MV Agusta Rush 1000 Motorcycle Test by Adam Child
When I was 17, I had three posters on my wall: a white Lamborghini Countach, Pamela Anderson in a swimsuit, and a Britten motorcycle. If I was 17 again, I’d add a poster of the MV Rush to my collection, because this is the poster bike of 2020, assuming 17-year-olds still have posters. Maybe it’s the screensaver of 2020. Either way, the Rush is a stunning bike and when it was unveiled at EICMA in November 2019 jaws hit the floor.
When your base bike is already the hugely desirable Brutale 1000RR, you’re not going to be far off the mark with the special. From every angle it’s stunning, the huge carbon-enclosed rear wheel, adaptive cornering headlight, restyled rear end and small pillion seat, even a neat plate by the ignition switch to remind you which of the 300 bikes you have purchased. But as you’d expect the Rush isn’t a cheap date and wears a ride-away sticker price $62,490.
This isn’t just a show bike – even with the race exhaust it’s still homologated for Euro 4. And the titanium rodded engine will produce 209 hp at 13,000 rpm in this format.
We headed to Varese, the home of MV in northern Italy, to put this new and powerful bike through its paces.
The bad news
It’s a limited edition run of just 300 bikes sold world-wide but, at over 60k, is a lot of money, though I’m sure the price will be a drop in the ocean for some collectors and enthusiasts. There is a good chance the Rush won’t depreciate and more than likely become a target for collectors and I doubt you’ll see a Rush being ridden in anything but perfect road conditions.
The good news
Peak power and torque are high up in the rev range, with 116.5 Nm of torque made at 11,000rpm. The race kit, which consists of the homologated exhaust and different ECU, pushes power up to 209 hp from the standard 205 hp, and also smooths and boosts the torque delivery.
The screaming inline four-cylinder engine is the same as that found in the MV Brutale 1000RR and to achieve the impressive performance figures MV has introduced titanium conrods along with new valve guides and camshafts.. Lubrication has been improved, and the amount of oil needed for the engine has been reduced.
The powerplant now breathes via a new air-box which is fed from longer air-intakes. On the standard model, the tuned engine releases its gases via a gorgeous four-into-one-into-four exhaust system which is made in partnership with Arrow. However, the race kit version benefits from just two exiting exhausts.
If the standard bike is Pavarotti, then the Rush with race exhaust is The Four Great Tenors plus a full orchestra. In the mountains north of Varese each long tunnel was a cacophony of noise as I quickly fed it gears that allowed the engine to scream. Thrashing a sweet-sounding MV through kilometre-long tunnels is highly addictive.
It is impossible not to love the sound of the Rush, and with peak power at an eye-watering 13,000 rpm, you’ll find yourself constantly revving this Italian beauty. It loves to rev, and it feels like there is little mechanical friction as the revs rise so rapidly. The clutchless quick-shifter is effortless, and smooth revs perfectly match each gear change. In the hills it’s hard to ride slowly, as each time you see the road open up you tap back a few gears and are propelled forward at an alarming rate. But the downside is that in the real world there is little go below 6000 rpm. In fact, the party only really gets going above 8000 rpm.
The Rush will certainly pull cleanly from low rpm, and the fuelling is smooth, especially in the Rain mode, but it feels hesitant. It’s not slow, over 200 hp is never going to be that, and there isn’t a massive kick of power in the mid-range to worry about either, but like the 1000RR, the Rush almost has two personalities. Below 8000 rpm it’s mild and will go home early on a school night. Above 8000 rpm, eand specially over 10,000rpm, it wants to throw a TV out of a hotel window.
I know the 1000RR works on the track, and I can see the same conclusion of the new Rush. MV quotes a top speed of over 300 km/h and, with 209 hp, I can see that. In the final third of the revs, the Rush just keeps on accelerating like a race bike. The semi-dropped café racer bars would make this speed almost bearable, and I’d love to try one on track.
And there is more good news
Öhlins semi-active suspension front and rear and each riding mode changes the action of the electronic suspension (Rain is softer than Race, for example). We only managed to ride the Rush on the road, and on the fast-flowing sections it’s hard to fault.
You sit more in the bike than on, out of the wind, and it’s less physical than most naked bikes. Everything works: peg position, rear seat hump… you can really tuck in, carrying enormous corner speed with no fear of understeer like some naked bikes which push the front.
There is an addictive lean angle and G-Force display on the full colour dash. The clocks are excellent, but they are a little hard to see when the sunlight is directly behind you.
In Rain mode,(softest mode) the suspension is still harsh when the road isn’t race track-smooth, over road imperfections like cobbles, potholes and speed humps. It’s not like riding a skateboard over cobbles, it’s not agony, but with such sophisticated suspension I would expect the ride to be a little plusher. A relatively thin seat exaggerates this feeling further. It’s simple to change the suspension and, if it was my bike I’d quicky change the Öhlins to allow a softer ride on the road.
The corning ABS is welcome support, and on the road isn’t intrusive. One finger on the span adjustable lever is enough to stop the rev-happy fun. Again, like the rest of the bike, the stoppers have plenty of performance, you really don’t need anymore.
Both traction control and ABS braking are lean sensitive. There are eight levels of TC, which can also be de-activated, again via the dash or your phone on the MV app. It’s simple and easy to do and clearly shown on the dash. There is also launch control as standard, plus that up–down quick-shifter and cruise control.
The rider aids are excellent, you don’t ‘feel’ the systems working. They are there to help keep you safe, allow you to ride to the conditions and your style and skill. The switchgear and clear dash make it easy to flick between modes, even turn off the traction and front-wheel lift on the move for some wheelie fun, which, of course, this 209 hp machine does effortlessly.
If you’re looking at the price tag, then you’re probably looking at the wrong bike. This is the Lamborghini of the bike world and it sounds and looks fantastic, while handling like a race bike with no bodywork. It makes me smile every time but okay, it’s not very comfortable, the suspension is harsh around town, and there are a few niggles like reflections in the dash. But you don’t buy a Lambo’ because it’s comfortable. This is a bike you own because you love it and drool over it every time you open the garage door.
MV Agusta Rush 1000 Specifications
- Engine – 998 cc in-line, four-cylinder
- Compression Ratio – 13.4:1
- Bore x Stroke – 79 x 50.9 mm
- Max Power – 208 hp at 13,000 rpm
- Max Torque – 116.5 Nm at 11,000 rpm
- Induction – Magneti Marelli / Mikuni EFI
- ECU – Eldor EM2.10
- Front Suspension – Electronic Ohlins Nix EC (120 mm travel)
- Rear Suspension – Electronic TTX (120 mm travel)
- Front Brakes – Brembo Stylema four-piston calipers, 320 mm rotors
- Rear Brake – Brembo twin-piston caliper, 220 mm rotor
- ABS – Bosch 9+ with Race Mode and lift mitigation
- Gearbox – Six-Speed, two-way quick-shift
- Rims – 3.5×17″ (F), 6×17″ (R)
- Tyres – 120/70-ZR17 (F), 200/55-ZR17 (R)
- Wheelbase – 1415 mm
- Trail – 97 mm
- L x W – 2080 x 805 mm
- Seat height – 845 mm
- Fuel capacity – 16 litres
- Dry weight – 186 kg
- RRP – $62,490 ride away