Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Aprilia's Sophisticated Adventure

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Aprilia's Sophisticated Adventure

Article excerpt

Byline: Harriet Ridley

ADVENTURE bikes have taken the motorcycling market by storm, with BMW's GS leading the way for decades now. It was practically unrivalled until not that long ago, although its success meant inevitably that other manufacturers would soon jump on the bandwagon.

Which is just what has happened - and with increasingly sophisticated machines.

The latest is from Aprilia which has just launched its new Caponord 1200, and with some serious technology.

As well as the now common traction control, ride-by-wire and mode buttons, it gets a semi-active suspension system that's even more advanced than the one on Ducati's Multistrada, and with an V-twin engine that belts out the same power - 125bhp - as BMW's brand new GS. You'd think given the high prices of the Multistrada and the GS that it'd cost big bucks, but it's cheaper than both its main rivals - PS10,599 for the standard bike, PS12,290 for the high-speck 'Travel Pack version' that includes the ADD, Aprilia Dynamic Damping (the semi active suspension) and other touring-friendly extras. That's PS3,000 less than the Ducati equivalent. Sounds like Aprilia's onto a winner.

Aprilia's semi-active suspension is the most clever system so far as it adds pre-load on the rear automatically (but not on the front), which the Ducati and BMW systems don't do.

So if you set off then pick up a pillion on the way, or add shopping to your panniers, the bike will automatically re-calculate the weight and adjust the pre-load to maintain an optimum ride on the go, without the rider having to do anything. As on the BMW and Ducati, Aprilia's system also adjusts compression and rebound damping on the move, both on the rear and front suspension. Set off gently and the set-up will be plush for optimum comfort; open the throttle aggressively and the suspension will stiffen for a sportier ride.

All this means suspension set-up will never again be a compromise; it'll always be tailored to the rider, the situation and the conditions. And the result is superb ride quality and comfort that complements the spacious and upright riding position, with a seat that's wide and plush for both rider and pillion. …

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