but I found the gear change quality to be excellent and don’t really see that this offers much in day in day out riding. It sort of reminded me of the so called ‘flappy-paddle’ shift in fitted in many cars these days; fun, but you try it a few times and then leave it alone 99% of the time. The 675 reminded me of my heyday as a young lad riding a RD350LC: It had that same ‘naughty’ edge to it; flighty and above all just dammed good fun!

The riding position was excellent too and the digital display comprehensive. I have to say that I am not a fan of digital rev-counters, but this one was at least a little clearer than the one fitted to the Yamaha MT-09 for example.

What is wrong with a nice big analogue rev-counter???

There was a switch-able engine map too, but I stuck with the sportier setting the bike was already set to. This of course had NOTHING do with me not being able to work out how to change it. In any case I didn’t really see it as an issue. Sport would be the mode I would go with most of the time anyway! My only lingering doubt was a slight ‘snatchiness’  on small throttle openings at lower speeds. Other niggles were few and insignificant. For example the indicator switch was tucked too low in the pack to allow easy use with a gloved hand.

When is a MV  actually a triumph?

So in summary the Brutale is a triumph (see what I did there??) if you pardon the pun. Personally I found it to be more fun than the Street Triple I tried a few years ago. Better even than the impressive Yamaha MT-09 I rode in 2013. This surprised me, but the MV has an exclusive bespoke air. This gives the impression it has been made just for you. In short, this is a cracking bike.

Words and Pictures: Tony Donnelly

Some of the alternatives:

Triumph Street Triple 

Yamaha MT09