Endurance test final balance: Aprilia NA 850 Mana


Endurance test final balance: Aprilia NA 850 Mana

Endurance test final balance: Aprilia NA 850 Mana

50,000 kilometers with the automatic bike

Mana mana, badibidibbi: Anyone who knows Sesame Street will also remember the funny song of the same name from 1969. Around 40 years later, Aprilia’s 850 Mana combines motorcycle design with scooter drive technology. If the balancing act works, the automatic bike holds out in the long run?

The bandit driver at the motorcycle meeting is sure of his cause. "Too lazy to switch something?" "No", the Aprilia driver replies dryly, examining the Suzuki owner from top to bottom. Has nothing to do with laziness. But his counterpart is also right: That’s right, on the Mana you only have to accelerate, without the clutch. And not true. In addition to three automatic modes (rain, sport, touring), there are seven fixed switching levels that can be selected by foot or manual gearshift (Tiptronic). There is also the option of turning the gearless 850 on at any time in automatic mode "corridor" to be able to downshift. About before curves. But in the beginning the prejudices against the dominate "Manipulation". Vagabond fears of incapacitation and loss of control due to the stepless variator.

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Endurance test final balance: Aprilia NA 850 Mana

Endurance test final balance: Aprilia NA 850 Mana
50,000 kilometers with the automatic bike


Came around a lot: The comfortable 850 made it to Bulgaria.

"Great, the Mana is really fun" wrote a colleague in the logbook. Scooter expert Werner Enzmann was particularly enthusiastic: "The handling is great, the driving stability is completely sufficient and the automatic is a win. Compared to scooters, the Mana offers a much more intuitive driving experience due to the more intensive contact with the vehicle (knee closure!), Including more confidence when braking." The critics of the scooter genes, on the other hand, ironically mocked the howling scooter sound: "Finally a great scooter – with a good chassis."

The water-cooled 90-degree V2 with four-valve heads and double ignition comes from the Gilera GP 800 scooter, expanded to include the switching option. It should produce 76 hp. Of this, only a maximum of 59 hp reach the rear wheel. But even at 60 km / h, 48 horses trot: the variator always keeps the speed in an optimal, medium range. In touring mode, the often underestimated Mana storms from 60 to 100 km / h in just 2.7 seconds with a twist of the throttle – that’s supersport level!

The Italian allowed herself a moderate 5.3 liters of super unleaded per 100 kilometers over 50,000 kilometers. In doing so, she was chased a lot over the motorways, often with an optional case system and topcase. And that builds wide or high.


With the effective but loud windshield and the voluminous, stable luggage system, the Mana becomes a top tourer in the upper middle class.

Mana made itself beetle-like, it ran and ran and ran. Came for inspection every 10,000 kilometers, no oil needed in between. Tribute to scooter technology: the drive belt has to be replaced every 20,000 kilometers. Cost: 130 euros plus assembly. The sliding blocks of the drive pulley and the four spark plugs must also be changed every 20,000 kilometers. Otherwise, the 229 kilogram Aprilia skimpy on wearing parts: The chain set lasted a full 30,000 kilometers; The Mana quickly reeled off this distance in the first six months of the endurance test. A low-maintenance toothed belt would have topped the clever concept with a large storage compartment in the dummy tank – the fuel is stashed in the rear, the filler neck is under the folding pillion seat.

As with Harley, the air filter is emblazoned next to the V2, here on the left. The filter insert at 13.60 euros only had to be changed once. Other Aprilia spare parts are also remarkably inexpensive: the rear seal of the front exhaust manifold, which is replaced after 27,659 kilometers, costs 22.95 euros without installation. Also not high are 31.50 euros each for new, adjustable hand and foot brake levers after falling over while standing. However, several Mana drivers (see page 42) criticize Aprilia’s ability to deliver accessories, fall and wear parts.

The rear brake pads (EUR 30.40) and the front (set of EUR 70.50) had to be replaced twice during the endurance test. And a pair of parking brake pads. Curious: wear and tear on a brake that only prevents rolling away when stationary? Did a rascal forget the parking brake when driving off? Ultimately, everything is trivial.


The cylinder liners show hardly any signs of wear. Honing marks can still be seen. The two pistons, however, are at the end of the operating tolerance.

The first tires were hardly convincing: the Dunlop Qualifier adheres moderately in wet and cold conditions, does not drive neutrally and rubs itself off quickly. The famous Dunlop Roadsmart drives much better. Another recommendation: Metzeler Z6 Interact and Pirelli Diablo Strada – see the interim endurance test in MOTORRAD 24/2008. The Mana reeled off the distances almost unobtrusively, had it not been for the throttle cable hanging after 10556 kilometers. Dangerous on a motorcycle that cannot be disengaged. Aprilia responded immediately with a new throttle valve body and a recall campaign: A cover has since protected the cable from dirt.

In the winter of 2008/2009, starting problems made it necessary to replace the battery. Pushing is not allowed. The engine that had already started also went out every now and then when coasting for the first few meters. Annoying because a brake has to be applied to start. The long-term test copy still without ABS. In Germany, Aprilia now mainly sells Mana with ABS, including the half-faired GT version. Shortly before the end of the test, the defect devil really struck. The oil pressure control lamp flickered every now and then in the partial load range despite the correct oil level. Complicated: checking the oil level with a sight glass for reading off "maximum" and separate dipstick for "minimum".

In addition, squeaking noises were annoying when starting up. Presumably the first signs of deep marks in the variator pulleys and too much play on their guide shoes: the scooter technology shows wear after 50,000 kilometers.


When replacing the defective piston pin including the engine revision, correct values ​​for all components involved had priority.

Even before it expired, the mana had to go under the knife: MOTORRAD fleet manager Rainer Froberg also heard ticking noises from the engine. After 41,918 kilometers, the V2 was therefore dismantled for inspection. Lo and behold: the piston pin of the rear cylinder was oval. Like the upper connecting rod eye, it showed clear running marks. Extreme shame. Because on the real V-engine with a crank pin, the one-piece connecting rods sit on a pressed crankshaft. Everything has to be removed for a new bearing: two new connecting rods plus a new crankshaft. Price: an acceptable 630 euros plus installation. The engine damage costs the mana five points in the endurance test, and throws it back to 17th place instead of the ninth place otherwise achieved. Still ahead of the BMW R 1200 GS. So: mana-mana. Even without badibidibbi.


Drawing: archive

Of the specified 76 hp, only 59 arrive at the rear wheel, tribute to the power-sapping variator. After all, the engine power remained constant over the 50,000 kilometers. The acceleration suffered a little, the “draft” remained great.

 Initial / final measurement 2777 km  49213 km
 0-100 km / h  5.4 sec  5.8 sec
 0-140 km / h  10.4 sec  10.7 sec
 60-100 km / h  2.8 sec  2.7 sec
 100-140 km / h  4.8 sec  4.8 sec
 Average fuel consumption over 50,000 km    
 Fuel (super)    5.3 l / 100 km
 Engine oil    –

Balance after 50,000 kilometers

Drawing: archive

The wear diagram of the Aprilia NA 850 Mana


Cylinder head:
All exhaust valves and three intake valves are leaking, and the exhaust valve seats are significantly wider. The valve guides and stems, on the other hand, show hardly any wear. Camshaft bearings and profiles in good condition.

Cylinder / piston:
There is an increased pressure loss on the rear cylinder due to incorrect piston ring assembly, the joint clearance of the second piston rings is at the end of the operating tolerance. The cylinders show hardly any signs of wear, but the pistons have reached their wear limit.

Crank drive:
The crankshaft was replaced after 41,918 kilometers due to a defective connecting rod bearing. The bearing clearances of the main bearings are at the end of the operating tolerance, the left main bearing has a deep groove caused by a chip. Piston pin and connecting rod bearings are OK.

Power transmission:

The drive and output-side belt pulleys have clear indentations, the compression spring of the movable belt pulley has set too much, the guide shoes of the drive belt pulley have too much play. The inner diameter of the movable belt half pulley is at the wear limit.

Frame / chassis:

The paintwork on the frame and on the engine housing is chipped or chipped off in places, otherwise the attachments, swing arm and chassis are in good condition. The rear brake disc is worn out.

Aprilia takes a position


Question time at MOTORRAD: The delegation of the German Aprilia importer (the three gentlemen on the right) examine the Mana innards after 50,000 kilometers.

…for unnecessarily wide 180 mm rear tires and for doing without a toothed belt.
The selected chain drive corresponds to the usual standard for motorcycles in this performance class. The tires optically underline the motorcycle character of the Mana.

…starting problems with a cold engine.
This could possibly be caused by an unsuitable engine oil not specially designed for the scooter drive technology. After all, the engine oil does not have to lubricate the clutch or transmission. A low-viscosity, low-viscosity oil with a viscosity of 5W-40 is essential. Aprilia recommends Agip TEC 4T or other branded oils whose properties conform to the CCMC G-4 specification.

…to the sometimes dying engine when coasting to a traffic light.

The software update 8/08 is supposed to fix such problems. The customer receives this on the engine control at the latest when inspections are due, and if so desired, in between.

…to the brake discs that have been changed under warranty because they rubbed.

The service life of the brake components naturally depends very much on the driving style. Due to the design, the engine braking torque of the Mana is low, especially in touring mode. With a sporty driving style, this is at the expense of the brake discs.

…to the oil pressure control lamp that sometimes lights up towards the end of the test.
Since this effect apparently only occurred after the engine was dismantled (according to mileage 41918), a line or the oil pressure switch could have been defective.

…to the sometimes hanging throttle cable.
Dirt on the throttle body could cause it to get stuck. Aprilia responded to this safety-related circumstance with a recall. In the course of the conversion campaign, the cable guides were encapsulated with caps to protect them from dirt.

…the cause of the damage to the connecting rod bearing.
The engine has definitely received enough oil: the lubrication and cooling systems were completely in order. It is possible that an unsuitable, thick oil viscosity was used, which could have already led to the starting problems that occurred. In any case, the crankshaft goes to the Aprilia plant in Italy for assessment. Such damage did not occur in any other engine.

…to the jammed indicator switch.

Moisture could have penetrated the flasher relay in the cockpit. We therefore advise against washing your motorcycle with a steam jet: The multi-plugs could be sensitive to moisture that has penetrated.

Costs and maintenance


After 41,918 kilometers the connecting rod bearing of the rear cylinder was defective. The bitter thing about it: There are no single connecting rods, the entire crankshaft with pressed connecting rods has to be replaced.

Operating costs over 50,000 kilometers:

13 liters of oil at 15.79 euros 205.27 euros
5 oil filters at 6.88 euros 34.40 euros
1 air filter at 13.6 euros 13.60 euros
8 spark plugs at 11.57 euros each 92.56 euros
1 pair of spark plug caps 10.49 euros
2 sets of rear brake pads at EUR 28.61 each 57.22 euros
2 sets of front brake pads at 35.24 euros 70.48 euros
1 set of brake pads parking brake 29.04 euros
2 V-belts at 140.2 euros 280.40 euros
1 chain set 280.40 euros
1 battery 89.00 euros
brake fluid 8.63 euros
Small parts, lubricants 19.64 euros
Seals 22.95 euros
Inspections and repairs 898.13 euros
Tires (including assembly, balancing and disposal) 2180.00 euros
fuel 3673.61 euros
Total cost 7965.82 euros
acquisition cost 8985.00 euros
Depreciation 4485.00 euros
Estimated Price (Dealer Selling Price) 4500.00 euros
Costs per kilometer (without depreciation) 15.9 cents
Costs per kilometer (with depreciation) 24.9 cents

Maintenance and repair costs (mileage):

Turn signal switch reset "hangs" 395
Metzeler Sporttec M1 renewed rear tire 6320
Front tires renewed Metzeler Sporttec M1 8613
Dirty throttle body cleaned 10296
Throttle cable hangs, front and rear tires replaced, Dunlop qualifier 10556
Throttle body renewed (guarantee) 14200
Front and rear tires renewed Michelin Pilot Road 2 16840
Spark plug connector and drive belt renewed 19849
Engine cuts out when driving downhill 20191
Metzeler Roadtec Z6 renews front and rear tires 23736
Leaky manifold seal renewed 27659
Brake pads front and rear,
Parking brake pads and chain set renewed 30134
Front and rear tires renewed, Continental Motion 30901
Reflector renewed 30917
Brake pads, brake discs (guarantee),
Battery and drive belt renewed 37741
Rear tire renewed Dunlop D 220 ST 40476
Front tire renewed Dunlop D 220 ST 41547
Connecting rod bearing repair (guarantee) 41918

Reading experience


Not only do we have an opinion about the mana, the readers have had experiences too.

In the brain stem there are instincts and habits, and this is where decisions about buying a motorcycle are made. But rarely for individual mana. It can’t be due to instincts: When the automatic shifts up without jerking at every traffic light, the coupling colleagues stay in the rearview mirror. Flight instinct satisfies. And the habits? Simply accelerate without the clutch? The cerebrum, the seat of intellect and individuality, knows that you could still switch, but in practice the automatic mechanism simply works too well. Only when driving downhill on steep mountain passes do you want more engine brakes. The mana suddenly switches to idle. Due to the tank in the stern, the Mana has a very low center of gravity. Mana really has sex appeal – and the brain stem likes that too!
Christian Bauer, Vienna

After several BMWs, it could be something different. And I liked the design of the Mana. Meanwhile 4000 kilometers collected on alpine passes and winding country roads, sometimes in pairs. The rear wheel rim could be narrower, the brakes are sufficient and easy to adjust. And the automatic! Nobody can switch better! The touring mode is always right. I only recommend the SportGear mode if there is a change in driving or if the sound should change. Thumb and forefinger flicker up and down the aisles. It takes a bit of getting used to disengaging the clutch when pushing at low speeds below around 25 km / h. Perhaps, but by no means certain, an experienced clutch hand could master the hairpin bends of small Alpine passes even better – downhill in wet conditions, by carefully engaging the clutch and accelerating. A tachometer is missing, but there is an outside thermometer. A nuisance: Spare parts last and last … Footrest bracket not available for eleven weeks. Defects? So far none.
Wolfgang Groger, Prien a. Chiemsee

I came to Mana because I increasingly had problems with the clutch hand (thumb-saddle joint). So I sold my Fazer and bought a Mana ABS: A demonstrator from 2009 with only 120 kilometers run for just 7,000 euros. A real bargain because the list price is quite high. The automatic solves my problem with the coupling. But I’m also completely convinced of the handling, the comfortable seating position, the performance and the processing of the Mana. There is nothing like it in city traffic: if others are still shifting into gear, you are long gone. You can stay relaxed even on long tours. The handling is okay, and even better with Dunlop Roadsmart instead of the standard Dunlop Qualifier. A 160 rear tire would do the same. The brakes are great. The maintenance-intensive chain is not consistent; a belt would be the ideal solution here.
Wolfgang Schmid, Kornwestheim

Since this automatic motorcycle with a low seat height and still moderate weight also seemed suitable for my wife, I bought an Aprila Mana with ABS in April 2009. Whether for two in the city or solo on long tours with a lot of luggage, it makes a lot of driving friends: No load change reactions, extremely soft throttle response, you can change gear in the middle of a curve at full throttle. The four switching programs of the automatic are simply great. I dismantled the gearshift lever, it only bothers when I reach the side stand. The flasher control is a nuisance because of the unfavorable placement near the on-board computer button. After 500 kilometers, traces of oil appeared on the bottom of the engine housing. It took my dealer around eight weeks to fix this error, and I had to drive up around five times with the Mana. The engine was completely dismantled for repairs, the oil pump sealing ring replaced and the engine housing resealed. No further defects occurred after 7000 kilometers. I think the electrically openable storage compartment with interior lighting and socket is really great, even if it doesn’t fit every helmet. The Mana constructed people who ride a motorcycle a lot themselves.
Bernd Huhnt

My additional motorcycle should be completely different from the ST 1100 Pan European, which has always worked perfectly for 17 years, or my KTM LC 4 SC. My experiences after 5000 kilometers with the ABS-Mana are consistently positive: The "Canyon runabout" drives just great for the weekend, just completely different. The questioning look is always good when the luggage compartment is opened. There’s a lot of discussion about this when the missing clutch lever is noticed. Often the moped is called "Disabled moped" until the first test drive, because the strong pull of the moped is completely unexpected for the rest of the biker world. However, the dealer network is completely inadequate. Service and prices are okay, the availability of accessories is not: there are currently no luggage racks and cases.
Ingo Weiland, same

Since February 2009 my Mana has 4,000 kilometers on the clock. With ABS and daily registration (0 km), the price was around 3000 euros below the list. Pirelli Diablo Strada instead of the standard Dunlop Qualifier make the driving behavior fantastic, a retrofitted main stand makes service easier. Reliability, paintwork and processing quality are right. The fuel consumption is around five liters / 100km, oil consumption is not measurable. As a passenger, my wife feels reminded of old TR1 times, comfortably without end. I only use the Tiptronic in town because the speed level in fully automatic mode is too high for me. Despite the rather disappointing sounds, this is fascinating "fully automatic curve surfing". Even before the 1000 inspection, the front brake was causing trouble. When braked with heat, the pads remained on the discs, and when jacked up, the front wheel could hardly be turned by hand. But neither Werkstatt nor Aprilia Germany supposedly knew about this problem. I’ve been waiting for a new brake pump with a different order number for six weeks…
Claus Schafer, Grevenbroich

In November 2008 I bought my Aprilia NA 850 Mana ABS. Now the 10,000 inspection is due. The rear tire is now due. The exhaust manifold gasket had pushed out once, my workshop did as a goodwill gesture. Otherwise there was nothing but fun with the Mana. The automatic is ingenious, especially in heavy city traffic: No playing with the clutch, just accelerate and pull away at an almost constant speed. Overtaking maneuvers do not require any preparation, just accelerate and spin past with maximum torque. The consumption is 5.2 liters / 100 km. The helmet compartment holds everything I need for a day tour. The Mana is a beautiful and technically smart motorcycle.
Hans-Jurgen Golembiewski, Hochstadt a. d. Aisch

After 30,000 kilometers on the Aprilia Sportcity 250 scooter, I bought a used Mana in October 2008. In the Dolomites, I initially drove in touring mode with manual downshifts. But the attitude is in the mountains "Sport Gear" better. The Mana can thus be moved more evenly around the curves (on Michelin Pilot Power 2CT!), The gear stages remain set and are not automatically shifted up when accelerating slightly. The sweaty brake fluid reservoir at the front was completely replaced with a pump under guarantee. The steamed up speedometer unit will soon be replaced. The too narrow rear fender lets spray spray up to the helmet. The additional splash guard on the Mana GT can help.
Michael Lehner, Munich

Endurance test final balance: Aprilia NA 850 Mana

Naked bike

Top test Aprilia NA 850 Mana

The motorcycle with automatic

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Endurance test rating

Drawing: archive

(1) Without depreciation and fuel costs; (2) Average consumption over 50,000 km; (3) as per DAT rating; (4) unscheduled workshop visits; (5) assessed: dimensional accuracy, wear pattern, spare parts requirement; (6) Reorders by phone 0711 / 182-1229

The rating table gives an overview of the MOTORRAD endurance test machines from the last few years. A maximum of 100 points can be achieved, divided into five sections. The costs per kilometer include expenses for inspections, spare and wear parts, tires and chain sets. The basis for evaluating fuel consumption is the average consumption over the entire test kilometers. The loss in value is based on a DAT estimate. The relation to the list price is assessed at the beginning of the test. Extraordinary workshop visits result in the deduction of one point. Breakdowns in which the motorcycle could not continue will be penalized with five points. In the technical condition, the wear dimensions and the visual condition of the individual parts are included.

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