Driving report: Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200

Driving report: Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200

Italian supermoto with a 1200 V2 engine

Aprilia debuts with its own 1200 V2 engine. It will make its first appearance in the Dorsoduro 1200. MOTORRAD editor-in-chief Michael Pfeiffer was able to test drive the new Supermoto in Italy.

Aprilia has been flying the flag again lately. In 2008 the northern Italians brought a V4 superbike with a new engine, and now they are sending in a newly designed 1200 V2 drive. Respect for this entrepreneurial courage. Will it pay off?
S.tolz hands over the key to press officer Roberto Zerbi: "You’re going to have a lot of fun now…" Framed by two test drivers, it is all about survival in the north Italian street jumble. After 500 meters, the clock shows a good 100 km / h and three front wheels are in the air. Aha, so there is pressure.

Driving report: Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200

Italian supermoto with a 1200 V2 engine

Dorsoduro 1200 is a real fun bike like a KTM Supermoto 990 or Ducati Hypermotard 1100. Long suspension travel, slim tank-seat line, wide handlebars. Whereby the Aprilia with full 130 hp is the strongest of the group. "At first we thought of limiting the top speed, after all it goes over 240. But our chassis is so stable that it wasn’t necessary." Sent Zerbi afterwards.

The performance is credible. The new V2 pushes tremendously. The Aprilia people obviously attached great importance to good driveability. Compared to the nervous KTM-V2, the Dorsoduro power plant exudes calm. Pushes hard under 2000 rpm in order to deliver more power as the speed increases. In the region of 6000 / min he takes another breath, above which he is really sporty. Not quite as wild as the current Ducati four-valve Desmos, but this is not at all important for enjoyable cornering. You can also accelerate from 60 km / h in sixth gear, which is neither possible with a KTM nor with said Ducatis.

The Dorsoduro 1200 takes all kinds of corners just as easily as its little sister with the 750 engine. The fat V2 weighs only six kilograms more, and so did the chassis – a cleverly designed one Composite of cast aluminum parts with steel lattice tube – are laid out in almost the same way as in the impressive little Dorsoduro. The fun mobile quickly puts a smile on your face, turns in great, is stable and quite neutral in curves and doesn’t get fidgety even on fast sections. The perfectly adjustable brakes allow the driver to tackle even fast stages with ease. Yes, even the driving comfort is not neglected thanks to the appealing and long-stroke spring elements. The directly hinged rear Sachs shock absorb even creates a significantly richer driving experience compared to the 750. The not too front-oriented seating position with perfectly cranked handlebars does the rest in the Aprilia feel-good program.

Speaking of the program: there is a choice of three driving programs. Wild wheelie kings set the engine to sport mode for very spontaneous response, in the somewhat gentler touring mode everyone will be happy. For slippery roads, there is a power-reduced rain mode that throttles the V2 to 100 hp. This is made possible by the fully electronic control of the two large 57 mm throttle valves, which, by the way, are much better tuned than in the often criticized 750 series. "What is there to criticize?", asks Zerbi after the test drive. "Vibrations at 6000 rpm in the left footrest", the answer. Zerbi smiles an Italian: "If it’s nothing more."

Interview: Head of Development


Interview with Maurizio Roman, 54, Head of Development at the Piaggio Group: "In a crisis you have to be close to the customer".

In 2004, Piaggio took over Aprilia and Moto Guzzi. But neither has really grown so far. Why is that?

Developing a successful new concept for two brands simply takes time. We are now ready with Aprilia. Including the new Dorsoduro 1200, we now offer a product range that extends from 50 to 1200 cm3, all with our own engines. This is unique in Europe, and we are therefore ideally positioned.

Now you come right into times of deep crisis. How are you going to cope?

In times of crisis you have to be very close to the customer and offer them motorcycles with an independent character. At Aprilia, we focus on three things above all: sporty focus, optimal drivability and an all-round convincing service package.

And at Moto Guzzi?

We are primarily concerned with comfort, premium design and appropriate performance. Not an infinite amount of horsepower, but a lot of torque. We are working on a new engine
with the classic Guzzi architecture.

Video interview & Technical specifications

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, injection, Ø 57 mm, displacement 1197 cm³.
Nominal output 96 kW (130 PS) at 8700 / min, max. Torque 115 Nm at 7500 / min.

Composite frame made of steel lattice tube, aluminum cast parts and rear frame made of aluminum tubes, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, aluminum swing arm, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, disc brake at the rear, Ø 240 mm; Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17.

Measurements and weight: Wheelbase 1528 mm, suspension travel f / r 160/155 mm, seat height 870 mm, weight with a full tank of 209 kg, tank capacity 15 liters.
PRICE: k. AT..


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