Making just 10bhp less than the 990R, this new MV Agusta Brutale 920 will retail for a staggering €3,510 less when it goes on sale in Italy next month. It’s hard to see where the money’s been saved aside from the drop in capacity from 998 to 921cc, the 920 is still equipped with 50mm USD Marzocchis, radial Brembos and even an 8-position traction control system. In addition to the new bargain Brutale, MV is also adding a new color option to the 1090RR: gray with a red trellis frame.

Looking at the spec sheet for the 990R and 920, it’s hard to divine a huge difference between the two machines. Both weigh 190kg/419lbs (dry) and the 920 only gives up 8lb/ft of torque to the larger engine, making 70lb/ft total. The key departure on the spec sheets appears to be in the frame, which on the 990R is TIG-welded, CroMo steel and on the 920 is MAG-welded AIS steel. Logic would indicate that there’d be internal suspension differences between the two bikes, with the 920 fitted with cheaper components.

The important thing to most customers is that the 920 retains excellent peformance, the MV Agusta badge and all the sexy Brutale styling with the single-sided, the rakish shotgun exhaust and the star-shaped wheels.

A more affordable model that doesn’t sacrifice the brand’s unique values, most of the performance or any of the style sounds to us like an outstanding product. In a time of recession, models like this take advantage of a luxury brand’s image to compete more directly with traditionally cheaper rivals, winning them conquest sales from other manufacturers. As an upmarket legacy brand, it’s not MV’s role to create new niches or new customers, but instead to find ways to bring existing motorcycle purchasers into MV ownership. The Brutale 920 should be capable of doing just that.

There’s no word on whether or not the 920 will make it to the States or how much it will cost if it does.

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