The newest offering from the Noale, Italy based company is blessed with enough acronyms to make any bureaucrat jealous. It comes standard with Ride by Wire (RbW), ABS, and Aprilia Traction Control (ATC), and can be equipped with Aprilia Dynamic Damping (ADD) and CC. Other acronyms that may be associated with the new bike include, DOHC, LCD, and EFI. Of course, for most motorcyclists, decoding this alphabet soup has become second nature. The point is, Aprilia has gone to great lengths to make the Caponord 1200 their most technologically advanced bike to date.
The Caponord features a version of Aprilia’s 1197cc 90 degree V-Twin also found in the Dorsoduro 1200. For this application, the engine receives software and hardware changes aimed at broadening the torque curve for a more progressive power delivery, especially at low rpm. Aprilia reports the output figures for the revised power plant as 128 hp at 8,500 rpm and 85 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm.
To give the rider maximum control of all this power, the Caponord resorts to its previously mentioned collection of acronyms with Aprilia’s RbW system and ATC. The latest iteration of Aprilia’s RbW system, which dates back to the 2007 Shiver 750, offers three different throttle maps. Sport, Touring, and Rain. In Sport mode, throttle response is tailored to be as direct as possible with all 128 horses on tap. Set to Touring, full power is still available, but is delivered in a smoother, more civilized manner. The Rain map reduces output to 100 hp in anticipation of diminished grip. Aprilia’s Traction Control system also comes with three settings, with Level 1 being the least intervention and Level 3 being the most. And, for those who don’t want any intervention at all, the ATC system can be turned off. Likewise, the Caponord’s standard ABS can also be disabled.
The new Aprilia is also available with a “Travel Pack,” which features a number of desirable options. These include, Cruise Control, center stand, and panniers. A semi-active dynamic suspension system, (for which Aprilia holds a patent) ADD measures the harshness and severity of suspension inputs while taking into account whether the bike is accelerating, decelerating, braking, or on constant throttle, and adjusts the suspension accordingly. Spring preload is also easily adjustable with four predefined load scenarios, rider only, rider and passenger, rider with loaded panniers, and two-up with loaded panniers.
Perhaps the best thing about this technological tour-de-force is that Aprilia recognizes that a good motorcycle begins with a well-designed engine and chassis, and not with a host of electronic nannies. The Caponord certainly offers the best of modern motorcycle technology, but the ability to turn that technology off shows that Aprilia isn’t hiding anything. We certainly can’t wait to give this new Italian sport-tourer a thorough examination.
2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200
Aprilia Motorcycles, www.apriliausa.com
Engine: liquid-cooled 90° V-Twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore and Stroke: 106×67.8mm
Exhaust: stainless steel 2-into-2
Final Drive: chain
Clutch: wet, multi-plate
Front Wheel: aluminum, 17×3.5in
Rear Wheel: aluminum, 17x6in
Tires Front/Rear: 120/70-R17 / 190/55-17
Front Suspension: 43mm Sachs upside-down front fork w/ fully adjustable compression, rebound damping, and spring preload; wheel travel 167mm
Rear Suspension: Aluminum alloy swingarm; Sachs hydraulic shock absorber w/ adjustable rebound and preload; wheel travel 150mm
Front Brakes: dual 320mm floating discs; Brembo 4-piston radial calipers
Rear Brakes: single 240mm disc; single piston Brembo caliper
Seat Height: 33in
Fuel Tank: 6.34gal
Wet Weight: unlisted