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STM: An Apology to MCUSA Readers

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Frank Melling Telecast: An Apology to MCUSA Readers
After the success of the MV Agusta F4  the Italian company attempted to meet the desire for a naked bike by producing the Brutale design.
Brutale = Manatee... So sayeth Melling, our sage whom we support 1000% to the max FTW.

Moderator: Good Morning everybody. Thank you for you for joining us today. My name is Bart Madson and I am the Managing Editor at MCUSA - and therefore Melling’s direct boss. Following the furore regarding Melling’s assessment of the MV Agusta Brutale as being the motorcycling cousin of a Floridian Manatee I have brought him here to answer the charges which MCUSA’s readers have laid against him.

Frank Melling: Good morning everyone. First, I would like to apologize humbly and sincerely for any offence I have caused to anyone by disagreeing with their carefully considered, accurate and balanced analyses of my articles.

Further, I promise never to make flippant comments ever again, not even once, nor attempt humorous comments for which I am completely unworthy and incapable. Girl Scouts’ Honor. Cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die-poke-a-needle-in-my-eye-if-I-ever-tell-a-lie.

Moderator: So, we are open to questions. So, let’s go straight to Nancy Lou Finklefurter. Hi Nancy Lou.

Nancy Lou: I am President of the National Manatee Lovers’ Society and I wish to object very strongly to Frank Melling’s appalling article. Compared with even the least attractive Manatee the Brutale is butt- ugly and it is deeply disparaging to Manatees that Melling should try to make this comparison.

Personally, I think that the front of the Brutale looks far more like a hippopotamus which has just ploughed into the back of a truck at 60 mph than our lovely Floridian amphibian.

Frank Melling: First, I must apologize to all fans of warm water herbivores. Clearly, Ms. Finklefurter, I do respect your opinions deeply but I do have to respectfully disagree with you. The drooping headlight of the Brutale is far more accurately reflected in the lugubrious face of a Manatee than the rather cheerful visage of a hippo - even one which has been in a serious road accident.

I also feel that the Brutale’s lack of performance is more accurately reflected in the gentle progress a Manatee makes through swamps rather than the brisk trot which a hippo can achieve.

Frank Melling sits on his newest  toy   the Walmsley G.50  a hand-built bike made in the vein of classic British Grand Prix racers. Pictured with Melling is the man who built his cherished motorcycle  master builder Fred Walmsley.
"Oh why can't they all be like my Matchless G.50," thought Frank, "the most beautiful bending of steel to fly down the road. Alas... life is bittersweet."
Moderator: Here’s a call from the East Coast - all the way from the Harvard School of Art and Design. Good morning to you Syrah.

Syrah Terroir: Hi, I’m studying Motovotive Art and Design and I just want Frank, I mean Mr. Melling, to know that all the girls here absolutely worship you. Our rooms are covered in pictures of you with your gorgeous pouting belly poking through those minimalist black leathers, and your wrinkles just like feeders for the Grand Canyon. So, on to my question. Can you give any style advice to us?

Frank Melling: Thanks for the kind comments Syrah. I do understand how you girls feel about me but it’s just a cross I have to bear.

Regarding style advice, there is one simple rule to follow. The style value of the item of clothing has an inverse value to its cost. Thus, the latest $99 high fashion t-shirt always loses out to the free “T” blagged from an unsuspecting race team. Overwhelmingly, free is stylish - and paid for is very uncool.

And, lest you think that this rule applies only to freeloading journalists and their even more downmarket cousins, bike racing journos, just try to spot paid for clothing at a MotoGP, Formula One or Nascar race - regardless of who is wearing it.

Moderator: Well, we have a first here. A caller from Sicily. Good morning Luigi.

Luigi sei Marche: Lemme start by telling Melling thata there’s a horse head on it’sa way to you.

Listena here Melling. We’vea got a garagea full of these Brutalas here in lovely Sicilia and you are getting in da way of doing business.
Frank Melling
Fat, bald, wrinkling and too old to care what you think... Mr. Melling loves you still.

The Brutales is very fine motos and the fact that we still owna da shed full of dem after six years only shows what dumbasses some people are anda dey have no culture ora da style.

So to alla you lovely Americanos, we cana maka very easy delivery to your door in our nice plain white vans.

We don’t take no checks, or Pay Pal, but we are happy to accepta da casha, jewellery, gold bling or anything which cana fit in da little foil packets.

Dona listen to Melling - hesa just jealous ‘cos he don have a cut of da action.

Moderator: Well thanks Luigi, I just want you to know how incredibly pro-Italian we are here at mcusa as I feel sure that your cousin in Medford will confirm when we eat at his Pizzeria.

Frank Melling: I can only humbly agree with Luigi. The Brutale is an incredibly fine motorcycle. I think that MV Agusta got the specification absolutely right with the motor making peak torque at only 10,500 rpm and no useable power below 7,000 rpm.

I have learnt from readers that a motor like this is just what’s needed for a naked bike.

I also understand that having your manly parts smashed into the gas tank is part of the bonding process which all MVisti need to make with their bike.

Not being able to take a pillion passenger, unless she is a size smaller than a Harry Potter House Elf, is a desirable aid to marital harmony.

Clearly, all those low mileage, second-hand Brutales are universally mis-represented and mis-understood, and should be worth double their current asking prices. So sorry to you Luigi, and to everyone else who rates this fine motorcycle so highly.

Moderator: Now, here we have Norman Dorkin from Idaho. Norman, you are something of an authority when it comes to motorcycle styling.

Norman: Yes, I can truthfully claim to be an expert. I have subscriptions to 16 European bike magazines and I spend at least seven hours a night visiting websites and forums so that I am right on top of every technical and styling issue in the motorcycling world.

Moderator: So, put Melling right. What was your reaction when you first saw the Brutale in the flesh, as we might say?

Norman: I’m sorry, I don’t quite understand the question.

While it is possible to wheelie the MV Agusta Brutale  it is far from the experience most bike enthusiasts would desire.
Melling apologizes for not falling in line and appealing to his readers' delicate sensibilities . Although bruised and battered, he returns to his post at MCUSA, his mea culpa not in the least sarcastic.
Moderator: When you walked around the bike, sat on it and then took it for a test ride how did you feel?

Norman: I’m not here to answer your smartass questions - I gotta go now and leave some more comments.

Moderator: Well here’s another one of our foreign fans. Good morning Kunal

Kunal Ghate: Let me first tell you that I am a big fan of Moto USA. I read each and every article on sports bikes and of course street bikes.

The shoot-outs are something that I look forward to and I think that you guys do a fantastic job reviewing the bikes. There is one particular author’s article which are seriously a misfit on your website, Frank Miller.

He recently reviewed the new MV Agusta Brutale and judged it simply on the way it’s styled. The styling for him is ‘ugly’, whereas in many people’s opinion the Brutale is a looker!

Frank Melling: Well, here’s another reader I agree with. It is true that I am seriously a mis-fit at mcusa, but that’s completely consistent with being a mis-fit in the maternity unit; at Kindergarten; an even bigger mis-fit at school, and a horrendous mis-fit at the one College in Britain which made the mistake of admitting me.
I have now progressed through a long working life of being a complete and utter mis-fit in every single job in which I have been employed and hope to die in a very odd shape so that they have to make a one-off custom coffin for my mis-fit body.
So thanks Kumal for correctly identifying that I truly am the #1 mis-fit at mcusa.
And to conclude on a serious note, thanks to all those readers who take the time and trouble to comment - good or bad on my articles: I am very grateful for your interest.
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Stravoxylo -Brilliant!  December 8, 2010 10:56 AM
Finally! No more "faint praise" to keep the advertisers happy. Now a request from a loyal reader. I would like to score a deal on a Street Triple R, so if you could cajole Mr. Waheed to stop praising that damn ugly mutt, and rewrite his review to match your Brutale review, maybe I can put one in the stable by New Year's! Thanks
wildpig -mr wildpig to you  December 8, 2010 06:32 AM
is anythang uglier than a bmw? if so i havent seen it...............
Bryan -Finally some honesty  December 8, 2010 06:08 AM
Thank you for actually writing an honest opinion of a motorcycle that you dislike. So many moto-journalists seem reluctant to ever write a negative opinion about a motorcycle. It gets boring reading articles that highlight only the positives in an attempt to not offend anyone. As we all are trying to decide how to spend our motorcycling budgets it's far more useful to have honest reviews. Thanks for your informative and entertaining writing!
gunther -ha!  December 8, 2010 12:01 AM
I was half expecting some lame ass apology for giving an opinion. Good work mr. Melling. Personally I do like the look of the brutale (though there are lots of better looking bikes) but to each his own.
Max -Kudos  December 7, 2010 08:42 PM
Kudos from Bangalore.

It's nice to have some honest straight from the heart read early morning than some trumped up politically correct, diplomatic trash that we're usually subjected to.

So you will offend a few here and there, but hey, off the cuff straightforwardness always beats the shite out of molly coddling manufacturers who charge a bomb for sometimes sub standard machines.

For the record, I've ridden the older version, its nice, but am not going to come within a mile of this tinpot.

Good Job Mr. Melling, +1 to the fan base.


CowboyTutt -Your kidding right?  December 7, 2010 07:39 PM
"that the Brutale is uglier than the Tuono?" and "I'm always glad to hear both positive and negative comments on how a bike performs but I don't really find comments on styling/appearance helpful. After all, none of us need to be told what is beautiful since appearance is subjective. I do appreciate the honest assessment of the lackluster engine performance though."


The old Brutale looks a whole lot better to me than the old Tuono as well as the new Tuono and even the new Triumph Speed Triple and its strange headlight????

Give me a break! -Tutt

kevin -fugly  December 7, 2010 06:48 PM
is in the eye of the beholder. At least someone is finally picking on something else than the 999.
irksome -A conspicuous lack of an irony sensor  December 7, 2010 04:41 PM
I am DEEPLY offended. Anyone with half a brain can plainly see that the Brutale more closely resembles a warthog. Dry humping a wildebeest. In the shade of a mango tree that was planted in the butt of anyone who took his comments seriously.
peter san -mr  December 7, 2010 01:19 PM
first can we cast our thoughts back to the mv f41000 aticle in which frank melling fell head over heels in love with, it was fast stylish and handled like a race bike, i want one i heard him say so its not mv,s he disliked but just the love it hate it brutale, and a 750 at that, i dont agree with some of the comments but do agree with others if you want one to go down the pub on on a sunday night it draws crowd's of mv fans, but if you ride it hard for a few hours well quite frankly (pun not intended) it hurts and its not that good but hey its italian, and i love them and PS; i own both bikes in the motorcycle-usa.com articles so maybe im a bit biased see you at the thundersprint 2011
Carl -pretty funny  December 7, 2010 12:21 PM
I'm always glad to hear both positive and negative comments on how a bike performs but I don't really find comments on styling/appearance helpful. After all, none of us need to be told what is beautiful since appearance is subjective. I do appreciate the honest assessment of the lackluster engine performance though.
JEFF -duck  December 7, 2010 09:13 AM
You know there is a reason not much is said about a matchless. Bust out of your thin skin and get over it! If it look,s like a duck, walk,s like a duck, it,s probably a duck. So if you cant take the brutal truth, turn the page and go elsewhere! BABIES
Shaitan -He he  December 7, 2010 09:05 AM
Awesome! Loved it.
Madman -MC junkie  December 7, 2010 08:41 AM
Just think, it could have had an HD badge on the tank.
Harry -Italian bikes will always rock -Period  December 7, 2010 08:18 AM
GOD plz offer them eyes to those who dont appreciate an Italian bike's Styling.
Nick -Surely you don't think . . .  December 7, 2010 07:24 AM
that the Brutale is uglier than the Tuono?
Kirk66 -All good  December 7, 2010 07:24 AM
In the words of Sgt Hulka, "Lighten up, Francis!"

It was funny. Geez, some readers are surely sensitive.

JeffD -Hilarious  December 7, 2010 07:14 AM
Great job on the rebuttal! Everyone's got an opinion but you get the last laugh since you're paid to post yours! Jeff
benroe -lol  December 7, 2010 06:57 AM
love it!! this may be the most entertaining piece of the year..finally journalistic perfection in the land of motorcycledom has been attained.
A Hottie -LOL  December 7, 2010 03:40 AM
LOL I like any journalist who is willing to actually criticise rather than just promoting the 'good bits' of a bike and ignoring the bad ones. So MV won't give you any more test bikes maybe. Who cares, noone buys them anyhow.
Whatevah -Mr.  December 7, 2010 02:40 AM
Ahaha, genius, pure genius :) I'm quite fed up with the "italian bikes have soul", when most of the time it's quite obvious they are different just for the sake of being different. But of course every internet bike connoisseur knows italian styling is teh shit just because, and anybody saying different don't know their fuel tank from their swingarm. In the end though there is no better proof than the fact that very few put their money where their mouth is.
stefaan -?  December 7, 2010 02:07 AM
i don't really understand what you are trying to prove with this article. correct me if i'm wrong, but here, you sound like an arrogant son of a *****. i've always liked your articles, and understand some of your opinions: engine-wise the brutale just plain sucks. styling however is so personal, for example: i hate cruisers but have an uncle that would donate his right nut for a harley. i think it's good that you say what you think, but this reaction, i find it a bit over-the-top. greets