Whenever a very special, signature edition of a medium-displacement sports-naked bike comes our way, it catches our eyes and our heart. Maybe it is time to think that the return of the public to motorcycling should travel on parallel tracks: One run by the very affordable, neat looking and totally functional 300–400cc utility motorcycles and one reserved for super-plush, super-refined, hot-performing, and highly exclusive limited-edition bikes. Same as in fashion.
Italians have a special touch at turning a pair of jeans into a piece of high fashion. The same goes with Italian cars: nobody gives much of a damn for a super-utility Fiat 500 L, but it only took Alfa Romeo to give life to the very hot Giulia Quadrifoglio and Stelvio to get out of low waters. With Bimota sadly defunct, there is an open position on the fashionable motorcycle market and the Lewis Hamilton-signature Brutale 800 RR LH44 is the MV Agusta attempt to fill that open spot.
The Brutale 800 RR LH44 was created by the very capable men of San Marino located in the Castiglioni Research Center, who learned a lot of the trade about elegant and highly refined bikes from the years Maestro Massimo Tamburini led MV Agusta. Lewis Hamilton and MV Agusta have already teamed up to create the Dragster 800 RR LH44 and F4 LH44 concept bikes; now the Brutale 800 RR gets the treatment bearing the Formula 1 driver’s mark. Louis is attracted by the great MV Agusta tradition and loves its present models, so he found that the latest Brutale 800 RR represented a very positive base on which he would transfer his extrovert personality and his love for exclusiveness, subtly matched aggressive colors, and plush details.
At CRC the team led by Paolo Bianchi, Massimo Tamburini’s last pupil, absorbed all the flow of the aesthetic concepts that Lewis Hamilton poured on the table, distilled them, and came up with the breathtaking MV Agusta Brutale adorned with the limited-edition LH44 mark.
The black and red color scheme is strong and daring, but also very elegant thanks to the deep tone of red that involves all body components, the leather of the specially designed and padded seat, and the anodized fork stanchions. Carbon-fiber fenders and instrumentation cowl add that extra touch of high tech in combination with components machined from aluminum billet. The control levers, the caps of the related fluids tanks, fuel tank cap, clutch, and generator cases guards are all anodized in red. The rest of the mechanical components are in matt black with the only one striking exception—the steel tubing trellis frame, painted in striking chalk white. Fantastic.
The cast aluminum 10-spoke wheels also come in that same shade of red, but the rear one here is a wider 6.00-17 size shod with a 200/55-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa, while the front is the regular 120/70-17 size of the same ultimate road tire. The 800 RR engine goes untouched, boasting the same gratifying 140 hp. Only addition to the powertrain are the black ceramic-coated triple exhaust canisters, a very well-placed shot.
Lewis Hamilton’s signature logo and number 44 identify the tank, the seat, and both fenders, while the LH44 logo appears on the carbon-fiber instrumentation cowl together with the production number in the series that is limited to 144 units.