2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 Test (Video Below)
MV Agusta continues diversifying its portfolio, and the Stradale 800 is something as exotic as a “bread and butter” MV. The popular Brutale is certain to get some competition in sales. Why? The Stradale 800 is the most comfortable and practical MV Agusta ever.
Straddling the Stradale at its launch in the south of Spain, I immediately understand that this is the most considerate and caring MV to date concerning my bum and back. The beautifully stitched leather seat is comfortable, and not too tall or too short.
The standard 34.25-inch seat can be equipped with a 33.4-inch high seat as an option. The reach to the handlebar allows me to sit with a straight back without straining my wrists. Who would have thought the bespoke maker of sports motorcycles would launch a quasi sport-touring motorcycle with bags and a small windscreen?
The soft, lockable saddlebags are fitted with LED lights to replace the ones covered up by the bags. In true MV Agusta style, there is minimal compromise in terms of original design. Even the bags looks like they always were meant to be there. They will swallow nine liters (2.3 gallons) of luggage each, but no more than 11 lbs. On the road they are slightly squishy, but that’s to be expected from soft bags. A large top box can also be fitted as an accessory.
At the front, the Stradale 800 is fitted with an adjustable windscreen. This is designed more to help avoid helmet buffeting on motorways rather than full wind protection – and it works just fine.
These touring features are what separate the Stradale 800 from the Rivale 800 – visually. The fairing and cowling design is the same, but that’s it. Everything else is pure Stradale.
The first and last part of the test ride was on fast highways. The riding position is comfortable and relaxed, allowing me to enjoy the transport stages much more than on any other MV Agusta. There are very limited vibrations and I never get tired even on boring straight highways.
The mirrors don’t quite stretch far enough to avoid my elbows, counting for about 40 percent of the view, but they don’t suffer from vibration.
The chassis on the Stradale 800 is completely dedicated to this bike and is not shared with the more extreme MV Agusta models. The single-sided swingarm has been stretched to 23.8 inches making a wheelbase of 57.4 inches. The suspension now has 5.9 inches travel both front and back. Together these changes make for a sure footed and neutral handling experience.
In the mountains the neutral handling also comes to its right albeit not as quick steering as the Dragster but still sporty. I prefer the Stradale 800 handling for road riding because it caters to all situations. The suspension soaks up the bumps better, providing both comfort and confidence.
The 800cc triple engine also has its own dedicated tune for comfort, with a bias towards torque rather than all out top-end power. Max torque is 58 ft/lbs @9.000rpm and max power 115 horsepower at 11,000 rpm.
The Stradale 800 is very easy to get going in first gear, and the power delivery is less aggressive than on other 800cc trepistoni models. The engine is still more than capable of providing thrills by twisting the throttle.
With a longer swingarm, the Stradale will never surprise a rider with an unprovoked wheelie – and the whole experience is solid. The larger silencer still provides a hearty soundtrack from the three racked pipes.
Take the lower top end power out of the equation and the Stradale 800 is still one very fast motorcycle in the mountains. The EAS 2.0 quickshifter (both up and down) is standard on the Stradale 800 and provides smooth and effortless progress through the gearbox.
The brakes are the same high quality radial Brembo’s with ABS as on other MV models. There’s no lacking in stopping power, which can be attributed to the Brembos and low weight. Even with bags the dry weight stops at 399 lbs. dry.
MV Agusta claims good fuel efficiency, and the 4.2-gallon fuel tank should last a good few miles. The new dash now shows fuel consumption from a relatively large graph on the top left. The clock is now ridiculously tiny as a result of a lack of space, but I suppose time should stand still for most riding the Stradale.
The 2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 is jam-packed with electronics as we have come to expect. The package includes traction control, quickshifter, riding modes, ABS with rear wheel lift mitigation and more. This MV Agusta though is also probably the best in the range to ride with rider aids turned off. This is all due to the stability of the chassis and the suspension and a milder (engine) top end.
Everything works really well but on a sunny day I preferred to ride with minimal traction control just to give me that emergency fail safe. I would only use intrusive settings on the TC when riding in the rain or very slippery surfaces.
The Stradale 800 made me feel comfortable and at ease from the word go. Setting the electronics to the levels that I like all I had to think about was ride. The bags are stylish and highly practical,though this is the very first model from MV Agusta with such practical features.
I think it must have taken some guts to plan this model because it differs somewhat from the MV ethos. I salute it nevertheless because it gives me the opportunity to say that this is the best for the road-only MV I have ever ridden. We’ll get one more pure road biased MV Agusta soon in the Turismo Veloce, but for now it’s the Stradale 800 that owns the road in the MV range. I have a feeling that we’ll see more MV’s on the roads soon thanks to models like the Stradale.
2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 Positives and Negatives:
+ Practical with integrated but still removable soft bags and a small windscreen
+ Great chassis providing stability and comfort
+ A great version of the 800cc triple engine with torque in the right places without loosing its edge
– Dash info and buttons are tiny