Monday, November 26, 2012
@Wired - The ‘SUV of Motorcycles’ Offers Neither Sport nor Utility
Alessandro Tartarini, the son of Italjet founder Leopoldo Tartarini, has created a new category of motorcycle we didn’t know we needed. And based on the stats and those pesky laws of physics, we’re unconvinced it’s even a viable solution for the handful of potential buyers Tartarini and his company are targeting.
The design intent of the Brutus (no relation to the Brutus electric motorcycle or Caesar’s assassin) is to be a jack of all trades, handling serious off-road conditions while simultaneously being a practical long-distance cruiser. The big feature is the tires, which are 6 inches wide at the front, and 7 inches wide at the rear.
But as with any hybrid that attempts to blend the best of both worlds, the Brutus’ stats make it sound like a mis-imagined hodgepodge that won’t be good at anything.
To begin with, it weighs in at 485 pounds – about the same as 1,000cc tourers like the Ducati Multistrada. The reason tourers can’t go off road is because they’re far too heavy, which makes the Brutus overweight for dirt path duty.
Then there’s the suspension travel, which at 80mm at the front and 100mm at the rear, is far too short for hopping rocks and ripping through ruts. Most tourers have about twice that amount of travel, and use every millimeter of it.
But questionable stats aside, the Brutus is touted as “at home in any conditions” and “a valid work tool for going where other vehicles cannot.” Two dubious claims that combined with a 45bhp, 750cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled powerplant make even less of a case for Tartarini’s halved ATV.
The production model comes with an glut of options like a reverse gear, a sidecar, a winch, a generator, and even a “snow kit,” which converts the rig into a semi-snowmobile with a track out back. Look for a release next spring, although there’s no word on pricing.