What is it?
This 1200cc bike from Aprilia is a so-called “adventure” bike. In this case it is meant for those who prefer to seek adventure via tar roads – and the Caponord will deliver such an adventure in spades.
The Aprilia Caponord has an 1197cc two-cylinder engine that delivers 91kW@7250 r/min to the back wheel, via a six-speed gearbox with chain drive.
Style, instruments and equipment
The test bike was metal grey, with colour-coded panniers, together with cruise control and a centre stand, all standard with the Travel Pack configuration. The overall design did not excite me terribly, but that feeling was turned upside down when I opened the throttle a little too “enthusiastically” the first time.
The digital-only display of the Caponord gives the rider information regarding engine revolutions, speed, fuel level, riding modes, time and engine temperature. The rider is able to switch between three traction control options, namely: Sport, Touring and Rain modes.
You can switch the ABS off if for some strange reason you want to explore off road on this bike.
The Aprilia Caponord has a relaxed outward demeanour, but a demon lies just underneath the surface with a liberal application of the ride-by-wire throttle. Legal highway speeds were quick to reach and these limits were applied with great frustration and personal restraint. Between the three riding modes (Sport, Touring and Rain) is a clear distinction in the rate of acceleration, with a discernably slower and more sedate acceleration in Rain mode.
Ride and Handling
For commuting, I found the Caponord a waste, as confining it to city life would be a travesty. The Caponord screams for the open road. Here, the bike is at home. Cruise control allows for relaxed carefree riding as speed can be maintained effortlessly. In corners and on rougher surfaces the Aprilia Dynamic Damping (ADD) constantly measures the feedback from the road surface and automatically adjusts the suspension for a smoother ride. On the highway, the rider’s comfortable, upright riding position is well protected from wind buffeting by its manually adjustable windscreen. The bike is marketed as an adventure bike, but the aluminium alloy rims with three split spokes, coupled with the slick 55mm profile tyres, did not allow it to be an adventure bike in the African (gravel road/off road/no road) sense of the word.
Likes: Performance on the road.
Dislikes: An adventure bike it is not.
Verdict and rating
The Aprilia Caponord 1200 Travel Pack will be an outstanding motorcycle for touring on tar. Adventure bike? Not. Rating: 7/10.
BMW 1200 GS, Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX, Honda VFR 1200 X Crosstourer.
Specifications for the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Travel Pack
- Engine 1197cc, liquid-cooled, V-twin, fuel injected, twin spark engine
- Gearbox six speed, chain drive
- Power 95.5 kW@8250 r/min
- Torque 114.7Nm@6800 r/min
- Weight 228kg (dry weight)
- Seat height 840mm
- Fuel capacity 24 litres
- Fuel consumption (city and highway combined) Around 6.5 litres/100km
- Tank range About 350 km
- Warranty and servicing Two-year unlimited mileage and 10 000km service intervals.
- Price R186 500
- Ridden by Bikreoutes November 2013
- Review by Bert Kirsten
- Pictures by Aprillia
More info on www.aprilia.co.za