MV Agusta Rivale 800 First Look

November 13, 2012
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

The MV Agusta Rivale is powered by a 798cc versio of the Inline Triple first debuted on the F3 supersport.
The MV Agusta Rivale shares some supermoto-styled themes  reminiscent of the Ducati Hypermotard.
2013 MV Agusta Rivale instrument console.
The MV Agusta Rivale is powered by a 798cc version of the Inline Triple first debuted on the F3 supersport.

MV Agusta already teased its supermoto-inspired Rivale with a design sketch earlier this year, and now the Italian marque gives the full reveal at EICMA. Based off the same Inline Triple powering the 2013 Brutale 800, the Rivale shares similar chassis components with its MV kin. But this new MV sports a wilder look, with the Rivale aimed at a new segment.

Supermoto-ish Rival

When it comes to evaluating style, we’re more than happy to defer to the Italians. In this case, we can’t help but let MV speak for itself on the Rivale’s styling, in some brilliantly evocative PR prose: “The Rivale 800 exudes an emotive design from every angle. Dominating the road with its mix of harmonious and “discordant” lines, tense yet voluptuous, bordering on futuristic whilst retaining synergy with our past.”

Harmonious, discordant, voluptuous… Yes, the Rivale sports eye-catching lines to be sure. It also shares pivotal design traits with its fellow MV Triples, foremost being the staggered three-pipe exhaust that frames the single-sided swingarm. It’s a pretty feature that we’ll stop harping on once the allure wears off, though it’s been two years since the still-gorgeous F3 broke cover at Milan.

The Rivale diverges from its Brutale kin, however, with its supermoto-ish aesthetics. Where the Brutale is a true naked, this new ride adds more bodywork, including a large belly pan as well as the rear mudguard/fender. But it seems to us that the Ducati Hypermotard snuck into the MV stable to rut. The most blatant borrowings are the retractable rear view mirrors, but the front cowling and fairing look quite familiar too. Or maybe that’s just us projecting Hypermotard paternity on this Rivale, feel free to vent in the comments…

125 HP / 386 pounds

Power claims for the Rivale are 125 hp. That’s identical to the Brutale 800, which carries the all-new 798cc version of the MV Inline Triple. Displacement is reached via 79mm bore and 54.3mm stroke – the stroke elongated 8.4mm from its 675cc F3 progenitor. (For more information on the 800 Triple read the Brutale 800 First Look).

Tantalizing performance is promised from the Triple, and the Rivale claims a light 386 pound dry weight as well. Impressive as those claims are, the Brutale 800 slinks an extra 18 pounds off the claimed dry weight.

The two bikes appear to share similar chassis designs. The Rivale sports a steel trellis frame that mates with aluminum sections and a single-sided swingarm. The dimensions have been altered, however, with a half degree more relaxed steering head angle than the Brutale. The suspension has been tweaked as well with MV claiming: “The excursion of the fork and shock have also been increased to provide more comfort and conformity to the road surface.” While the settings might be changed, the Marzhocchi fork and Sachs shock remain three-way adjustable.

The high-spec componentry extends to the brakes. Radial-mount Brembos clamp down on 320mm discs up front, with a two-piston caliper/220mm disc out back.

MV promises the Rivale will be ready in the second half of 2013, where it will retail for 10,990 Euros. This represents a 1000 Euro increase over the Brutale 800.

It is uncertain when or if either of the MV 800s, the Brutale or Rivale, will be available in the U.S. market.

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