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Comparison test: Italian naked bikes, Ducati Streetfighter 848, MV Agusta Brutale 920

Ducati Steetfighter 848 versus MV Agusta Brutale 920

Italian naked bike chic is also available for less money. With the Streetfighter 848 and the Brutale 920, Ducati and MV Agusta round off their funbike range at the bottom. And: the two divas not only look good.

Strange. The tanks are full, the ignition keys are in the locks, helmets and gloves are ready. It would not take a minute and we would have disappeared around the next bend with the bikes. Instead, the waiter brings us a cafe au lait and puts it on the table without a word. Perhaps he does not want to disturb the devout calm, has noticed that motorcycles can be fascinating even when stationary. Like these two: Ducati Streetfighter 848 and the MV Agusta Brutale 920.

Naked bikes that take this term seriously. And whose shell-less appearance – as worn as this cliche may be – is nowhere in the world more stylishly and aesthetically implemented than in Italy. As if Ducati hadn’t set visual signs of time with the 916 in the supersports segment or the Hypermotard in the funbike department in recent history, the men from Bologna marked another fragrance brand in design history in 2009: the Streetfighter. A thoroughly aggressive street fighter based on the 1098 cc engine. At first glance, the little Streetfighter, the 848, which was pushed in last autumn, resembles its big sister like an egg to another.

GThe tapering headlight nose lowers itself rimmig in the direction of the front wheel, with its lower edge extends the steeply sloping line from the rear over the seat bench and the tank. Not even the handlebar dares to tower above this axis of evil with its downward-facing crank. The periphery also demonstrates the claim to power. The massive single-sided swing arm made of cast aluminum forces the rear wheel into the track, powerful stainless steel manifolds direct the exhaust gases into the two silencers with their finely brushed aluminum casing. The brake and clutch can be controlled via high-quality, radially hinged fittings.

Comparison test: Italian naked bikes

Ducati Steetfighter 848 versus MV Agusta Brutale 920


Getting the hang of it: Long bows are one of the strengths of the Ducati. So did the retuned brakes.

Nice to just sit there and let your eyes wander over and over again over these two Italians. In these forms and technical solutions you can literally feel the joy of the designers in motorcycles. In this respect, it seems almost presumptuous to squint at helmet and gloves. Or didn’t these machines just want to lure us into the saddle because of their looks? A few moments later, the duo immersed themselves in the world of the streets and lanes of southern France.

Done until the tires are warm and the minds are in the mood for the curve dance. Especially since a little caution also appears financially appropriate. At a good 12,000 euros, the beautiful ones are much cheaper than their 14,000 euros (MV Agusta Brutale R 1090) or even 19,000 euros (Ducati Streetfighter S), but they are far from a special offer.

It is immediately noticeable that the two nudes differ not only in their optical alignment. Uncomfortably, the Ducati stretches the pilot over the tank. Although the handlebar bracket, which is 20 millimeters higher than the large Streetfighter, helps to straighten the upper body a bit, the downward-cranked handlebars typical of the Bolognese naked bike group still force the Ducatist into an inactive sitting position. The fact that the bench is comfortable and the knee angle is emphatically open hardly consoles the ergonomic faux pas. Especially since the Brutale is clearly more cooperative in this regard. The lady from Lake Vares places her trainer in an emphatically compact position, stretches the handlebars towards him in a friendly manner, and at most accepts criticism of the rather high and smooth footrests.

The road winds its way through the pine forest. Shallow rays of the sun warm the asphalt. The Pirelli tires – sporty Diablo Rosso Corsa on the Ducati, more tourist-oriented Angel ST on the MV – now provide clear feedback. The cable may be pulled.

And as in the seating position, the duo also differs in terms of the engine. The Vau-Zwo, which comes from the 848 Evo, pushes the Ducati forward with a roaring sound. It did him good, the eleven-degree cure. Instead of 37 degrees as in the Evo, the short-stroke engine in the Streetfighter is satisfied with an eleven degree valve overlap. Tea hesitant start of the Evo at the very bottom, its deep torque hanger in the middle, all of that has been wiped away. The Duc unit already pushes strongly out of the lower rev range and with the impulsive pressure of 131 PS (848 Evo: 137 PS) it balances itself up to 11,000 turns. Great. Sometimes pulsating, sometimes delicately vibrating, it shows life – without disturbing even once. It only does that when switching. The clutch, which requires an unusually large amount of manual force, is annoying in the long run.

The MV engine is atypical for a four-cylinder. As if the gears had to deburr inside the engine, the 133 hp propellant grinds metallic, hissing aggressively from its two small silencers as if to add background. No comparison to the flexibility of Japanese four-in-a-row – but that’s why it is so appealing. In addition, the quad can be pulled up cleanly and predictably from idle, greedily and revvingly on the gas and – as with the Ducati, incidentally – never lets the bigger sisters want the hammer punch. No wonder that in view of the impressive performance of the duo, the pendulum of the public’s favor could quickly turn in the direction of the two newcomers.

Especially since the short gear ratio of the MV promotes this snappy character. The fact that the Brutale therefore does not reach its specified maximum speed of 265 km / h, instead being blocked by the rev limiter at 250 points, is hardly significant with an undisguised fun bike. It is more likely that the classy diva’s traction control leaves a lot to be desired. As with the large comparison of driving assistance systems (MOTORRAD 23/2010) in the Brutale 1090, the electronics in the 920 ignore their job. Even in the most sensitive setting, the slip control does not intervene and does not even react to gravel when it is attempted to take off.


The MV Agusta Brutale 920.

The Duc proves how such a system can work. The eight-stage DTC (Ducati Traction Control), which is relatively easy to set, direct emerging arrogance into regulated paths.

The road winds up a hill. The curves wind tightly around rocks, the asphalt becomes coarser-grained and wavy. Again, the less agile seating position on the Ducati in particular spoils the fun of these crisp turns. You can also feel at every moment that the Streetfighter, with its 45 millimeter longer wheelbase, circles a little more cautiously around the curves compared to the Brutale. However, also that the Ducati holds the line more fully and effortlessly in longer arcs than the MV. Pleasing: The slightly tighter fork set-up and less snappy brake pads than in the big Streetfighter mean that the front plunges less deeply when the brakes are applied. The 848 finally abandoned the excited behavior at the entrance to the curve, which is also known from the monsters and the Hypermotards. A good exchange – even if the little street fighter is a bit less comfortable due to the tighter set-up. After all, the fork and shock absorber can be readjusted in both rebound and compression damping with a wide range of settings.

The MV is pushing. The combination of said active seating position, short wheelbase and lively acceleration really brings the brutal to life here. It’s amazing what the MV Agusta technicians can get out of the periphery. Despite the brake calipers, which are identical to the Ducati counterparts, the stop in the MV evidently go a step further, putting the Bolognese combination in the shade with excellent braking effect and above all a formidable controllability. With a partially higher quality base, the MV technicians are sending the brutals into the race when it comes to spring elements. Although the fork and shock absorber come from Marzocchi and Sachs, as with the Ducati, the Varese invested a little more at least in the front. The fork with 50 millimeter dip tubes (Ducati: 43 mm) has a relatively narrow adjustment range, but swallows bumps sensitively. The shock absorber does well even without an external expansion tank. Ultimately, the coordination in the general assembly worked well in front and behind. The Brutale does not rock and is more comfortable on bumpy slopes than the Streetfighter.

The euphoria about the sleek appearance, however, dampens the stop at the petrol station. While the Streetfighter is in the green with 5.4 liters per 100 kilometers, the Brutale, which is obviously in favor of its spontaneous throttle response, pays the receipt. The consumption of at least 6.8 liters achieved with moderate driving is – to put it mildly – simply out of date.

Nevertheless. With refreshing driving dynamics, sociable manners and a charming engine, the 920 Brutale is superior to the new Streetfighter in almost all respects in the core competencies of a motorcycle. You don’t need to tell an Italian diva twice that she can be imagined.

MOTORCYCLE scoring / test result


Ducati Streetfghter 848.

Not least because of its short translation, the MV Agusta shines with a powerful draft. But the four-in-line impresses above all with its liveliness, ultimately beating the Ducati V2 in every criterion. The most annoying features of the Streetfighter are the clutch, which requires a lot of manual effort, and the sluggish starter – even if the Ducati engine with its gentle power output and cultivated manners leaves a harmonious impression overall.
Winner engine: MV Agusta

landing gear
A close race, which the MV can mainly win thanks to its excellent handling, very neutral steering behavior and, in comparison, higher suspension comfort. The Ducati puts its strengths on fast corners and calming straight-line stability. It is understandable that their steering behavior is not quite as precise and agile as that of the brutal. Sporty naked bikes basically offer enough lean angles.
Winner chassis: MV Agusta

everyday life
Conceptually, everyday use is not one of the strengths of such sporty naked bikes. One can forgive these machines that the passengers do not feel comfortable in the emergency seats. The MV only owes its point victory in terms of range to its large 23-liter tank, which only superficially relativizes the immense fuel consumption of the Brutale (6.8 liters / 100 km). The processing of the Ducati is valuable and well thought out in every detail.
Winner everyday life: MV Agusta

ABS has not yet arrived across the country in Italy. For both the Duc and the MV, anti-lock devices are not even available for an extra charge. Against this background, the big praise for the Brutale’s excellent brakes is only valid to a limited extent.
Safety winner: MV Agusta

A victory of reason. Moderate consumption and moderate inspection costs should be good form. Not a glorious chapter for the MV.
Winner cost: Ducati

With almost identical prices, it is logical that the points winner will decide this category for herself.
Price-performance winner: MV AGUSTA

 Max points  Ducati  MV Agusta
Overall rating  1000  613  626 placement    2.  1. Price-performance note  1.0  2.8  2.5

Test result

1. MV Agusta Brutale 920
Great brakes, successful handling – and the pithy engine shows that in-line four-cylinders don’t have to be boring. 

2nd Ducati Streetfighter 848
Fine technology, well-tuned engine – and yet the 848 has to line up behind the MV Agusta in almost every respect. Last but not least, the strangely cranked handlebars are annoying.

Technical specifications


The Italian naked bikes from Ducati and MV Agusta. At home on the country road.

Duacti Streetfighter 848

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90 degree V engine, two overhead, toothed belt-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, desmodromic actuation, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 60 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 520 W alternator, 12 V / 12 Ah battery, Hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 42:15.
Bore x stroke 94.0 x 61.2 mm
Displacement 849 cm³
Compression ratio 13.2: 1
rated capacity 97.0 kW (132 PS) at 10,000 rpm
Max. Torque 94 Nm at 9500 rpm

landing gear
Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, hydraulically adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston -Fixed calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 245 mm, two-piston fixed caliper, electronic slip control.
Forged aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/60 ZR 17
Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tires tested

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1475 mm, steering head angle 64.5 degrees, caster 103 mm, spring travel f / h 127/127 mm, weight with a full tank * 201 kg, payload * 189 kg, tank capacity 16.5 liters.
Two year guarantee
One year mobility guarantee
Service intervals 12,000 km
price 12,190 euros
Additional costs around 350 euros

* MOTORCYCLE measurements

MV Agusta Brutale 920

Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 46 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 350 W alternator, 12 V / 9 Ah battery, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 40:15.
Bore x stroke 73.0 x 55.0 mm
Displacement 921 cm³
Compression ratio 13.0: 1
rated capacity 96.0 kW (131 hp) at 10500 rpm
Max. Torque 95 Nm at 8100 rpm

landing gear
Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 50 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 310 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake rear, Ø 210 mm, four-piston fixed caliper, electronic slip control.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Pirelli Angel ST tires tested

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1430 mm, steering head angle 65.0 degrees, caster 104 mm, spring travel f / h 125/120 mm, weight with a full tank * 213 kg, payload * 180 kg, tank capacity 23.0 liters.
Two year guarantee
Service intervals 6000 km
Colors black, white, silver
price 11,990 euros
Additional costs around 250 euros

* MOTORCYCLE measurements

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