2017 Aprilia Caponord Rally

Price: $16,499.00

plus freight, setup, and tax, $150 document fee, and title transfer / tab renewal unless verifiable out-of-state residency. All prices reflect a 2% discount for payment by cash, check, wire transfer, direct deposit, debit card, or through financing.

Financing6.59% for 24-36 months, 7.39% for 48, 7.59% for 60, 8.59% for 72, or 9.09% for 84 months OAC (rates based on 715+ credit score, higher rates for lower scores) through Freedom Road Financial. 

Click here for potentially better rates.

Type Aprilia V90 four-stroke longitudinal 90° V-twin double overhead camshaft with mixed gear/chain timing system, four valves per cylinder. Ride By Wire with 3 engine mappings (Sport, Touring, Rain)
Capacity 1197 cc
Max power (at crankshaft) 125 HP (92 kW) at 8,000 rpm
Max torque (at crankshaft) 84.8 (115 Nm) at 6,800 rpm
Fuel system Integrated engine management system. Injection with two injectors per cylinder and Ride by Wire throttle control with three maps: Sport (S), Touring (T), Rain (R)
Cooling Liquid
Alternator 690 W/6000 rpm
Gearbox 6 speeds
Lubrication Wet sump
Clutch Multiplate wet clutch, hydraulically operated
Traction management Aprilia Traction Control (ATC)
Frame Modular tubular steel frame fastened to aluminium side plates by high strength bolts. Removable steel rear subframe
Front suspension Completely adjustable Sachs 43 mm upside-down fork. Hydraulic rebound and compression electronically managed with ADD (Aprilia Dynamic Damping)
Rear suspension Sachs dynamic single shock absorber. Adjustable or automatic setting for spring preload coupled with electronically controlled rebound and compression dampening via ADD (Aprilia Dynamic Damping)
Front brake 320 mm stainless steel floating discs. Brembo M432 monoblock four-piston radial calipers. Metal braided brake pipes.
Rear brake 240 mm stainless steel disc. Brembo 34 mm single piston caliper. Metal braided brake hose.
ABS Continental dual channel ABS system
Front wheel 3.00"" x 19" spoked wheel.
Rear tire 4.50"" x 17" spoked wheel. Tire 170/60-R17"
Seat height 33 in (840 mm)
Dry weight 502 lb. (228kg)
Fuel tank capacity 6.3 gal. (24 liters)
Standard Equipment ABS, aprilia Traction Control (aTC), Aprilia Dynamic Damping (aDD), (semi-active suspension)
Warranty All 2014 and newer Aprilia Motorcycles include a 2-year unlimited-mileage warranty. *Limits are outlined in the warranty booklet. See dealer for details
Approval EPA and CARB.

Aprilia introduces the definitive bike, perfect for any occasion, the new point of reference for form and function, where the personality so typical of Italian design is combined with a sleek body. Like every Aprilia, its sportiness shines through clearly in the main stylistic traits, immediately noticeable in the triple headlight, by now the distinctive mark on all late model Aprilia bikes.

Aprilia's motorcycle technology has laways been top shelf: the proverbial ability to build exceptional chassis is joined by exclusive expertise in electronics, thanks to the experience gained in top level racings, which has always been at the centre of research and development of Aprilia solutions which are then used in factory models. Ride-by-Wire, ABS, ATC, ACC and ADD are the active electronic control systems for safety and riding pleasure that Aprilia has fine tuned for the Caponord 1200 Rally, combined with a modern and technological V2 powerplant with top notch torque and power characteristics as well as a standard-setting chassis architecture.
In introducing the new Caponord 1200 Rally, Aprilia's main focus was to offer an exceptional package of standard equipment. The Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally standard equipment includes:

- Electronic Ride-by-Wire accelerator with triple maps (Sport, Touring and Rain) that can be selected by the rider
- Two-channel ABS (can be disabled)
ATC (Aprilia Traction Control) adjustable to three levels (can be switched off)
ADD (Aprilia Dynamic Damping), a system capable of "reading" the road, recognising the rider's riding style and automatically -adjusting the suspension set up
ACC (Aprilia Cruise Control)
Pair of new panniers covered in aluminium
Adjustable oversized windshield
Hand guards
Tubular side guards and engine guard
Pair of supplementary LED lights
Spoked tubeless wheels with 120/70R19 (front) and 170/60R17 (rear) tires

ADD (Aprilia Dynamic Damping) is dynamic semi-active suspension system developed by Aprilia and protected by four patents, the reference point in motorcycling on a global level where technology, efficiency and reliability are concerned. Once again Aprilia has proven to be on the cutting edge of electronics applied to bikes thanks to a latest generation suspension system that manages to increase safety, comfort and riding pleasure.
The ADD system measures the energy transmitted by bumps on the road surface to the bike and adjusts the hydraulic fork calibration and shock absorber in real time to minimise accelerations on the frame and consequently optimise comfort. To achieve maximum performance at any fork and shock absorber operating frequency, ADD uses a patented “comfort oriented” algorithm which combines the principles of the well known skyhook and acceleration driven damping algorithms.
In addition to comfort, rideability is also enhanced and safety is increased thanks to further software strategies which are tied directly to the rider's actions. In fact, the system recognises the riding phases (acceleration, throttle release, braking, constant gas) and adjusts the basic fork and shock absorber settings thanks to yet another patent which allows specific hydraulic calibration curves to be defined within the adjustment range.
The high precision of the system is entrusted to a selection of sensors which are derived from the automotive world and which, in addition to guaranteeing absolute reliability, allow the fork and shock absorber extension speed to be measured with maximum accuracy. In this field Aprilia has patented a unique solution for measuring the fork extension speed: using a pressure sensor.
In the electromechanical calibration suspension systems already available on the market, the rider presses a button on the handlebar to activate an electric motor which changes the suspension set-up. In the Aprilia ADD dynamic semi-active suspension system, on the other hand, all the rider has to do is ride without any concerns of selecting one setting or another.
At the rear a built in piggy back shock absorber is used, electrically adjustable in spring preload to 4 predefined positions, indicated by specific icons on the digital instrument panel: rider only, rider with passenger, only rider with panniers and rider and passenger with panniers. Aprilia system patented exclusive and then the automatic preload control mode for the spring. Once this option is selected the system is able to detect the bike's load by itself (weight of the fuel, rider, passenger, luggage, etc.) and automatically adjust preload to the optimum value for correct balancing of the bike. The ability of ADD to perfectly copy even the smallest imperfection of the road surface, thereby guaranteeing the best possible tyre grip, also allows the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally to achieve exceptional braking distances, unheard of on the competition's bikes.
ABS and traction control (ATC) (which can both be disabled) are included as standard equipment on the Caponord 1200 Rally. The two channel ABS system is specifically calibrated for the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally version. The particularly fine calibration allows the rider to make the most of chassis potential in sport riding, without ever being invasive, even in the most intense braking operations, whilst still guaranteeing maximum safety on slippery surfaces. ATC (Aprilia Traction Control) is the exclusive patented traction control system derived from the Aprilia Performance Ride Control (aPRC) system on the extraordinary RSV4, designed and fine tuned by Aprilia to get maximum grip out of any type of surface, able to provide the rider with great riding confidence, simultaneously increasing safety. The 3 control settings, specifically calibrated for the demands of the Aprilia Caponord 1200, can be adjusted based on different riding styles and asphalt conditions:

Level 1: for a pure sport riding experience, intended for good fun.
Level 2: suitable for the city and touring and in general to manage the engine's performance on any route.
Level 3: ideal for safety taking on difficult situations such as low grip surfaces, staying in complete control.

Aprilia Cruise Control allows the desired speed to be set and maintained even on uphills and downhills, without touching the throttle control. The system disengages automatically if the rider touches any of the brake/clutch Cruise Control commands and is very useful on long motorway routes because it helps save fuel and makes the ride less tiring.
The instrument panel that equips the Caponord 1200 Rally is fully digital: The full LCD combines the speedometer, rev counter, total and two trip odometers, fuel level and coolant temperature. There is also a selected mapping indicator (S,T,R) as well as the shock absorber electric spring preload indicator. The engaged gear is also indicated, as well as the ATC level adjustment and heated hand grip operation (available as a separate option).
The range of indicator lights on the side includes the fuel reserve warning light and the ABS, ATC and ACC activation/deactivation indicators.

Riding this bike for the first time was a bit intimidating. First off was the array of fancy electronics: ride-by-wire fuel injection, variable performance curves, traction control, ABS, cruise control, electronic-adjustable suspension. Heck, it even has a place to plug in your iphone. Secondly, the reviews have been so universally spectacular that it seemed impossible to live up to.

So the surprise to me was to ride the bike and realize… Hey! It’s just a really nice motorcycle!

I was intrigued right from the first time I sat on it. It felt so good! And that got me thinking about how this bike came about. Me, I started on dirt bikes before I was old enough to have a license. When I came of age, I licensed my enduro and discovered the pleasures of a dirt-bike posture on the street. A decade later, BMW introduced the GS, giving us a little bit of off-road capability in a big street bike. It didn’t take long for riders to realize that this type of bike was great for the street even if you never went off-pavement because these bikes had legroom. Everything else either folded your legs under you or stretched them out in front.

But there were tradeoffs. That tall soft suspension responded like a hobbyhorse if the rider was harsh on the throttle and/or brakes. So BMW developed their non-diving front suspension. But that wasn’t a total solution as front-end dive is a good thing for making turning easier (something that often follows braking, after all). And we all knew that BMW saw some tradeoffs in their telelever front end, since they didn’t apply it to their upscale HP series, nor to their sport bikes.

Now we have electronic self-adjusting suspension. I’m sure something better will eventually come along but this seems hard to fault. The ride is plush but crank on the brakes and you can feel the front stiffen up to control diving. It can be set for rider only, rider plus luggage, rider & passenger, 2 people plus luggage, or auto-adjust.

The engine is a dream. It’s torquey but still has plenty of pop on top. And it’s so incredibly smooth that it’s difficult to believe it’s a 1200 twin. The three performance maps have similar feel to other models: rain mode seems too subdued to be very useful, sport is a bit too responsive for traffic, and tour mode seems a good compromise. Sport is definitely more fun out in the open. The cruise control was easy to figure out (Of course I didn’t read the owner’s manual first!) and seemed potentially useful – pretty complimentary for a Guzzi luddite like me!

I had to stop suddenly once and even felt the ABS come on. The good news is that between the brakes and the suspension, there was really no drama to it. Other than that, the brakes feel strong but not overwhelming like a sport bike, and I like it this way. Sport bike brakes can be harsh when trying to modulate in traffic.

I didn’t notice much about fairing coverage but that’s a good thing. I usually notice more when blustery air gets by and that’s certainly not the case with the Caponord. I got a lot of wind in the face with my visor up but great coverage and no wind noise with it down.

The standard saddlebags are rebadged Givi Trekker bags which is a good thing. They are easy to get on & off and open & close. Plus, you can convert them from side opening to top opening.

And that’s where this long, convoluted evolution gets back to what I remember about riding that enduro on the street back in 1970. We’ve got that easy-steering dirt-bike riding position but in a big street bike supremely capable of carrying people & gear great distances in comfort. The Caponord is a bit lower & lighter than the average adventure-touring rig but still has that great riding position. And the seat is quite narrow so shorter riders can reach the ground, although Aprilia does catalog an accessory low seat.

It’s easy to talk up bikes made to be the best at one thing, such as an RSV4 or Tuono. The Caponord is more like the average Guzzi, in that it’s a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” But most versatile bikes I excuse for being less than the best at specific roles. The Caponord simply does it all with less excuses. You gotta ride one!


Dave Richardson

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