First Look: 2014 MV Agusta Brutale 800 Dragster

It's called the Dragster yet MV Agusta promotional video shows the 798cc triple-powered, Brutale-based fighter-esque machine spinning tire with intent while drifting agilely through twisty canyon roads. A sharp contradiction to the way brute tarmac-gripping straight-line machines traverse the quarter mile. But that is exactly the message we're intended to receive: that the 2014 800 Dragster is the most extreme and essential Brutale ever.

The 800 Dragster is based on the same trellis structure as the Brutale 800 with an identical 54.3-inch wheelbase yet with its cropped tail and 200mm rear tire, the 800 Dragster takes on an even more aggressive demeanor. The fully adjustable suspension consists of a 43mm Marzocchi USD fork with 125mm of travel and a Sachs-suslended single-sided swingarm with an equal 125 mm of travel.

The Dragster’s three-cylinder 798cc engine has a claimed horsepower rating of 125 at 11,600 rpm with 59.7 lb-ft of torque at 8,600 rpm. Its MVICS (Motor&Vehicle Integrated Control) injection-ignition system is the engine control management shared by the entire three-cylinder MY2014 range. The fully integrated management features the Eldor EM2.0 engine control unit and a Mikuni ride-by-wire throttle body that allows adjustment of user-settable parameters such as torque setting with four different mappings (Sport, Normal, Rain and user-defined),  and eight levels of  traction control (which can be disengaged).

We’ll have a First Ride review and complete specifications on the 2014 MV Agusta Brutale 800 Dragster in a future issue of _Motorcyclist._The following are images and details from the MV Agusta release:


Engineering at the service of manufacturing efficiency: the 3-cylinder MV Agusta platform demonstrates how conscientiousness at the concept and design stages can result in the development of completely original models from the same, shared technological basis. The new Brutale 800 Dragster is no exception to that rule, once again highlighting the versatility of the cutting-edge MV Agusta platform centered on the 3-cylinder engine - the power unit that has made the greatest developmental progress in its market segment. The goals laid out in the project brief were highly ambitious: performance at the peak of their respective displacement categories (675 and 800), maximum elasticity, low fuel consumption and a torque curve spread evenly across the entire power range. And unprecedented compactness: the three-cylinder MV Agusta engine, built to achieve all these goals, weighs just 52 kg, giving improved output flexibility and better load distribution on the axles, on both the new Brutale 800 Dragster and the other models that already possess this feisty in-line 3-cylinder Italian engine.

Key technical features include the shell-cast “closed-deck” crankcase with integral bore liners; the need for compactness has also imposed full integration of the water and oil circuits and the respective service pumps. Just as significant - and exclusive - is the choice of counter-rotating crankshaft, a solution with origins in the racing world where ride responsiveness has absolute priority, and the only judge of performance is the stopwatch. The counter-rotating crankshaft reduces inertia during changes of direction because it lowers that same inertia during deceleration; this enhances handling, the excellence of which is already a built-in top-priority feature of the MV Agusta chassis set-up. Compared to previous 3-cylinder configurations, the one specially developed for the Brutale 800 Dragster focuses on fast-response, linear power output, putting a mighty roar into this roadster. The claimed 125-horsepower peak is reached at 11,600 rpm, while the claimed maximum torque of 81 Nm comes at 8,600 rpm. Completing this highly sophisticated package is the removable 6-speed gearbox, with ratios designed to ensure awesome acceleration and a sports-category top speed should the bike be unleashed on the track.


The new MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control) injection-ignition system features the very latest software and an engine control strategy first implemented, with great success, on the Rivale 800 and now extended to the entire 3-cylinder MY2014 range. MVICS also features the Eldor EM2.0 engine control unit and a Mikuni Full Ride-By-Wire throttle body. The fully integrated management allows, via the instruments and the handlebar switches, easy adjustment of numerous user-settable parameters. More specifically, the system lets the rider configure the torque setting with 4 different mappings. Three of these are set directly by the manufacturer and named according to the relative riding conditions (Sport, Normal and Rain) while the fourth leaves the rider free to define, within established limits, all the individual parameters: engine response, rev limiter, engine torque response, throttle sensitivity, engine braking. As one would expect, 8-level traction control (which can be disengaged) is also included: the relative algorithms have been tweaked to perfection for maximum precision, a must on a bike such as the new Brutale 800 Dragster as one of its defining characteristics is astounding acceleration.


The frame configuration, which has characterized the 3-cylinder platform since its inception, features an ALS tubular steel load-bearing structure, supplemented by lightweight aluminum alloy plates. This combination forms part of that production flexibility concept which inspired the 3-cylinder project and consequently allows the design of specially-developed frames for each model without disrupting the underlying look or essence. Note that this same set-up has characterized MV Agusta models since the launch of the astonishing F4: today's 3-cylinder Italian-built MV Agusta bikes offer up an even more highly evolved version of the concept. The front, tubular section employs a steel alloy with exceptional metallurgical qualities that, while extremely lightweight, provides outstanding torsional stiffness, especially in those areas most subject to stress, such as the steering head. The aluminum alloy plates close off the structure at the rear and act as the fulcrum for the single-sided swingarm.

A compact wheelbase of just 1,380 mm, identical to that of the Brutale 800, strikes a perfect balance, ensuring both excellent handling and stability; the 95 mm trail boosts the already outstanding front end performance, making for enhanced ridability and bike control. Another eye-catching feature perfectly in keeping with the Brutale 800 Dragster design ethos is the attention-grabbing Pirelli Diablo Rosso II rear tire, having a width of 200 and a shoulder of 50.

The suspension system features fully adjustable units, allowing personalization of compression and rebound settings, as well as providing a selection of spring pre-load options. The 43 mm upside-down Marzocchi fork offers 125 mm of travel; the Sachs rear shock gives the single-sided swingarm - also in aluminum alloy - 125 mm of travel. The seat, with a height of 811 mm, has been redesigned to improve comfort and function: it also boasts a craftsman-like finish with stylishly stitched seams. The rider can also count on even more functional foot pegs and supports, and new heel guards which, just like the wheel rims, have been specially customized for the Dragster. Equipped with first class Brembo components, the braking system relies on a pair of 320 mm floating front discs, equipped with 4-piston calipers (32 mm); the rear unit, instead, has a 220 mm steel disc and mounts a 2-piston caliper (34 mm).