Slyck255

122 months ago

 - via web

- Story

Italian Flirtation: MV Agusta 800 Rivale

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

It was almost romantic serendipity - European style.

I was at Sturgess Cycle in Hamilton, ON having some work done on my Ninja 500, (kudos to Service Manager Ryan for slotting me in when another customer didn't show for an appointment) when I discovered there was a MV Augusta demo ride.

A month or so previously I had read some motorcycle magazine glowing reviews and was pleasantly surprised to find a couple at the dealer when I popped in a week or so after. I am not an expert on design but there was a gut-deep appeal to the 800 Dragster and Rivale. I can't say I had considered purchasing one, but no way was I going to turn down an opportunity to have a go on one.

(My apologies for the pics - just had time for some quick snaps...)

The Rivale is like no other bike I've even been on. It was my first triple. My first impression was how tall it is - I was on my toes. The wide handlebar was reminiscent of an 80's motocrosser. There are the standard sophisticated traction control and ignition mappings - but I didn't have the time to explore them - leave it on "Tame".

The seating position is upright and somewhat forward - a little disconcerting that you can't really see the front wheel. But who cares?

I love the sensual curve of the exhaust pipes and the aggressive stance - this beautiful naked bike has the promise of muscle.

The triple cylinder engine, dare I say, but I must be truthful, sounds like a diesel tractor at idle, yet purrs mildly at street speeds. The powerband is wide - lots of torque and smooth delivery and snap when you need it. But the snarl - literally a snarl - that rips from the exhaust when the throttle is twisted wide really must be heard to be appreciated. I have never heard such a sound - and it was intoxicating. The Rivale begs to be put through its paces. My butt almost hurt from being kicked so hard. No complaints.

Most of the ride I was nervous about riding such a sweet machine - it took until nearly 75% of the demo ride to start to feel comfortable. The Brembo brakes are very strong - I am used to older bikes where I have to grab a strong fistful of brake. The Rivale feels like it has power brakes by comparison. Definitely only need a couple of fingers with a feather touch.

One quirk, the horn button is where the signal switch usually is on a Japanese bike, and the signal underneath. So everyone hits the horn at least once when cancelling a signal. "Meep!" Dang! If you purchase one, though, I'm sure you'll adapt quickly.

As much as I enjoyed the brief flirtation, my practical side raised its (unwelcome) head: "How would you use this in the real world? where does it fit in?" Answer: "Pure fun and exhilaration. Period."

More info:

MV Augusta

MV Agusta Canada

MV Agusta Sturgess Cycle Hamilton ON.jpg

MV Agusta Sturgess Cycle Hamilton ON.jpg

MV Agusta Rivale 800.jpg

MV Agusta Rivale 800.jpg

MV Agusta Rivale 800 Exhaust.jpg

MV Agusta Rivale 800 Exhaust.jpg

MV Agusta 800 Rivale rear.jpg

MV Agusta 800 Rivale rear.jpg

MV agusta Rivale 800 cockpit.jpg

MV agusta Rivale 800 cockpit.jpg

MV Agusta Rivale 800 front.jpg

MV Agusta Rivale 800 front.jpg

MV Agusta Rivale 800 poised.jpg

MV Agusta Rivale 800 poised.jpg

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alex

122 months ago

The Italians usually make beautiful machines (the Multistrada 1100 is living proof of how wrong they can get it sometimes) and this is no exception. 

And having ridden your Ninja, I completely get why you think the brakes are so strong.