Yamaha MT-09 and MV Agusta Brutale 800 in comparison test

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MV Agusta Brutale 800 and Yamaha MT-09.

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Typical MV: Hybrid frame made of cast aluminum profiles and tubular structure, single-sided swing arm and an exhaust that reveals the number of cylinders.

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The shift assistant sensor only worked reliably when shifting down, MV Augusta 800 Brutale.

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Always a practical thing, especially around large brake discs: cranked valves on the MV Augusta 800 Brutale.

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For the 2017 season, the Yamaha MT-09 got a fully adjustable fork, an anti-hopping clutch, a new headlight and a redesigned rear.

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The polished stainless steel elbows of the MT-09 form a noble metal sculpture. Everyday life begins behind it.

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Nicely integrated: LED rear and brake lights. The license plate lighting is outsourced to the Yamaha MT-09.

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Appealingly designed and with a concealed cable harness, the swing-proof license plate holder of the MV looks better than that of the Yamaha. Such a part also harmonizes better with a single-sided swing arm
Compared…

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… Yamaha MT-09

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The MV Agusta Brutale 800 carries the larger panes, …

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… the Yamaha takes its more energetic in the four-piston calipers. Ultimately, that is a question of the choice of the pad, less of the other brake hardware.

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The MV clutch is actuated hydraulically and with ingenious width adjustment on the lever, …

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… the Yamaha relies on cable pull and a very simple lever.

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MV Agusta Brutale 800 and Yamaha MT-09.

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The MV Agusta Brutale 800 places its pilot close to the handlebars, higher up and with an emphasis on the front wheel.

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The front of the Yamaha MT-09 rises high, the driver sits low and relatively far behind.

Yamaha MT-09 and MV Agusta Brutale 800

Mid-range nakeds in a comparison test

In deep winter, motorcycling can get chilly in the south of France too. But in this comparison test between the two naked bikes, the Yamaha MT-09 and MV Agusta Brutale 800, the testers were lucky and achieved an intermediate high that warmed the heart and tires.

For a few hours in the late morning and early afternoon, summer returned. The MOTORRAD testers’ favorite pass in southern France was in full sunshine with its southern ramp. It was as if he were spreading his asphalt arms in welcome. “Well, guys,” he seemed to be saying, “are you back too? What nice things did you bring with you this time? ”In response, he heard three-cylinder sounds. The MV Agusta Brutale 800 and the roared in a duet Yamaha MT-09 – both in the new Euro 4 version – from curve to curve, dragged the short straights away from under them and let double triads echo between the rocks. The testers, who had previously practiced ice-plate slalom in shady valleys next to frost-covered vineyards, were inflamed by sudden warmth and brightness.

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Yamaha MT-09 and MV Agusta Brutale 800
Mid-range nakeds in a comparison test

Motor of the Yamaha MT-09 with more displacement

After a short distance, exchanging the machines revealed the different characters of the two engines. What information and measured values ​​later added to this first impression raises doubts in some points about the correspondence between theory and practice. The engine of the MV Agusta Brutale 800 has 49 cm³ less displacement than that of the Yamaha MT-09, but still more bore and therefore less stroke. 4.8 millimeters to be precise. Consequently, at the same speeds, it pushes less power and torque and turns higher. The inconsistency is that he does not use his turning ability. Anyone who knows the earlier versions of the three-cylinder with 125 hp will notice that the current version with a nominal 116 hp revs up less lively; When looking at the power curve, it is also noticeable that from 7,000 rpm it increases with a flatter gradient than before. It looks like it has been bent down a little from this mark. The sport mode does not change anything in this characteristic, only the response behavior becomes a little harder. This only has to do with the Euro 4 homologation to a certain extent, after all the 148 hp F3 has also overcome this hurdle. Is seems reasonable to assume that the MV engine developers, with a tamer coordination, created the 5,500 rpm wide range in which the torque is above 70 Nm.

The MV’s motor provides robust overtones

The Yamaha 847 is above this mark across the rev range. Nevertheless, it is not an engine that disguises its power with a steady increase in torque and power. On the contrary. It’s amazing how it pulls off from 5,000 rpm at full load. At the first contact after a long time, the driver is swept away, hangs by surprise behind the handlebars and watches slightly surprised as the front end of his motorcycle snaps at him. Here the performance curve is clearly bent upwards, so the three-cylinder of the Yamaha MT-09 has a lot to offer both below and in the middle and especially above. It already develops these virtues in the standard mode, the A mode does not provide any higher performance. With all of this, the Yamaha engine runs even more quietly than the one in the MV Agusta Brutale 800, whose mechanics provide robust overtones and which also vibrates a bit stronger.

Who is ahead when it comes to load changes??

It is a fine art to train an engine in such a way that it does not react hesitantly after a load change, but also not too rudely, which can sometimes cause irritating chassis reactions on light and short motorcycles. Because of the lengthy coordination work required for this, the products of large motorcycle manufacturers usually have the edge in this discipline. Not in this comparison. As with the "old" MT-09, the 2017 model is a popular choice when the road becomes particularly narrow and winding and frequent load changes are necessary. This is all the more preferred on the new one because this mode no longer entails a loss of peak performance, but maintains the gentler response that helps with rhythmic driving. Overall, when it comes to load changes, the Yamaha MT-09 behaves a little better than earlier models, especially the MOTORRAD endurance test machine, but the Brutale can do it even more smoothly. This is surprising in view of previous tests, but is confirmed in tight turns. On the MV Agusta Brutale 800, they are simply more fluid by hand.

Starting with the MV tricky

Starting off with the MV is less easy – and that is to be taken literally – especially when it is to be fast and sporty. On the one hand, the hand force on the clutch lever is quite high; on the other hand, the clutch jerks violently when it is engaged quickly and at higher speeds. The acceleration measurements therefore only produced mediocre values, especially the value from zero to 100 km / h suffered from the poor controllability. In contrast to the MV, the new anti-hopping clutch of the Yamaha spoils you with little manual force and even bite when starting, which, in combination with the powerful engine, gives it an advantage when accelerating. With the help of a short overall gear ratio, the MV rises to the level of the Yamaha MT-09 in the pull-through test despite its lower torque. From 60 to 140 km / h in last gear, it can even distance its stronger competitor by a few tenths of a second. Exactly from 140 km / h the Yamaha three-cylinder develops more tractive power in the last gear and therefore pulls a tick faster to 180 km / h than the MV Agusta Brutale 800. Ultimately, a dead race.

Gas mileage on by

Because of the consistently higher speed level, this raised concerns about significantly higher fuel consumption for the MV, but the testers were pleasantly disappointed in this expectation. During the consumption test run, only one tenth more liter flowed through the injection nozzles of the MV Agusta Brutale 800 than through those of the Yamaha. In this test, the Yamaha MT-09 consumed 0.6 liters more per 100 kilometers than its predecessor with Euro 3 homologation. If both motorcycles are driven with high performance, the fuel consumption advantage of the Yamaha is a little more obvious, but the MV is not a petrol drunk. This also speaks for the technical maturity of your drive.

New upshift assistant of the MT-09 reliable

This praise does not apply unreservedly to electronics. As with other MV-F3 models, the shift assistant did not work perfectly; The electronic helper often refused to upshift with the throttle open, while downshifting without the clutch worked without any problems and was also very smooth. Possibly the intermittent disturbance when upshifting cost one or the other half a tenth of the acceleration measurement; that could not be determined with absolute certainty. The new upshift assistant on the Yamaha MT-09 works reliably and precisely in the area that is relevant for rapid acceleration: at full throttle and close to the limiter speed. When swimming in traffic, when you want to go into a gas-saving gear at low engine speed, the Yamaha shifts more smoothly if you briefly disengage the clutch. That doesn’t matter because the slipper clutch is really easy to operate.

Brutale chassis made for corners of all kinds

As much as one would like to have the assistant in view of the bony MV circuit, the driving pleasure does not spoil the driving pleasure, because the chassis of the Brutale is made for curves of all kinds and radii. Compared to a super sports car, the geometry is rather conservative, designed for driving stability, but in combination with the wide aluminum handlebars, the seating position and the excellent tires, this geometry gives the MV impressive handiness and steering precision. In long downhill bends, when the driver is particularly dependent on feeling the reactions of the front tire, the MV Agusta Brutale 800 instills a lot of confidence with its precise feedback.

Serial tires of the MT-09 not convincing

Apart from a slightly flatter steering head and only one millimeter shorter caster, the geometry of the Yamaha differs in that the wheelbase is 40 millimeters longer. This value is not decisively responsible for their slower turning behavior, the lower steering precision and the stronger righting moment when braking. The series tires are more likely to be suspected. The Bridgestone S 20 in the special specification "M", especially the front tire, could not convince on the previous Yamaha MT-09, a criticism that should not be transferred to the standard S-20. The rather passive seating position behind the towering steering head is also of little help.

What about the suspension?

As befits the reputation of the Italian brand, the suspension elements of the MV Agusta Brutale 800 are more tightly tuned than those of the Yamaha, but respond sensitively. Sharply contoured bumps penetrate as a short, dry bump to the driver, who does not find it very comfortable, but is at least not pushed away from his driving line. The same sequence of bumps in the inclined position almost causes the rear of the Yamaha to bottom out and ensures a clear stir around the longitudinal axis. On less pronounced bumps, the Yamaha offers more suspension comfort than the MV. The new, now fully adjustable fork from Yamaha does its job better than the shock absorb and fork of the previous Yamaha MT-09; one gets the impression that together with the extended adjustment options it has also been given more damping reserves.

Brakes of the Yamaha more sharply tuned

Despite the smaller diameter of the front discs, the brakes of the Yamaha are more sharply tuned than the Brembo system of the MV Agusta Brutale 800. This applies to the friction pairing as well as to the behavior of the ABS. The MT-09 decelerates brutally with a powerful bite right at the beginning of the braking maneuver. Those who are used to the MV’s more gentle, responsive brakes will find them almost too toxic at first, but quickly get used to simply pulling the lever with less force. In spite of the fork springing through quickly, the ABS of the Yamaha MT-09 allows sustained high deceleration without the rear end becoming light or beginning to wobble, while the MV system begins to regulate relatively early on a non-slip road, long before the tire’s grip limit. In view of the front-oriented and high seating position on the Brutale, a precautionary measure to prevent stoppies. In this respect, the design of the MV is okay, but the Yamaha masters the balancing act between the greatest possible deceleration and a dangerously fast lift-off rear wheel much better.

What is the rear wheel doing?

The traction control of the Yamaha MT-09 is also very smooth, one could almost say with foresight. A short climb on a back road with minimal grip served as a test track, and the Yamaha passed this test as if the rider himself had carefully controlled the slip on the rear wheel. In fact, the traction control indicator light flickered wildly. The MV Agusta Brutale 800, on the other hand, allowed hearty rear wheel slides in the same place, even in the defensive stage. It seems as if the system is desperately controlling the drastically decreasing coefficient of friction that occurs when the wheel slips. MV drivers do well on hot rides to feel with wide-awake senses what the rear wheel is doing and to react themselves if necessary. If the electronics intervene to help at the very last second, all the better. One would rather not rely on that.

Biggest difference in price

In spite of all of this, the biggest difference between the two motorcycles is the price. The MV Agusta Brutale 800 costs a whopping 4,495 euros more than the Yamaha MT-09. MV fans can find a small consolation in the fact that the Italian is processed more carefully in many details than the Japanese and brings higher-quality suspension elements and series tires. The MV electronics fips mentioned above proves that careful workmanship does not necessarily lead to absolute reliability. This shows once again that the term processing quality has many facets. Lovingly designed details and surfaces are just one, absolutely reliable technology that is another very important one.

Test result

MOTORCYCLE test result

  1. Yamaha MT-09: It is primarily the engine that puts the Yamaha MT-09 at the top of this test. The brakes do the rest, as do the low maintenance costs and the low price. The MT-09 only has some catching up to do in terms of chassis.
  2. MV Agusta Brutale 800: It is beautiful, carefully made, has a pleasing engine and a very good chassis. However, it is also expensive. But at least the Yamaha MT-09 doesn’t run far away in the points classification.

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