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Looking up Google archives one can find news about Cagiva tying up with Kinetic Engineering in 2008 to produce low capacity models in India and MV Agusta also making an entry into the Indian market around that time. Fast forward seven years and that dream is now real.
Kinetic Engineering, especially Ajinkya Firodia is super excited and driven as ever to get the brand into India. This is a better time than 2008 to get such an exotic brand into India. Buyers are more discerning, have more buying power and there is a healthy competition from its Italian neighbours in Ducati and Benelli.
I was lucky. I was present physically in Australia when the MV Agusta brand was being officially launched in Melbourne along with the new AMG strategic and marketing partnership. I almost gate-crashed the party and took hold of two fantastic models that were launched down under along with the overall brand launch. The MV Agusta Tourismo Veloce 800 and the MV Agusta Brutale 800 Dragster.
The evening in Melbourne started with the showcasing of a select range of MV Agusta bikes along with the Mercedes AMG cars. You might be aware that AMG had done a marketing tie up with Ducati in 2011, when the Diavel AMG edition was produced. But this one is a more ‘solid’ tie up, with AMG acquiring 25% stake in MV Agustas business. This meant that MV Agusta would also be displayed at the AMG showrooms, which will help both the brands, but MV Agusta more. So if someone buys a 150,000 AUD Mercedes AMG he might probably pick up an 18,000 AUD MV Agusta as well. Just might! The initial press release mentioned this tie up as ‘cooperation in area of marketing and sales’.
I was given a chance to sample the MV Agusta Brutale 800 Dragster first. Truth be spoken, it was one of the most beautiful motorcycles I had ever seen. The finish was beyond words and the design was truly ‘Motorcycle Art’. It was a cross between a cruiser and a street naked bike, the most striking detail being the short tail and the overall extended swingarm look, and hence the name ‘Dragster’. There was one more RR variant which was black and red. The difference between the RR and the stock version was 15Hp of power, 5Nm of torque, 200 extra revs before the limiter kicks in, a better power to weight ratio and a whole lot of oomph!
The engine seemed smooth and refined and it was very peppy, producing an incredible 140 Bhp out of a 800cc mill and a dry weight of only 167Kg! You can imagine what kind of pocket rocket that makes it! The look is complete with the aid of a 200 rear tyre. Anything else that is probably close to this in the market is the Ducati Diavel.
I rode the Dragster through the beautiful Yarra Valley and the vineyards there provided the perfect intoxicating backdrop (I am a teetotaller though!). This is not only delightful to ride but a photographers dream too. You can pull wheelies in third gear on this despite the visibly long wheel base. Put on a fly screen and it can take any distance too.
The inline 3 cylinder is built to put a smile on your face and the exhaust looks sensational stacked three up on the right. The engine is equipped with 4 different mappings, Rain, Sport, Normal and customisable. With the last allowing the rider to set up the engine response, rev limiter, engine torque response, throttle sensitivity and engine braking. The bike also sports an 8 step Traction Control system, which can be switched off, if you want to live on the wild side!
True to MV Agusta character, the bike is its elements at the top of the rev range, while it loses out a bit in the bottom end. Once rolling though you won’t notice, as you automatically wring the throttle to plaster a wide grin across your face. The rear 200 section adds considerably to the looks, but probably makes the handling a tad lazier! Though once the rider has pushed on the bars to enter a corner, the Pirelli tyres grip the tarmac beautifully, giving the rider complete confidence to push that little bit more. And if you do get the bike out of line the Brembos with ABS make life a lot easier. The fancy electronics help this bike be good enough not just to have a blast, but at the same time staying safe with the rubber side down!
I can’t wait to see the MV Agusta range on Indian roads!
MV Agusta Brutale 800 Dragster Technical Specifications (Australia Specs)
Type: Three cylinder, 4 stroke, 12 valve
Timing system: “D.O.H.C”
Total displacement: 798 cm3
Compression ratio: 13.3:1
Bore x stroke: 79 mm x 54.3 mm (3.1 in. x 2.1 in.)
Max. power- r.p.m.: 92 kW (125 hp) at 11.600 r.p.m.
Max. torque – r.p.m.: 81 Nm (8.25 kgm) at 8.600 r.p.m.
Cooling system: Cooling with separated liquid and oil radiators
Engine management system: Integrated ignition – injection system MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) with three injectors.
Clutch: Wet, multi-disc with mechanical drive
Transmission: Cassette style; six speed, constant mesh | Electronic quick-shift MV EAS (Electronically Assisted Shift)
Primary drive: 19/36
First gear: 13/37
Second gear: 16/34
Third gear: 18/32
Fourth gear: 19/30
Fifth gear: 21/30
Sixth gear: 22/29
Final drive ratio: 16/41
Voltage: 12 V
Alternator: 350 W at 5000 r.p.m.
Battery: 12 V – 8.6 Ah
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
Wheelbase: 1380 mm (54.30 in.)
Overall length: 2060 mm (81.06 in.)
Overall width: 825 mm (32.46 in.)
Saddle height: 811 mm (31.91 in.)
Min. ground clearance: 149 mm (5.86 in.)
Trail: 95 mm (3.74 in.)
Dry weight: 167 kg (368.2 lbs.)
Fuel tank capacity: 16.6 l (4.39 U.S. gal.)
Maximum speed*: 245.0 km/h (153.1 mph)
Type: ALS Steel tubular trellis Rear swing arm pivot plates material Aluminium alloy
Type: Marzocchi “UPSIDE DOWN” telescopic hydraulic fork with rebound-compression damping and spring preload external and separate adjustment
Fork dia.: 43 mm (1.69 in.)
Fork travel: 125 mm (4.92 in.)
Type: Progressive Sachs, single shock absorber with rebound and compression damping and spring preload adjustment | Single-sided swing arm material Aluminium alloy
Wheel travel: 125 mm (4.92 in.)
Front brake: Double floating disc with 320 mm (12.6 in.) diameter, with steel braking disc and flange
Front brake caliper: Brembo radial-type, with 4 pistons 32 mm (1.26 in.)
Rear brake: Single steel disc with 220 mm (8.66 in.) dia.
Rear brake caliper: Brembo with 2 pistons – 34 mm (1.34 in.)
ABS System: Bosch 9 Plus with RLM (Rear wheel Lift-up Mitigation)
Front: Material/size Aluminium alloy 3.50 ” x 17 ”
Rear: Material/size Aluminium alloy 6.00 ” x 17 ”
Front: 120/70 – ZR 17 M/C (58 W)
Rear: 200/50 – ZR 17 M/C (75 W)