Italian motorcycle artists MV Agusta are amid a resurgence. With new financial stability bringing direction back to where MV should be. After being bought and sold numerous times since 1991, and having financial difficulties over the past few years, it seems MV is back to business as usual. The factory is working hard, creating more models and variants, with some real tasty possibilities touted for the future. The Superveloce has been confirmed into production, and a teased replacement for the ageing beauty; F4 1000 has also been rumoured. All this adds to the existing range which includes the MV Agusta Dragster.
Self-proclaimed motorcycle artist’s MV unveiled the Dragster, a mean, muscular looking Italian rendition of a streetfighter. Based on the hugely successful Brutale which was first available in 2001, but bending the accepted rules for a streetfighter. MV’s version is not just any old bodged together naked sportsbike, but a purpose-built street fighter of sorts. As expected from the Italians, the Dragster is visually stunning, packed full of tech and happy either cruising through town or blasting A roads.
Development since 2001
The Brutale has been available with many different cc variations, and most in triple layout. From the early 675 to the latest 800cc model. MV has been developing the triple powerplant since 2001, no wonder it works so well. The newest version meets the stringent Euro4 emissions standards, without strangling its figures. It’s 798cc makes 140hp, quite a feat.
However, the tech does not just stop there. The world was gobsmacked when Ducati fitted the Moto GP-Esq, counter-rotating crankshaft to their latest Panigale V4 road bike (read my thoughts here) but MV has equipped them to the triple for years.
Combined with up and down the box quickshifter making it a delight to ride. The triple powerplant gives ample low down grunt but plenty of top end power up to its 13k red line. The trademark triple bark is addictive, and coupled with the pops and bangs on gear changes and overrun adds to the giggle factor.
The MV Agusta Dragster I had benefitted from an aftermarket HP Corse system fitted, which ditched the standard cat and copper dipped triple exit for a single stainless steel and carbon fibre can.
The gearbox has had updates and is now silky smooth. It does need a precise and firm input on the lever, to engage the next gear, I did get it a few times where the quickshifter activated but there wasn’t a firm enough engagement.
Looks in abundance
The MV Agusta Dragster has looks in abundance. Wire spoke wheels wrapped with Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2 tyre in a huge 200 section rear gives the Dragster a mean and aggressive stance. The enormous rear tyre isn’t there for cornering or straight-line grip, moreover giving the Dragster a wicked broad figure. The wide tyre is not a hindrance by any means, the Dragster is surprisingly agile, both in town and rural roads. The steering isn’t shy, and when riding, you don’t get scared of chucking it in.
The seat looks the part, and I love the cut out underneath, it doesn’t add anything but looks different. The seat itself is padded, however when coupled with a stiff ride, and bumpy roads, the seat does start to feel a little hard. I was riding in race leathers which have a solid arse, so this might be a different story when riding in jeans.
Not just a pretty face
The Brutale is not just a pretty face, with a wicked engine. The chassis is packed with big brand tech too. Marzocchi front forks, Sachs rear shock, Brembo stoppers and Magneti Marelli electronics all add to that premium product.
Sharing the same LCD screen as other MV models, the redline on the dash sits at 16k, but you’ll never get there on the Dragster as the limiter cuts in at 13k.
That did mean there were a few limiter strikes, all of which make more pops and bangs and of course smiles. I would have liked a TFT dash, which is now becoming the norm. I find them clearer to read and quicker to respond, but the cost is much higher.
Downsides, the price is a lot. It’s almost 17 grand. Considering the competition, you can get an MT10-SP with arguably a better spec, and some trick kit on for much less. BUT these don’t have the same premium look and feel that the MV has, and also the same wow factor. MT10’s are common as muck in comparison.
This bike demands so much attention, wherever you go, people look, and crowds will form. With it being uncommon, it often perks peoples curiosity to what it is, and even none bikers will come for a look. People flock over in awe of the quality and style. Despite this and me not being a people person, I must admit I loved every minute of it.
Overall this bike is a huge surprise. You wouldn’t expect it to handle the way it does, believe me, you have to experience this for yourself to comprehend it. When you get it out of town and into the sticks, it’s just as happy as any other bike. It cruises well, and the grunty triple makes light work of any traffic.
Thanks to Powerslide motorcycles Stoke on Trent, for letting me take it out.