Italy’s venerable Motociclismo magazine is starting an interesting rumor that MV Agusta is experimenting with a turbocharged version of its 800cc three-cylinder engine, and that the forced-induction lump could find its way onto the soon-to-be-released MV Agusta Brutale 800 Dragster model for 2014.
The Italian publication is also running the above render of the machine, which matches up with the photos found earlier this week. Filings with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), list the 2014 model motorcycle as the MV Agusta Brutale 800 Dragster, and as the name and photos suggest, the “Ducati Diavel rival” is based heavily upon the MV Agusta’s Brutale platform.
Though a highly respected publication, Motociclismo‘s speculation sounds a bit far off the mark this time around to our ears, so as always, time will tell on this one.
That being said, it is no secret that motorcycle OEMs are beginning to think about turbochargers and superchargers in two-wheeled applications, with both Suzuki and Kawasaki debuting concepts with forced induction at last year’s moto shows.
Looking at the photo above, one does have to wonder how MV Agusta plans on distinguishing the Dragster 800 from the Brutale 800, as externally all we can see are subtle style changes and a supposedly lower seat height. Motociclismo‘s theory about MV offering a turbocharger would be one way to make that distinction, not to mention help the motorcycle live up to its name.
According to the CARB filings though, the Dragster 800 is billed on the same filing as the Brutale 675 and Brutale 800, and rated to have the same emissions as those models.
It would be hard to imagine how a turbocharged engine would make the same emissions as its naturally aspirated sibling, and its questionable as to whether CARB would allow such an engine to piggyback on the same filing, which adds to our suspicion about this rumor, though it isn’t a fatal flaw.
If the rumors do turn out to be true, the Brutale Dragster 800 could be a boondoggle for MV Agusta, as the Italian brand has been missing the “wow factor” in its motorcycle designs to date. Predictable and obvious, the boutique Italian brand has lots edge (some would accuse MV Agusta of just following Ducati’s lead), and been left chasing after industry trends, well after they have been established.
With the forced induction revival just now entering its early stages in the motorcycle industry, it would be heartening for MV Agusta fans to see their favorite Italian brand be once again on the cutting edge, and bring a motorcycle that truly stands alone and either defines a new segment or raises the bar in a current one. If MV Agusta fails to do this with the Dragster, the Italian’s could well have a bike D.O.A. on their hands.
Speculation aside, with the rumormill surrounding the Dragster 800 now at full steam, we can be thankful that we won’t have to wait much longer to get our answers. We will keep you up to date until then, and try and decipher between the fact and fiction.