And while Ducati set the motorcycle world on its head in the early '90s with its naked Monster, MV Agusta took the new naked category to its design pinnacle with the Brutale.
Now the Italian manufacturer has built its most powerful naked bike. The Brutale R 1090 has 107kW of power at 10,300 revs and 112Nm of torque from its 1078cc four-cylinder engine, the largest displacement engine built by MV Agusta.
Maximum speed of the full-power version is 265km/h and the restricted power version hits 245km/h. To safely harness that power, MV Agusta has specifically programmed the electronic engine control unit with eight levels of traction control that can be selected by the rider.
The 190kg Brutale R's frame is a mix of steel and aluminium mated to a Marzocchi 50mm USD front fork and a Sachs rear shock, both with valving specific to the Brutale R 1090. It's shod with a 190/55 ZR17 rear tyre for extra track grip.
The one-piece seat is 830mm, the fuel tank capacity is 23 litres and it comes in white, red or black. MV Agusta Imports manager Kevin Beale says the Brutale R 1090 will hit Australian shores in November costing $19,900 rideaway and he expects a lot of interest.
"Sales have well beyond expectations particularly for the Brutale naked bike which has caught us out because although we have had exposure to the motorcycle industry no one has made a success of a naked in terms of volume so we were focused more on the fully faired supersports being the volume model, but the Brutale is out of control," he says.
For fans of MV's faired sportsbikes, there are a special editions of the F3 and F4 on their way. The limited-edition "golden" MV Agusta F3 Series Oro will be available before the "garden variety" model hits our shores next year.
Beale says orders are now being taken for the F3 Series Oro at $33,800 ride away, but buyers should be quick as only 200 are being produced.
The new 675cc three-cylinder F3 sportsbike will arrive in March 2012. Pricing is yet to be announced, but it is expected to be under $20,000 ride away.
Oro means gold in Italian, so the F3 Series Oro features an abundance of gold finish in the frame plates, single-sided swingarm, forged aluminium wheels, air intakes and cooling vents plus a DID Gold chain.
There is even a gold individually numbered plate mounted on the upper triple clamp. The Series Oro also has an abundance of lightweight carbonfibre in the mudguards, dashboard cover, airbox and intake covers, fairing inserts, chain guards, swingarm protector, sprocket cover, fairing lower, and exhaust outlets.
It comes in silver and red paint in the traditional livery of the Italian motorcycle manufacturer. Attention to detail includes machine-polished clutch cover and frame plates, and solid-billet alternator cover and footpeg mounting brackets allowing full adjustability, while the seat covers are hand-made from leather and suede-effect alcantara.
The Oro comes with Brembo brakes, adjustable Ohlins upside-down forks, and TTX shock and steering damper. The other special edition is the F4 R with a 998cc Corsa Corta four-cylinder engine that revs to 13,700rpm and produces 145kW of power.
MV Agusta Imports director James Deutsher says availability for the Australian market is not scheduled until the second half of 2012.
"This is due to the Italian production schedule for Australian specifications," he says. "This is the one model that we will be out of step with the European market in terms of timing.
"We have no price confirmation yet, however believe it will be close to $30,000 ride away."
Since the new Australian importers took over early this year, the prices of most MV Agustas have come down with the latest being the F4 now available at $24,990 ride away.
"One thing we have been able to do is negotiate a better price than the previous importer," says Beale. "MV Agusta is very keen to get back into Australia having lost the previous distributor.
"We told them what would need to be done to get a worthwhile market share and they made the decision to go ahead with our proposal.
"The bikes will be cheaper, but we have promised them more volume as a trade-off. "There's been an excellent response to the cheaper prices. We were expecting some reluctance with the change in distributor but people seem to be able to cope with that."
Beale says they will honour warranties on existing models after the previous importer the Paul Feeney Group relinquished MV Agusta and Cagiva last July.