I lurve my MV - the reddest, hottest, sexiest machine ever to flow from Tamburini's pen. As a road-eating weekend machine, it's hard to beat. And latte tastes best when served with 127hp at the crank. But for the day-to-day grind, the Brute isn't the most commute-friendly. The low-rmp fuel map is lumpy - leading to surging at low speed and outrageous fuel consumption. With a desperate lack of single-cylinder machines in the shed (I was down to my last thumper) I decided to snap up a cheap commuter ride - a 50cc Sachs Madass for $1350. Gotta' love Ebay. With an investment in some after-market parts, I've lifted its top speed from 60km/h to 80 km/h (find me another bike that delivers a 30% power increase for a $300 outlay!) - which makes it perfect for my daily run from Laverton to Kew - 30km of arterial & city traffic each way. I think there's another 10 km/h to be tapped with some rejetting and, perhaps, a free-er breathing exhaust. As it stands, at about 30km/l at WOT or 40km/l at suburban speeds, I'm coughing up the princely sum of $3 (compared to the MV's $ in fuel each day. So what's my view of the Madass? To begin, it looks hot. Mine's the stealth-black model. I've seen them described as a "a mountain bike on steroids" and that's about right. I took it for a run on the farmer's goat tracks out the back of Werribee and the big wheels handled the trip just fine - despite gravel and potholes that threatened to swallow it whole. Admittedly, an indicator did fall off, but I was planning to ditch them anyway to save weight. Just kidding. I got rid of them 'coz they use a weird-ass European globe made from purest unobtainium. On the arterial road, it keeps up with peak hour traffic (before the modifications, doing 60 in a 80 zone was a little hair-raising). If you were inclined to lanesplit (insert health and safety warning here), the low weight and slim design of the Madass would be of benefit. The widest part of this bike is my middle-aged gut. Like 125GP racers, the Madass is an exercise in enery management. Once you've built up a head of steam, your concentration focuses on staying off the brake and keeping your momentum. I now have some idea of what it's like to ride a never-brake-for-corners machine. Being small and flickable, it is tempting to dodge in and out of traffic, changing lanes or diving into gaps to avoid having to slow down. The seating position is bicycle-like, and it's a stretch to the bars. Not uncomfortable but coupled with soft front springs and vicious front brake, the bike feels like it's doing a stoppy every time you grab a handful. Replacing the 5W fork oil with 20W and an extra 20cc in each leg solved that. Does it make sense? Assuming that the Madass gets used 4 days a week over 40 weeks of the year, that's a saving of $800. Subtract the extra CTP I'm paying and we've saved $700-ish. But the real saving is in depreciation on the Brutale - a bike I plan to keep enjoying for a looong time. Even if I buy a new motor for the Sachs every 2 years ($240!!) suspect that I'm still ahead. I took it on a 200km round trip over the weekend. The buzzing of the small motor gets a little tiring and the seating position doesn't lend itself to cruising - taller bars would be handy. On the upside, you do see a lot of the countryside at 70kph. Riding the Brutale through Rockbank, I'd seen large brown blurs in the paddocks. Once you're on the Madass, it turns out that they are cows. Cool! Clearly, touring isn't what Sachs had in mind when they designed the Madass. But, as a cheap and cheerful city commuter, with a touch of urban assault vehicle, the Madass is hard to beat.