Test Drive

Test Drive: Aprilia Caponord 1200

If a Scout Motorbiker holds the test of the Caponord, it is a serious indication of an imminent marital separation. The temptation is to drop everything and go for a tour of the world on a motorcycle. By Flavio Ferrari.

Safety, performance, driving pleasure, 4 patents in sophisticated active suspension, ABS, ride by wire, traction control, cruise control, in two words: comfort and handling.The purpose of the operation was to create a motorcycle that had a perfect balance between comfort and handling, guaranteeing maximum safety, comfort and driving pleasure. A decidedly ambitious goal that was unthinkable a few years ago. Many of us at the time of the crucial choice have been tormented by the doubt between buying a gorgeous sport touring or a more pragmatic tourist. The end is always the same, riding a motorcycle to make long journeys in safety, without soreness, having load capacity and aerodynamic coverage and at the same time the attitude and the right feeling for a sporty driving. How to find the squaring of the circle? The Aprilia technicians have lowered all the axes they had in hand by showing off the project of a motorcycle with such an endowment as to re-establish the standards of the category: the first motorcycle in the world with active suspension. The suspensions have, in fact, a continuous adjustment of the hydraulics in compression and return in degree, by means of electrically controlled blades, to vary the flow of the fluid thus obtaining the optimal adjustment in every moment of the guide. In 10 milliseconds the suspension valves can be switched from fully closed to fully open. But who decides how much and when to act on the regulations? The responsibility for this decision is entrusted to a control unit that regulates the structure in real time through a software containing specific algorithms, and processes the data coming from different sources; accelerometers, speed sensors and position sensors. In the latter case, the Aprilia technicians have not only used electronic systems – as, instead, do other companies – considering them not sufficiently precise. They preferred to use on to vary the flow of the fluid thus obtaining the optimal adjustment in every moment of the guide. In 10 milliseconds the suspension valves can be switched from fully closed to fully open. But who decides how much and when to act on the regulations? The responsibility for this decision is entrusted to a control unit that regulates the structure in real time through a software containing specific algorithms, and processes the data coming from different sources; accelerometers, speed sensors and position sensors. In the latter case, the Aprilia technicians have not only used electronic systems – as, instead, do other companies – considering them not sufficiently precise. They preferred to use on to vary the flow of the fluid thus obtaining the optimal adjustment in every moment of the guide. In 10 milliseconds the suspension valves can be switched from fully closed to fully open. But who decides how much and when to act on the regulations? The responsibility for this decision is entrusted to a control unit that regulates the structure in real time through a software containing specific algorithms, and processes the data coming from different sources; accelerometers, speed sensors and position sensors. In the latter case, the Aprilia technicians have not only used electronic systems – as, instead, do other companies – considering them not sufficiently precise. They preferred to use on But who decides how much and when to act on the regulations? The responsibility for this decision is entrusted to a control unit that regulates the structure in real time through a software containing specific algorithms, and processes the data coming from different sources; accelerometers, speed sensors and position sensors. In the latter case, the Aprilia technicians have not only used electronic systems – as, instead, do other companies – considering them not sufficiently precise. They preferred to use on But who decides how much and when to act on the regulations? The responsibility for this decision is entrusted to a control unit that regulates the structure in real time through a software containing specific algorithms, and processes the data coming from different sources; accelerometers, speed sensors and position sensors. In the latter case, the Aprilia technicians have not only used electronic systems – as, instead, do other companies – considering them not sufficiently precise. They preferred to use on the Aprilia technicians have not only used electronic systems – as, instead, do other companies – considering them not sufficiently precise. They preferred to use on the Aprilia technicians have not only used electronic systems – as, instead, do other companies – considering them not sufficiently precise. They preferred to use on rear monoshock a potentiometer and for the front fork an air pressure sensor.

Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally yellow dunes

The preload on the rear is completely automatic. Thanks to an active system, a servomotor maintains the right attitude in relation to the weight on the shock absorber. You can also choose predefined settings: pilot, pilot with luggage, passenger, passenger with luggage.

The ride by wire system provides three different maps of the power unit; sport, touring and rain. The first two with full power at 125 hp, the third reduced to 100 hp. With the rain the safety margins in the wet are excellent, although personally during the test drive I also preferred the touring mapping in the wet.

An advanced traction control system, adjustable in three positions, allows you to choose between a maximum safety setting for another more sporty; in any case the intervention is always progressive and never abrupt, so as to warn the pilot of reaching the limit without penalizing the maximum driving pleasure.

The braking system is equipped with two-channel ABS that can be switched off; less obvious is the presence of a comfortable cruise control that is easily inserted through a button and disengages when one of the brakes or clutch is activated for the first time.

The frame uses the same scheme as the Dorsoduro, with steel tube trusses with lower plates in light alloy, but has been completely revised in the dimensions that are specifically designed for the Caponord, with a new steering tube and new swingarm. The wheels are both 17-inch alloys with 120/70 front and 170/60 rear tires, sport / tourer sizes.

Aprilia Caponord 1200 Travel Pack

The braking system is Brembo, with 320 mm floating discs and radial calipers at the front and a single 240 mm disc at the rear. The weight of 214 kg rises to 228 kg for the Travel Pack model. The height of the saddle is contained at 840 mm. It is interesting to note that even the width of the bike is only 908 mm with the bags fitted. With a 24-liter tank the range is always over 300 km. The two side cases are 29 liters and can be supplemented by the top case, the tank bag and a bag to be placed on the passenger seat in case you travel alone. All these cases are part of the dedicated accessories catalog for Caponord. Other accessories dedicated to tourism are the heated grips, support for the GPS navigator and two gel saddles – one in standard size and one lowered – in addition to the passenger saddle gel. Furthermore, the Caponord is equipped with a multimedia platform that through an application integrates with iPhone / iPod devices via Bluetooth, transforming them into advanced displays that collect the most disparate information, a kind of portable telemetry. Among the many functions; storage of the bike’s position once parked, advanced navigation, display of all travel information, a practical bike use and maintenance manual, instant fuel consumption and average travel times, water temperature, battery voltage, and endless information on lean angles, torque, and other engine-specific information and vehicle performance.

The Caponord 1200 is available from dealers at a price of 17,050 euros (16,900 for the Travel Pack). Three colors are available: safari gray, dune yellow, army green. The standard version comes as standard with Abs, traction control and ride by wire multimap, while in the Travel Pack version, side bags, semi-active suspension, cruise control, shock absorber with electric and automatic preload are added.

For any info you can visit the website: aprilia.com

HOW IT WAS

We tried the Caponord mainly in the rain, only a few km of dry, but it was enough to be able to discover the two faces of this motorcycle. The first curiosity was to verify if during the test this suspension system made itself felt; the answer is yes, in the different driving conditions the bike is always perfectly adjusted for an extraordinarily excellent ride, soft for walking and resistant to every need at the same time. A surprising behavior. Even in rainy conditions the driving was always relaxed, allowing for a brilliant drive, thanks to all the electronics and also to the excellent Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier II tires, the Dunlop multi-road compound that the trial bike was equipped with. The other question I wanted to answer was: is it a real tourist? Yup, comfortable and well-sized saddle, torso position slightly forward, almost no vibrations, excellent aerodynamic protection customizable through the adjustable windscreen, fluid engine and ready to shoot even if we forget to climb. A real tourist can be seen especially when facing long journeys and stress becomes an enemy to fight. Attention to danger in particular driving conditions, if continued for a long time, can indeed be a problem. The new Caponord effectively combats long-distance stress through all its control systems, promising to be an excellent companion for long journeys. The engine pushes really hard from six thousand to eight thousand turns, and at the same time it is never rough below; he succeeds in recovering well, even if he insists on an inadequate relationship. The sporty character of the Caponord 1200 is equally strong. Those who love fast tourism will not be disappointed, the Caponord 1200 with its first-class chassis, a powerful engine and the most advanced electronics is able to give a hard time even to bikes designed for a purely sporting use. Excellent stability allows you to force the rhythm, the delivery of the engine in sports mapping is pure fun. Even the roar of the engine is exciting, a dark sound at mid-range that becomes unrestrained from six thousand onwards. Braking is well modular and powerful, ABS is never invasive and allows a sporty driving with assistance in case of safety. A new star was born in the sports tourer segment, a perfect bike for traveling, fun and versatile even in everyday use.

DATA SHEET

Displacement: 1197 cc

Engine: 90 ° longitudinal V-twin Engine

Power: 125 HP (91.9 kW) at 8,000 rpm

Torque: 1.7 kgm at 6.800 rpm

Weight: 214kg (228kg Travel Pack)

Tires: Radial tubeless; front: 120/70-R19; post .: 170 / 60-17

Seat height: 840 mm

Reservoir: 24 lt (of which 5 lt of reserve)

Gearbox: 6-speed

Generator: 690 W / 6000 rpm

Price: € 17,050 fc – Travel Pack € 16,900 fc

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