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‘AgoTT’ MV Agusta Brutale – Deus Ex Machina


Posted on August 26, 2016 by Andrew in Racer. 40 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson.

The rule of three, or “omne trium perfectum” as it was first written in Latin, supposes that everything that comes in threes is perfect. As to whether it’s an old wives tale or a rule to bank on you’ll have to be your own judge – but when it comes to this devilishly delicious, race-inspired MV Agusta Brutale RR – also known as the ‘AgoTT’ – the threes just keep piling up. Built at The Deus Emporium of Postmodern Activities in Venice, California by design director Michael “Woolie” Woolaway, the build was commissioned by MV Agusta as a homage to the marque’s rich racing heritage to really capture the spirit of Tourist Trophy racing of the 60’s and 70’s. So from a man who’s built bikes for Orlando Bloom, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, comes a bike in honour of the greatest motorcycle racer of all time, Giacomo Agostini. As you can see, the number three represents more than just the triple cylinder engine that powers this red-hot ride. Much more.

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From its founding in Sydney ten years ago, Deus Ex Machina, the motorcycle, surf and clothing brand has expanded not only globally, but also exponentially. And from their Venice location, Woolie brings a distinctive old-school ‘Cali’ style to their builds. Growing up in Marin County in the Frisco Bay area, he was surrounded by cars and bikes from a young age – something which probably explains why he was capable of rebuilding a Briggs & Stratton engine at just nine years old. And with links to the movie industry, a racing background and a back catalogue of big builds, MV might have interviewed many big name builders for the project but Woolie was always the clear choice.

He’s also old enough to understand the brand’s racing heritage, too. “MV’s were not only the best looking motorcycles ever built, but they were also the ones to beat because they had the most amazing motors and a secret weapon — their chief tinsmith Primo Selotti,” says Woolie, recalling a conversation he had with fellow shaper Evan Wilcox. He was insistent the bike be a true racing tribute: no headlight, no blinkers and no compromises, and with a brand new Brutale RR up on the bench it was time to get down to business.

“He was insistent the bike be a true racing tribute: no headlight, no blinkers and no compromises”

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With the plastics and the tank removed, a modern motorcycle presents many challenges including a host of electronics, fuel injection components and large airboxes to contend with. But that didn’t stop Woolie from meeting those challenges head-on. “I don’t have many resources in my shop. It is very small; the main work area is about 250 square feet and most of what I do is hand-made parts, just like the way the original bike was built.”

The front tubular trellis frame remains in place, but the subframe is gone and a totally new item, fabricated in-house from quality chrome-moly, forms the bespoke rear support. Much of the electronic hardware is affixed to this new subframe, but its primary role is supporting the impressive tail section. A modern interpretation of the old design, the tail unit is like the proverbial Devil’s head, hand-crafted from aluminium with flowing lines to put the fear of God into all who would challenge her. To top it off, the aluminium base holds a custom seat with ‘AgoTT’ embossed in the hump support and old school press buttons to help secure it to the rear section.

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But to truly capture the MV feel of the classic TT era, it was always going to be the tank that would provide the most challenges and be the vital component of the build. And for a man who once skipped class to hang out in the metal shop, Woolie was born for the task of replicating the work of his predecessors “Selotti was from the airplane industry and was revolutionary in his gas tank shapes that not only looked great, but were super aerodynamic with ergonomics to fit the rider. They were only meant to go fast.” Shaped from seven individual pieces of aluminium and with all the challenges of contouring to a modern frame and creating the negative curves, this is without a doubt the hardest tank Deus has ever built. But what a result.

“This is without doubt the hardest tank Deus has ever built”

The bodywork is completed with custom radiator shrouds featuring smooth NACA ducts and a front number plate, while the stock front fender has been filled for a smooth finish. Then it was time to lay down that bloody glorious MV Agusta red.

Agott butt stop

If three means perfection, then a 798cc triple fitted to the RR version of the Brutale backs it up. Many would have you believe that it is simply the best three cylinder engine ever built for the street. And who are we to disagree? When Gary Johnson rode the 675 version at the Isle of Man TT in 2013, spectators would run to the fences to catch a glimpse of it in full flight and the experienced commentators giggled with joy at its beautiful, orchestral sounds. But add more cubes, a total of six injectors, a bonkers 13.3:1 compression and a counter rotating crank and you get 140 of the finest horses around galloping their way to a 13,200 rpm redline.

To extract that wicked sound, unleash some extra ponies and recreate the look of the stunning exhausts fitted to the original MV Agusta 350-4 race bikes, Woolie sourced 27 inch megaphones from Cone Engineering and SPD tubing. Then in his small workshop he hand-built a new exhaust system so beautiful, it alone is a piece of art worthy of a museum display. It’s then been topped it off with end caps from Cam at Roland Sands Design. The guys at MV then re-tuned the Eldor EM2.0 ECU with ride by wire technology, and the AgoTT has a red-hot motor to light a candle under even the most speed-jaded backsides.

Of course you can have all the power in the world, but as Woolie was creating a track focused machine, that means getting that power to the ground and holding big speed through the corners. Without a doubt, the RR is up to the task and with MV fitting all-new aluminium Marzocchi 43mm forks, the front end gets off to a flying start. The DLC coated forks are held in place by new custom triple clamps made by Durelle racing, who have a reputation for beautifully machined, lightweight parts.

Out back, the factory engineers had seen fit to add an all-new Showa rear shock, but only the best would do for Woolie and we all know what that means. Ohlins. With the giant Swedish firm not yet producing a unit for the RR, Ohlins USA hand-built a completely custom shock especially for AgoTT. Seriously. The factory CRC steering damper keeps the lightweight machine from shaking its head, but the new tank meant relocation to the side of the frame, so it made sense to switch it out for an even better Ohlins piece.

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To make the most of the handling, only one tyre would ever do; Pirelli Diablo Superbike slicks fitted to the gorgeous factory alloy wheels. And while you’d think that the factory Brembo brakes on board would do just fine, Woolie has a thing for the brilliant products from French firm Beringer and their full brake package is fitted front and back. The cast iron rotors and brilliantly machined calipers in red are their specialty, and you better believe they work. “This system in incredible to say the least,” say Woolie. Mounted up on the new LSL clip-ons from Spiegler, the Beringer levers look as though they’ve been taken straight from the MotoGP paddock. You’d shudder to think what they’re worth. Then it was  back to the Italians for the foot controls, and a set of fully adjustable Rizoma rear sets makes clicking through the MV’s quick shifter an absolute breeza.

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The finishing touches to the build are all class and really do show Woolie’s dedication to bringing the personality of the classic race bike to life. The fuel tank and single Scitsu tachometer are secured with beautiful leather straps, crinkle paint adorns the upper triple clamp and instrument surround. There are lashing of red wherever the eye can see, and the Monza cap tops it all off while finally finding the new home it deserves. “The racing slicks are properly gummed up from some track time at Laguna Seca and Willow Springs raceway; it really feels like a Grand Prix bike, laser-straight and very responsive,” says Woolie.

“While testing it on the track, I didn’t want to go back to the pits,” he adds. We can believe that. It’s almost impossible to take your eyes off the killer combination of a historic motorcycle company, the graphic style that is Deus Ex Machina and the work of a true craftsman. Omne trium perfectum? You better believe it.

For those in L.A. this weekend, the release party is this Sunday at Deus Venice, kicking off at 9am.

‘Properly gummed’

[Deus Ex Machina: Web – Facebook – Instagram | Photos by Martin Linss]








  • the watcher

    It’s gorgeous. I would love to own it and ride it, though I don’t think I’d want to pay for it or drop it (which can easily happen on track). But honestly, I don’t think I could ever be proud of it.

    • We’ve been staring at the shots for three days and we’re still in awe. Damn.

    • Jim Stuart

      I want you, I need you
      But-there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you
      Now don’t be sad…cuz two out of three ain’t bad

      • the watcher

        Thanks Jim!

  • Enrique Orellana

    lovely!!!

  • John in Pollock

    That’s hot

  • Motorist

    This thing is horrible. It will not be a future classic. pour gas over it and set it on fire.

    • Go away.

      • Motorist

        that won’t stop the fact writ above

        • Congrats!
          You’ve just won the raspberry award of trolls!

  • This….is beautiful. Cannot unsee, and that’s ok.

  • MOST EXCELLENT!!

  • Duke Fan

    I had an Oh Baby, Baby moment!!

  • the watcher

    I love race-bikes, OK? But it is much easier to make a bike look good if you don’t fit mud-guards, mirrors, or anything pillion-related. How much easier still if you don’t need lights, starter gear, battery, idiot lights, or even tread on your tyres? Almost cheating, isn’t it?

    • Mgmue mgmu

      Only if the customer had asked for a touring bike.

    • Perhaps it’s a……..track bike?

      • the watcher

        As opposed to the race-bikes I just said I…… love? I know you have a “position” on track-bikes, but on this particular forum I think my point was valid. No biggie but.

        • You lost me. Yes it’s a track bike, some people don’t install front fenders (this has one), and your point is broadly vague. Whatever. This bike looks really good and would mostly likely work really good. Therefore….it is good. That’s my “position”.

          • the watcher

            Well, at least we’re square; you’ve lost me too.

  • Damn, this is porn!!!

    • the watcher

      What, lots of nice bits you’d love to fondle but after 10 minutes in the saddle you never want to see or hear the raucous fucker again? Or something else?

      • That, or you’d ask them to marry you…

        • the watcher

          Yeah, but you’d still wanna keep that scruffy ole Beemer in knobblies, just in case…..

          • Who said that a motorcycle freak can be happy with just one bike in his garage?!!! 😀

          • the watcher

            Not me! Though, like the unreconstructed and unrepentant old profligate I am, I still investigate the many in hopes of finding “the one”.

          • Larry Kahn

            It’s called being Motogamous. I can’t do it but I’m a motosexual motoholic.

          • Motogamous??!!! LOL!!!!!
            Larry you nailed it!!!!

          • the watcher

            Nice one!

  • That tail section is just insanely cool, no? Like a flame frozen mid flicker…

  • AB

    There are a lot of bike on here that should be on a world tour. Quite possibly this MV would be the main attraction.

  • Patriccio

    Man, this is just like a chocolate covered cherry, except it’s a cherry covered chocolate. I hope they have the presses running over time to churn out the full-color posters.

  • guvnor67

    Exquisite!!! I dream of stuff like this. And, if I may be so bold, one of, if not THE nicest bike to come from Deus?!

  • Racing Enthusiast

    THIS is great example of why I love track bikes.

  • Jon van Leuven

    Wow, like no other before it!!
    Beautiful, perfect, and of course, pure in every way!!

  • Bultaco Metralla

    Superb

  • Jester the Clown

    Excellent!
    But!
    Why only two exhausts? I understand the wish to represent MVs of old but three of those tailpipes; one per cylinder would look incredible.

  • revdub

    Woolie is a master.

  • Andy Rappold

    The details are breathtaking…but with Ago’s bike and heritage it has nothing in common…anyway a great build!

  • the watcher

    Just been reading about a guy who bought MV’s 800 Ago Ltd. Ed. When it (finally) arrived, half the bits that make it the L.E. weren’t on it. Within weeks the fuel line connectors had come off, the battery had to be replaced, and inevitably, the electronics threw a fit and locked him out of his own bike! Fortunately, it’s nice to look at! 20 GRAND!

  • Dan Johnston

    I have to agree with @guvnor67:disqus. Likely I’ve mist most of their builds, But what I have seen doesn’t impress me to become a follower.
    That right their is Mechanical beauty.