Aprilia Dorsoduro – Cycle Torque Magazine

20 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Aprilia Dorsoduro – Cycle Torque Magazine
Aprilia Dorsoduro Naked

Extreme Excitement

Test by Chris Pickett. Pics by Nigel Paterson

MANUFACTURERS are constantly searching for new ways to excite and entice buyers. Big bore Supermoto-style bikes have been around for a while but Aprilia’s Dorsoduro 1200 is one of the best we’ve ridden.

It has everything you’d expect on a European bike of this style: big brakes, stonking V-twin donk, great suspension and a comfortable riding position. At $17,990 + ORC it’s not chump change but it is on the money price wise for this market segment which realistically has only a couple of serious competitors which directly compare to the Dorsoduro. Bikes like KTM’s 990 Superduke and Ducati Hypermotard are very close to the design ethos.

Other companies make naked bikes but none which really capture the ‘manic’ side of these machines.

Aprilia has developed pretty much an all-new engine for the Dorsoduro, dubbed the V90. On paper it’s not much different to the regular fare out there; four valves per cylinder, fuel injection, dual overhead camshafts etc. While most motorcycles make do with either chain or gear driven camshafts, the Dorsoduro has a combination of chain and gear which adds to the mechanical symphony of the engine.

It sounds angry enough when you fire it up, and has an almost restrained bark from the twin underseat mufflers.

On the stand   It sounds almost like the mufflers are too restrictive. Out on the road this proved not to be the case to say the least, with prodigious grunt from just above idle proving the mufflers were flowing the gases well enough thank you. The engineers have really done a top job getting this engine to perform so well off the bottom but to also do the same at the top end.

This engine is perfect for a street bike. It doesn’t need a fistful of revs to perform extremely well, and as such you don’t need to be doing 200km/h to have a corresponding amount of fun. We’ve ridden some great wheelstanding machines before but rarely have we ridden a road bike which climbs over its rear sprocket so readily.

There’s fly-by-wire technology sorting the throttle, and three engine maps – ‘S’ (Sport), ‘T’ (Touring) and ‘R’ (Rain). Obviously in Sport mode it’s the most aggressive but Touring mode isn’t much different, with a milder throttle response down low. Rain mode has less power again and really takes that snappiness off the bottom which makes it much nicer to ride in poor weather conditions.

For normal riding, even giving it a good go along our test route, we preferred Touring mode just because it reduced any ‘flightiness’ in the bike if we were a little ham-fisted with the throttle. These maps can be selected while on the move. There’s around 130hp on tap from the engine, which equates to something like 115hp at the rear wheel.

It actually feels much stronger than that, we guess because there’s so much torque available from such low revs.

On our test track we found you could hold the bike in one or two gears, such is the flexibility of the V90 motor, while exploring the upper reaches of the revs in top gear had you travelling very fast indeed. We estimate the top speed to be in the vicinity of 210 km/h. A six speed ‚‘box gets the rear wheel percolating and top gear isn’t too high although the engine doesn’t like being lugged in top at low revs.

Fuel range isn’t outstanding – it’s got a 15 litre tank – and it does like to burn through the go juice when you’re giving it some. Wobbly bits You sit on rather than in the Dorsoduro. With the flat seat and tall suspension you do feel a little like you are in the clouds, amplified somewhat by the narrowness of the bike and the suspension. It does feel slightly top heavy but this soon disappears when you are travelling past jogging pace.

Interestingly Aprilia doesn’t mention anywhere how heavy the Dorsoduro is. We can only assume it’s heavier than the company would like although it doesn’t feel barge like at all (some searching of the web indicates it’s 203-207kg dry, depending on which site you believe). It looks a trick too, both in the white version we tested or the black alternate.

Aprilia Dorsoduro Naked
Aprilia Dorsoduro Naked

Both front and rear suspension is by Sachs, with a surprising 160mm and 155mm of travel respectively. It’s surprising because even though the bike looks like it has long travel suspension it’s not the norm for this type of bike. There’s plenty of adjustment in the suspension too.

We liked the way the Dorsoduro handled NSW’s bumpy roads which goes to show some thought has possibly gone into sorting suspension for Australia’s roads rather than Europe’s smooth tarmac. This bike is easy to ride fast on tight roads.

With the upright riding position and MX style handlebars you can throw the Dorsoduro on its side and expect it to give you no grief, other than the odd shimmy from the ’bars, a trait we expect is due to the steering angle which is designed for quick changes in direction. Braking deep into a corner is no issue for the big 1200 either.

The long travel 43mm forks compress nicely, weighting up the front tyre just right as you tip it in, then the forks rebound not too quickly on the exit as you wind on the power, pulling a little powerstand as a by-product. These very same traits, and the stiff alloy/steel trellis chassis, are also the reason why the Dorsoduro likes to shake its head a little at or near its top speed.

Nothing serious and to be honest we prefer it the way it is, because all the fun from this bike is in the corners not winding it out on a long straight. Did we say this is one fun streetbike?

Australian delivered Dorsoduros don’t get ABS – the European ones do – but we never missed it. Some pundits wondered why it didn’t get the APRC traction control as found on the RSV4 and the new Tuono V4. We reckon the price might have something to do with it.

Start adding things like that and ABS and the price starts getting a bit high for many people’s tastes. You also need a point of difference between the Tuono V4 and the Dorsoduro, other than the two cylinders.

If you haven’t already realised, we liked the Dorsoduro 1200. We’re not exactly sure who will buy this bike. Maybe someone who lives on a scratcher’s road or someone who likes crazy commuting, the bike is great at either.

Long distances would be tough on the rider’s body, but the bike would be fine. Whatever justification you can find to park one in your shed you will at least have a big smile when it comes time to turn the key and blast off. n

Aprilia Dorsoduro Naked
Aprilia Dorsoduro Naked



Interesting articles

Other articles of the category "Aprilia":

Translation
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

dima911@gmail.com

Born in the USSR

423360519

About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.


Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about Motorcycles.