2010 MV Agusta Brutale First Look

September 28, 2009
Steve Atlas
Steve Atlas
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Professional-grade speed and an attitude to match, Steve Atlas is the new blood at MotoUSA. Atlas has AMA racing creds that are even more extensive than his driving record.

2010 MV Agusta Brutale 990
Not a radical change visually, the Brutale still boasts many changes for 2010.
2010 MV Agusta Brutale 1090
Vibrant, bright and clear to read are all great words to describe the Brutale’s display.

For 2010 MV Agusta, now under the new ownership of American cruiser giant Harley-Davidson, has released two new Brutale models – the 990R and 1090RR. And according to the Italian manufacturer “85% of the parts are new and were designed by MV Agusta.”

Both models share the same basic infrastructure – frame, bodywork, engine – most of which is new or updated in some way. In fact, no part on either of the new models is said to be interchangeable with that of previous Brutales. 

Brutale 990R

Let’s first have a look at the smaller naked streetfighter, the 2010 MV Agusta 990R. Aesthetically, one will first notice a new headlight with a more modern internal design and updated mount. Inside sits a new polyellipsoidal element, as well as a system of eight LEDs that create a light strip effect, like found on some modern luxury cars, but new for the motorcycle world. Behind this is a revised instrument cluster, designed to be fitted with personalized, interchangeable covers, which the rider can select from the available accessory line. It retains the split-dial design, with a rev counter that is said to be more precise. Two LCD screens sit next to this and have been enlarged, with an indicator showing which gear is engaged, fuel level, speed, hazards, water temperature, and the chronometer function, with memory for laps and lap-times.

2010 MV Agusta Brutale 1090
With a name like Brutale, keepin’ things cool is very important.

The handlebar features a mounting system that is now flexible, designed to improve comfort and reduce vibration. This connects to a new upper triple clamp assembly with a hinged release system, allowing the bars to be removed more quickly. Sitting at either end are larger mirrors for improved visibility, while on the outside of each are new LED turn signals. But the biggest of the visual differences is the new, slimmer tail section that is now composed of pressure die-cast aluminum and features LED tail lights. Larger air ducts up front aid in additional flow to the airbox, while the radiator guards are now integrated into the bodywork for sleeker styling.

Diving into the engine, new for 2010, displacement has been increased from 982.3cc to 998cc by virtue of a 76mm x 55mm bore and stroke (79mm x 50.1mm on the old model). Crankcases are now 1.32-lbs lighter and it’s fitted with a counter-balancer, sitting at the front of the engine and driven directly by the primary transmission gear, to smooth out vibrations. Tranny ratios stay the same, though the “internal gearbox command mechanism” is new. The sensor allows the engine “to optimize the injection and ignition calibrations and the position of the exhaust valve according to the demands of the individual gears.”

2010 MV Agusta Brutale 990
The new 998cc powerplant for the Brutale.

There is also a new Mitsubishi Neodymium-Iron-Boron generator (try saying that three times fast), cooled by a high pressure internal oil jet. Together with the new transmission system this contributes to saving a total of 3.52 lbs. The internal lubrication system has also been revamped, with a double rotor pump, which is smaller and lighter (by 0.75-lb), yet more efficient than the previous one. And they’re “Going Green” apparently, as the new oil filter has an “environmentally-friendly” paper element. The water pump has also been completely redesigned, and while it’s slightly lighter than the previous one, the cooling capacity is up 65% at low revs.

Delivering fuel is a new 46mm throttle body, which is operated by Marelli 5SM electronics and features built-in plugs to add optional upgrades, both software and hardware, including traction control and double EFI mapping. Spent gasses now exit via a new exhaust system, which has a choke valve operated by the injection control unit, aimed to “improve drivability and power delivery.”

2010 MV Agusta Brutale 1090
No worries about stopping with 320mm discs gripped by Brembos.

Housing the new powerplant is an equally updated chassis that is taller, lighter and more rigid. This is the result of MV opting to use a “more precise and more costly TIG welding process to make the frame stronger and more attractive.” A new swingarm extends the wheelbase and is 2.2-lbs lighter. It also features a new chain guard that wraps around for added rider protection and a forged insert for crash protection. Lighter wheels reduce rotating mass (1.5-lb front, 0.77-lb rear) and feature updated hubs and bearings.

Suspension-wise, the fork has new internals designed by CRC and produced by Marzocchi exclusively for MV Agusta. As for the chassis, front wheel trail has been increased from 101.5mm to 103.5mm, steering head angle from 24.5 degrees to 25 degrees, wheelbase from 55.51 inches to 56.61 inches and the seat height from 31.69 inches to 32.68 inches. The braking system is now made up of 310mm NHK discs gripped by Brembo radial-mount 4-piston calipers.

The Brutale 990R will be available in red or black, with silver side panels. U.S. price and availability have not yet been announced.

Brutale 1090RR

2010 MV Agusta Brutale 1090
While the 1090RR looks similar to the 990R, its got enough goodies to set it apart from its little brother.

While basically a bored-out version of the Brutale 990R, the 1090RR does feature some other small variations in additon to all the new features that its little brother gets. Starting with its appearance, the 1090RR differs by virtue of air ducts painted to match the tank and a red valve cover. The available colorways are pearl white/black and red/sliver.

It gets a new steering damper to cope with the added horsepower, which comes from a pumped up 1078cc engine and features an MV Agusta-designed slipper clutch. As for the chassis, the 1090RR gets thin-spoke forged wheels, adjustable footpegs, a dual-compression-adjustable Sachs shock and 320mm Brembo front discs with forged monobloc Brembo calipers.

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