MV Agusta Stradale 800

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Four years ago, MV Agusta had just two models on offer – the F4 and Brutale – and even then, they weren’t quite the finished article. As we roll into 2015, the Varese-based factory will be producing 19 and the end product has been treated to sublime refinement. Owner, Giovanni Castiglioni has invested 60 million Euros into MV’s product range over the past four years and will chuck another 60 million into development in the coming years. AMG of Mercedes fame has also taken 25% of the company, and we’re likely to see MV exotica sitting in the windows of some flashy Mercedes dealerships as they chase luxury status.

Ironically, MV has almost adopted a car manufacturer tenet by using a few base platforms to create numerous different models, rather than nut-n-bolt overhauls. The latest model is the Stradale 800: MV’s interpretation of a ‘light tourer’. MV crusaders might be looking at the Stradale and thinking it’s just a Rivale with panniers, and we forgive you. But it’s far more than a rebadging job…

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It uses the tried and tested 800cc triple motor from the F3, retuned to 115bhp for more midrange and bottom-end shove. As well as de rigueur traction control, ABS and various map/throttle options in the ride-by-wire arsenal, the Stradale brags an auto-blipper (the must-have for 2015) to sit alongside the quickshifter, making the clutch redundant apart from launching/stopping – needless shifting ahoy, but so cool.

Chassis-wise, it’s a lot longer and features more relaxed geometry than the Rivale. The Sachs/Marzocchi suspension combo has some extra travel to fit the touring ethos, and there’s a token screen for wind protection – which you’ll need with its 870mm seat height.

But make no mistake: although there are panniers present, the Stradale is still a riot. It’ll be in MV Agusta dealers in the next few weeks and costs £11,600. Full review coming soon. And yes, she wheelies…

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Pic: Sir Alan of Dowdshire

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