Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 Motorcycle Review New Motorcycles New Zealand

29 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 Motorcycle Review New Motorcycles New Zealand
Aprilia Dorsoduro Naked
Aprilia Dorsoduro Naked

Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 Review

Aprilla Dorsoduro 1200

Or, you may be one of the many who are quitting the large capacity, ultra-fast sportbike in order to keep your licence.

For whatever reason, I can tell you the Dorsoduro will excite your blood vessels to bursting point, should you want to take the Aprilia to the edge of its capabilities! Aprilia have captured a motorcycle which is so much fun to ride that it’s almost not funny. Not too unlike the Ducati Hypermotard and the KTM 990SMR, which are in the same market.

As expected the Dorsoduro was a delight to ride on the open road. There’s enough space to take a partner in reasonable comfort compared to many sportbikes, and you can literally fang it as much as you dare through the turns.

Like the other oversize hypermotard style machines, the Dorsoduro is pretty tall with an 870mm seat height, and the seat is on the hard side for real long trips. Although, a few hundred kilometres didn’t hurt this rider any. The high and wide bars coupled with its tall seat height make it very easy to change direction, seemingly just at the thought of it.

This style of motorcycle typically has a long wheelbase, including the Dorsoduro 1200, at 1528mm. This helps with stability at higher speeds, while keeping a fairly steep trail (compared to a trailbike) for greater manoeuvrability, which can sometimes lead to a bit of a front wheel wobble if too aggressive on the bars when flicking it about, and watch it under hard power on corner exit.

When riding around town at anything less than about 3750rpm the engine tended to ‘hunt’ when on constant throttle, causing the bike to surge a little as I rode along. The solution was to change down to get the revs up, or slip the clutch a bit if in first gear.

Supplied by NTB Racing, our test Dorsoduro 1200 is light enough that the engine can be left to its own devices anywhere above 3000rpm, thanks to its massive 115Nm of Aprilia engine torque – and I keep reliving its hard acceleration when on the gas in traction-control sport mode. But whatever speed you’re doing, there is no getting away from the 1200cc of 90-degree, V-twin grunt, available to you at a moment’s notice. Our test bike has around 4000km on the clock.

I enjoyed the very high specification Brembo calipers, Sachs 43mm inverted fork forks and the horizontal Sachs rear shock, which is mounted to the swingarm, without a linkage. Both front and rear are fully adjustable and on the forks one leg has compression damping with the other leg rebound adjustable. The rear shock is very sensitive to moving more than one or two clicks but the forks are quite the opposite.

The radially-mounted Brembo front brakes are so effective most riders won’t want to explore the final five percent of their capabilities. But don’t worry, the first 95% should have you stopped well in advance of pending danger. The rear Brembo feels really good too, so together they deliver more confidence for any type of riding conditions.

Aprilia Dorsoduro Naked

Except, in the gravel, where they will lock up quite easily. Which is a bit contentious really, as Aprilia (and other manufacturers) market hypermotards as having some sort of off-road capability with the high front guard as the visual giveaway. Yet any experienced rider knows that wide road tyres and a 17 front tyre are no good on gravel.

They tend to roll over the very tops of the loose stones preventing the tyres from digging down, and onto the road surface, where you get control.

What I really did like are the plastic handgrip fenders which absolutely suit this type of bike, and cut down the windage on your hands. The small instrument cover works better than anticipated too, lifting the wind to mid-torso height at 120kmh.

This bike is serious fun and, if you’re into your motorcycling, I challenge you to have a go on one. The riding style is quite different from a sports bike but the super-fast cornering rewards are there for the taking.

For more information check out NTB Racing at ntbracing.co.nz .

For the latest reviews, subscribe to our Motorcycle Trader magazine here .

Aprilia Dorsoduro Naked

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