MV Agusta Brutale 990R

 

 

 

Make Model

MV Agusta Brutale 990R

Year

2011

Engine

Four stroke, transverse four cylinder. DOHC, 4 radial valves per cylinder

Capacity

998 cc / 60.9 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 76 x 55 mm
Cooling System Cooling with separated liquid and oil radiators
Compression Ratio 13.0:1

Induction

Mulitpoint electronic injection

Ignition 

Digital CDI
Starting Electric

Max Power

102 kW 139 hp @ 10600 rpm

Max Torque

106 Nm / 10.6 kgf-m @ 8000 rpm
Clutch Wet, multiplate

Transmission 

6 Speed
Final Drive Chain
Gear Ratio 1st Speed 13/38 109.7 km/h (68.1 mph) at 11600 rpm
2nd Speed 16/34 150.8 km/h (93.6 mph) at 11600 rpm
3rd Speed 18/32 180.3 km/h (111.9 mph) at 11600 rpm
4t Speed 20/30 213.7 km/h (132.7 mph) at 11600 rpm
5th Speed 22/29 243.2 km/h (151.0 mph) at 11600 rpm
6th Speed 19/23 265.0 km/h (164.5 mph) at 11600 rpm
Frame CrMo Steel tubular trellis (TIG welded) Rear swing arm pivot plates: material Aluminium alloy

Front Suspension

UPSIDE - DOWN” telescopic hydraulic fork with external and separated adjustment of rebound and compression damping and of spring preload Rod dia. 50 mm
Front Wheel Travel 130 mm / 5.1 in

Rear Suspension

Progressive, single shock absorber with rebound damping and spring preload adjustment
Single sided swing arm: materiale Aluminium alloy
Rear Wheel Travel 120 mm / 4.7 in

Front Brakes

2x 310mm discs 4 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

Single 210mm disc 4 piston caliper

Front Tyre

120/70 ZR 17

Rear Tyre

190/55 ZR 17
Trail 102 mm / 4.0 in
Dimensions Length  2093 mm / 82.4 in
Width  760 mm / 29.92 in
Wheelbase 1438 mm / 56.6 in
Seat Height 830 mm / 32.6 in
Ground Clearance 130 mm / 5.9 in

Dry Weight

190 kg / 418.9 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

23 Litres / 6.0 US gal

Almost a decade has passed since the appearance of the first Brutale, a prestigious, naked motorcycle with fascinating design, power, and speed. Its characteristics, unique and unmistakable, have made it famous the world over, enabling it to win coveted prizes as the most beautiful motorcycle of the year.

The Brutale pushes the limits of research and technology in its 2010 models - the 990R and the 1090RR. With its state-of-the-art components, the 2010 Brutale delivers acclaimed performance and ease of riding, in keeping with the "Made in MV" formula: a commitment to excellence in componentry, in the design of which MV Agusta is at the forefront. The "easy" handling enable the Brutale to compete with the Japanese nakeds: it is agile and instinctive in the hands of the rider. It excels on the racetrack, and its eclectic elegance and charm thrill even the casual admirer.

To achieve these results, it was necessary to replace 85% of the components, but the new Brutale has preserved the significant style features of previous versions. The work carried out on the 990R and 1090RR cannot be defined as mere restyling; rather, it is a silent MV Agusta revolution.

There is little left of the old Brutale model, as 85% of the parts have been completely redesigned. From the aesthetics, to the engine, to the rolling chassis, no component can be interchanged with those of the previous versions.

Among the new parts:

* Front wheel rim, either gravity die-cast, or forged
* Front brake disk
* Suspensions Internals (oil dynamics and components of the front fork)
* Instrument cluster (design, logic definition and information handling)
* Brake pump with integrated tank
* Headlight
* Mirrors with directional indicators
* Handlebar
* Handgrips
* Steering damper
* Fuel pump
* Fuel filler cap
* Inner damper (oil dynamics and inside components)
* Rear swingarm
* Rear turn signals
* Taillight
* Pressure die-cast rear taillight support
* Rear wheel hub, either gravity die-cast, or forged

Many of these parts have been designed and crafted by MV Agusta, rather than sourced from market suppliers, thereby affording technical and aesthetic perfection.

Of all the world's manufacturers, only MV Agusta obsessively pursues aesthetic perfection in its component design, because its aim is to make beautiful what others make only functional. And, without being presumptuous, the Brutale is the best example there is on the market.

BRUTALE 990R: Aesthetics

Headlight - The headlight retains the same drop profile and the same dimensions, but introduces a fresh, more modern design, which takes account also of a modified support, but eliminates the direction indicators. Inside, in addition to a new poly- ellipsoidal element, there is a system of 8 LEDs that create a "light strip" effect, like that found on cars, which for motorcycles is entirely new.

Instrument cluster and instrumentation - The new lines of the instrument cluster have abandoned the soft shapes of the previous cluster to achieve a style that is in keeping with the modern, slender features of the bodywork. It is designed to fit a personalized, interchangeable cover, which the rider can select from those available in the accessory line. The instruments are also all new, working in conjunction with the engine control module via a high speed CAN line, retaining the split dial, with the rev counter, which is even more precise. The two LCD screens have been enlarged and have even more functions. There is now an indicator showing which gear is engaged, the fuel level, the speed, the hazard key, the water temperature, and the chronometer function, with memory of laps and of times. The instruments are already set up to use a system for monitoring tire pressure.

Handlebar - The fitting of the handlebar is flexible, to improve comfort and to reduce the vibration level. On the integrated handlebar clamps, the upper triple clamp assembly, including the handlebar clamp, is new. This latter has been designed with an elegant hinge release system, which enables the handlebar group to be quickly dismantled. The handgrips also have a new design, with an alternation of smooth and rough areas that improves grip.

Rearview mirrors - The rearview mirrors are larger and have more volume for greater visibility, but have also been placed higher up than before; the arm is in pressure die-cast aluminum, to reduce vibrations and to improve stability. They house LED direction indicators (3 on each side), which are perfectly incorpora- ted into the rear mirror assembly, yielding a cleaner line than the traditional position.

Key block - The ignition block is the very latest generation, fitted with an immobilizer, the presence of which is indicated by a red light on the instrument cluster. The fuel cap is also new, with an advanced design in which the MV name stands out on the back, thanks to careful and precise manufacturing.

Bodywork and technical fittings - The air ducts for the air box are larger and tapered directing additional airflow. The radiator protections, no longer in metal and integrated with the mechanical components, are now part of the bodywork. In addition to streamlining the radiator and protecting it, they act as ducts to provide better cooling. The most evolved part of the motorcycle is the rear, thanks to a thinner, more modern tail, which makes sitting more comfortable. The LED taillight is integrated into the tail, which is no longer in plastic, but is pressure die-cast in aluminum, and is an entirely new design element. The two beautiful exhausts, which flow along the right side of the motorcycle, have been enhanced, eliminating the welding at the tips of the silencers and, above all, featuring an even more inclined and thinner cut that matches the lines of the bodywork. The external engine supports are sleeker and, along with the side stand, are embellished with the MV logos in relief.

The 990R version comes in two colors: Red or Black, both with Silver tank side panels.

BRUTALE 990R: Engine

The engine size has increased from 982.3 cc to 998 cc without any variation in layout. The cylinder bore and stroke have gone from 79 x 50.1 mm to 76 x 55 mm. The reconfiguration of the 4 cylinders, with 16 radial valves, seeksto make power delivery smoother, with a response that is more progressive, solid, and harmonious than before, especially when opening-closing and when accelerating.

For this purpose, a new 46 mm Mikuni throttle body assembly, with a non-return feed that is 0.33 lbs lighter than the previous one, has been installed. The new throttle body assembly is operated by Marelli 5SM electronics, which perform better than the previous, and which feature new software for such things as traction control (for which 8 adjustments can be made) and a double EFI map.

No alterations have been made to the materials, measurements, and profiles used on the thermal side, but the new electronics allow for the elimination of the position sensor of the camshaft. The completely redesigned engine crank case is 1.32 lbs lighter than the previous one, and is fitted with a counter-rotating balancing shaft to resist high-frequency secondary vibrations, which has been placed at the front of the engine and is driven directly by the primary transmission gear. While the transmission ratios remain the same, the internal gearbox command mechanism is entirely new, redesigned to allow adopting a gear sensor, and to provide a smoother and more comfortable shift of the lever. Using this new sensor, the engine control unit is able to optimize the injection and ignition calibrations and the position of the exhaust valve according to the demands of the individual gears.

There is also a new Mitsubishi, Neodymium-Iron-Boron generator, cooled by a high pressure internal oil jet, which - together with the new transmission system and a damper that incorporates an elastomer vibration canceling system - contributes to saving a full 3.52 lbs.

The lubrication circuit has also been entirely renewed, with a double rotor pump which is smaller and lighter (by 0.75 lb), but more efficient than the previous one. The circuit is no longer divided, as it was before, and the pump serves the radiator and the engine which are placed in series. The new oil filter has an environmentally- friendly paper element, which is easy to access without dismantling any part of the engine, thereby reducing maintenance time. The water pump, too, has been completely redesigned, and although it is 0.13 lb lighter than the previous one, its cooling capacity is up to 65% greater at low revs.

Engine performance has been optimized to improve drivability and power delivery, which are further enhanced by the new exhaust system, which has a choke valve operated by the injection control unit.

BRUTALE 990R: Rolling Chassis

The cage of pipes in chromium molybdenum steel, which constitutes the frame, retains the TIG welded trellis structure, but with a taller, lighter, and more rigid design. Taking a cue from the aeronautical industry, MV opted to use the more precise and more costly TIG welding process to make the frame stronger and more attractive.

The extension of the rear swingarm (which has been entirely redesigned and is 2.2 lb lighter) lengthens the wheelbase for greater precision in the ride, increasing the torsional rigidity and decreasing the weight. The new wheelbase also reinforces the Brutale's signature stability. The weight reduction in the wheels and swingarm provides improved suspension operation.

The new chain guard is wider and wrap-around, improving protection against dirt and thus enhancing rider safety. A forged insert has been incorporated as an aesthetic detail and protects the rear swingarm in the event of an impact or fall from the vehicle.

The rear wheel features a cush-drive, plus a new hub and bearing, the purpose of which is to make the engine more resistant to stress and to improve comfort.

Although not adjustable on the 990R, the foot rests have a flexible assembly to absorb vibration and to improve comfort during the ride.

With an innovative design, the rims are even lighter than those on the 989R; they are gravity die-cast, with a weight that is 1.5 lb less on the rear rim, and 0.77 lb less on the front.

The front forks have had their internals and oil dynamics completely designed by CRC, and are produced by Marzocchi exclusively for MV Agusta. The stems are 50 mm, and the compression, extension, and spring preload may be adjusted. The internal components and the calibration have been modified, with the range dropping from 130 mm (5.12 in) to 125 mm (4.92 in).

The front wheel trail has been increased from 3.99 in (101.5 mm) to 4.07 in (103.5 mm), the wheelbase extended from 55.51 in (1410 mm) to 56.61 in (1438 mm), the height of the seat from 31.69 in (805 mm) to 32.68 in (830 mm), and the angle of the steering tube increased from 24.5 to 25°.

The rear shock absorber covers the oil dynamics and the internal components. It offers a single adjustment of the extension, without a separate tank.

The braking system includes 12.2 in (310 mm) NHK disks, a steel flange and Brembo 1.26 in (32 mm) radial mount 4-piston calipers.

Review

When Italian motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta first announced the 2010 Brutale, there were some who questioned whether it was rational for MV to attempt an update that made the bike less, ahem... brutal. We decided it would be best to wait and see the bike in person and live with it for a while before making any such judgments – particularly since judging a vehicle solely by its spec sheet almost never has any real merit. And we're certainly glad that we did.

Upon our first few minutes with the new Brutale 990R, we had developed an initial gut reaction: From the instantly recognizable styling to the raspy exhaust note of its heavily revised inline four-cylinder engine, the 2010 Brutale is every bit the sense-tingling naked bike that its predecessor was.

This revelation, though, raises a couple of questions. Is the new Brutale too much like the old Brutale? If so, is that really such a bad thing? And finally, would the new influx of cash and the corresponding watchful eye of current (though probably not much longer) owner Harley-Davidson equal a watered-down Italian experience? To borrow a phrase from the marketing types from The Shack, You've got questions... We've got answers. Read on for enlightenment.

Let's take our usual walk around the new-for-2010 Brutale 990R to take in all the details. At first glance, the casual observer may see very little clues that MV's new naked sportbike is in fact all-new. A closer inspection reveals that nearly nothing is carried over from the last generation. MV claims that over 85% of the 2010 Brutale is new and not interchangeable with the 2009 model, but it still might take a ride or two to prove the new one is sufficiently different from the old. Whether this seemingly carry-over design language is good or bad is up to individual tastes.

 

As far as we're concerned, the old Brutale was still one of the most visually stimulating designs on the market, and so the fact that the made-over 2010 model looks so much like the previous generation is anything but a bad thing. Further, the more time we spent, the more the unique details and updates jump out at you... so much so that we found ourselves just staring at every angle while conducting our photo shoot as the sun went down behind the mountains. It wasn't until we unloaded our memory card that we realized we had taken over 300 pictures in just one sitting.

On the other hand, we imagine that there is a sizable portion of the population that doesn't want their brand new motorcycle to look anything like its predecessor, especially when said predecessor has been around for nearly a decade. For that contingent, the new Brutale had better offer something to make it stand out from the crowd – namely, an unforgettable riding experience. If that's the case, we come bearing very good news. The 2010 Brutale 990R accelerates, stops and flicks from side to side with an authority that proves the 2010 edition has totally earned its name. On the other hand, it's also significantly more comfortable and accommodating than the first-generation Brutale. Yes, we know that sounds oxy-moronic, but bear with us.

Swing a leg over the 2010 Brutale 990R and you'll find your posterior gently resting on a surprisingly comfortable perch. Yes, it's pretty high up there at nearly 33 inches off the ground, but the reach to the handlebars is now much more comfortable and natural than before, and the pegs have been relocated so that your legs don't feel too cramped. Further refinements to the basic naked package include slightly relaxed steering geometry (a 24.5-degree rake and four inches of trail, for what it's worth) and a 56.6-inch wheelbase made possible by a swingarm that's 20 millimeters longer and 2.2 pounds lighter than before. All of these updates add up to a finished product that's just a wee bit easier to handle than the last Brutale.

That's all well and good, but how does it perform? Twist the key to the On position and you'll be greeted by a chorus of chirps and whirs as the bike's on-board computers go through their initial start-up routine. The dashboard combines a suitably large analog tachometer on the left with a digital display at the lower right of its dial. A much larger rectangular LCD screen displays all manner of important data, including speed, gear indication, water temperature and a chronometer that keeps track of lap times. Once the electronic gadgetry informs you that all is well and good in Brutale Land, it's time to thumb the starter button.

 The heavily updated engine fired up easily and reliably every time while in our hands. Fueling seemed pretty good both at docile speeds and when hammering the throttle with aggression, though it responds a bit more violently at part throttle than you might initially expect. Crucially, the 2010 Brutale sounds as if it has extreme antisocial tendencies, and that's even more true as the revs rise. And rise they will, often and with authority. Just as with every one of the 15,400 Brutales sold since its introduction, MV's proprietary inline-four revs from idle to redline with almost as much vigor and verve of a racebike. We didn't get the chance to sample the larger 1078cc model, but we can say with absolute conviction that the 998cc powerplant in the 990R offers up plenty of punch for a bike with the Brutale's lack of bodywork and sit-up-and-beg riding position.

A handful of throttle in first gear from anything over 4,000 rpm will lift the front wheel a few inches off the ground in an extremely controllable fashion, and that rubber won't touch the ground again until you back off the throttle or shift to second for an encore performance. A similar application from the right wrist at anything near double digits on the tach in either of the first two gears will give you a very clear look at the clouds above. Best to keep your right foot hovering over the rear brake to keep those 139 horsepower and 78 pound-feet of torque in check.

The dual front discs with four-piston Brembo calipers combine with the single rear disc and four-piston caliper to provide extremely strong deceleration force, excellent modulation and zero fade despite repeated hard stops. Although the uplevel 1090RR comes with Brembo Monobloc calipers clamping down on discs that are 10 millimeters larger in diameter, we can't imagine any rider finding fault with the binders on the lower-spec 990R we tested. Similarly, the 50-millimeter forks from Marzocchi, which are fully adjustable for compression, rebound and preload, are beyond fault when set up properly for the rider's weight. At the rear, a Sachs shock is adjustable for preload only and we'd say it adequately props up the rear end, but doesn't seem quite as sophisticated or supple as the fork.

Lean angle on both sides is plentiful and the Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires were sufficiently sticky. We never noted any hard parts touching down despite plenty of abrasion on our knee pucks. We're not quite sure what to say about the Brutale's electronic traction control, other than to note that we never felt the need to adjust the bike's computer out of Race Mode or to mess with the eight-way traction control. In any case, we didn't ever sense any evidence of a loss of traction. While a proper session at the track would surely tell the entire tale, we'll just assume our consistently good rear grip means the traction control system worked as designed since we know for sure the bike has sufficient power to slide the rear at will. What we did notice, however, was the unfortunate lack of a slipper clutch, which does come standard on the more expensive 1090RR. When scrubbing speed and downshifting on the 990R, there's a notable amount of tire chirping out back and even a small bit of chatter when getting really aggressive.

In addition to the slipper clutch, which should really be standard fare for a bike of this ilk, there are a few things we'd change about the new Brutale. First, we wish there were less of a style compromise between the 990R and the 1090RR. To our eyes, the color palettes offered on the latter are much nicer than those of the former. We'd also like to see the testa rossa (that'd be the red engine head) standard on the 990R as it is on its pricier brother, as it just screams Italian exotic. Less important, but slightly annoying, was the red on the passenger seat didn't quite match the red of the bodywork. But we're splitting hairs, here.

 Beyond those admittedly minor demerits, we love ourselves some Brutale. Yes, it is indeed less frenetic and easier-going than its forebear, but we're putting those attributes firmly in the Positives column, not the Negative. The newly refined machine is just as engaging as it ever was, the styling of the Brutale still stands up to our critical eyes and the updates made to the bike's ergonomics make it a much more inviting option in the face of stiff competition from the likes of the Ducati Streetfighter and Triumph Speed Triple. Finally, we think the $15,000 asking price is pretty damn attractive for what you're getting.

So, the 2010 MV Agusta Brutale somehow manages to live up to the performance heritage set by the original model while also offering useful improvements that make it easier to live with. As they might say in Italy... Mamma mia, ma che bella machina!