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Topic: And the winner is... an Aprilia Caponord!  (Read 3415 times)

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kendenton
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« on: September 13, 2016, 09:59:02 pm »


The new bike is….drum roll please….an Aprilia Caponord!


Demo’d one at Eurosports in Coopersburg PA back-to-back with the latest Multistrada and enjoyed the Capo much more.  

The motor is fantastic, tons of grunt from the 1200c v-twin and it sounds amazing.  Powering out of every corner is a visceral thrill and a sonic treat.  The active suspension smooths over roads that have my Multi bouncing around.  Riding position is just about perfect for me, and I really like the look of it as well.

I feel that I got a screaming deal on it too.  Eurosports had a white demo with 2,000 miles on it for $11,000 which was $4,500 off list.  I found another dealer with a red demo for only $9,500 so took a drive out to the unfortunately-named town of Accident, MD to visit Xtreme Powersports.  Turns out it wasn’t really a “demo” bike, just that the owner had been riding it.  They don’t allow demo rides.  This was on a Friday, so I took the weekend (of riding the Multi in WV) to think about it.  I returned Monday morning to buy it, but turns out it sold on Saturday.  Dealer said “what about one of the new ones?  They’re in the computer for $10,500”.  He then offered to call the owner since he felt bad I lost out on the demo.  “We can do a new one for $9,900”  I was pretty surprised at that cheap price, even more surprised when he said the only other fee was $100 Maryland documentation.  No setup fees or other add-ons.  



Came back this weekend to pick the bike up, and the dealer was kind enough to pick me up 20 miles away at the Enterprise rental car place in Oakland, MD.  Bike was waiting outside and had the top case installed (20% off) and was ready to go.

Bike was doing great for about 50 miles before I noticed a red warning light and “EFI” on the dash.  Was utterly pissed to be on the side of the road in WV with a brand new bike that was malfunctioning – if this was a real problem then I would miss out on the 4 day WV riding I had planned with Dave and Peter.  Called dealer and while they couldn’t come get me they would look at it right away if I could get it there.  I did some roadside googling, and one of the… you know, let me make a long story short.  The bike needed to get the current versions of the ECU and other software installed.  Got it back to the dealer, they did all that while I had lunch next door.  No problems since.  Happy they were able to quickly accommodate me, annoyed that it didn’t get down before delivery – would have been easier on me and them.

I was able to catch up with Dave and Peter in Parkersburg and we spent the next 3 days having a great time in WV and VA, riding old favorites and discovering some new ones.

Back home tonight with 1,500 miles on the new girl.














So after 10 great years with a Ducati Multistrada 620, what was I looking for in a new bike?

Areas to improve on:

More power – the 620 has 63hp, which has been fun on such a light machine but having ridden several bikes with substantially more oomph I want to move up.  The Multi motor was always fun in the tight stuff, but highway time and passing maneuvers were less than great.  Having gone down a tooth on the front sprocket a long time ago to get better low-speed manners means the little 620 is almost out of breath on 80mph.

Better/more relaxed high speed manners – Living in NJ means hours of highway sometimes to get to the fun stuff (WV, for example).  The Multi is not well suited for this – wind management is minimal (having gone through 3 different screens I settled for one that keeps me up in the clean air) so anything over 75mph or so and you’re hanging on for grim death - plus the motor is working like crazy at that speed so it makes for a pretty stressful/tiring ride after several hours.

Safety – New bike really should have ABS.

Other requirements:

All-day comfortable riding position – After a decade with the Multi I’m accustomed to the sit-up-straight adventure-style riding position.  I’ve got fairly long legs (and 52 year old knees) so I need low pegs as well.

Hard bags – most of what I do on the bike involves multi-day travel, so locking hard luggage is a must.  I’ve done the soft saddlebag route back in the day, and the duffel bag route, but got spoiled with the Multi’s sidecases.

Excellent handling – the Multi’s handling is telepathic – think about turning and it does.  New bike should handle sweetly for me.

Bikes Demo’d for this purchase


Yamaha FJ-09
I had ridden the FZ-09 at Americade a couple years back and thought it was a hoot.  The throttle was super twitchy but still a lot of fun to ride.  I got a nice long ride on the FJ-09 from Martin Moto, where they toss you the keys and suggest a route.  Bike seemed pretty comfy, with good ergos for me, but the motor just seemed so busy all the time - tingles in the pegs, tingles in the bars.  Would definitely be a fun bike in the twisties, but don’t think it would be a relaxed tourer for me on the way there.  Plus the fact that with the optional $1,000 hard bags you’re around $10k.  There’s a lot of interesting competition in that price range.

Triumph Sprint ST 1050
I’ve always loved the looks of this bike, and I’ve demo’d it a bunch over the years – something about it keeps calling to me.  My only real issue with it is the riding position.  After 10 years on the Multistrada I’m used to (and really like) the sit-up-straight adventure-bike riding position.  I gave the Sprint a final chance at a Hermy’s open house.  Hermy’s is another place that gives you the keys and lets you go for your own ride.  I finally had to concede that the riding position is a deal-killer for me.

BMW S1000XR
The day I went to ride the Sprint at Hermy’s they were having a big open house party with demo group rides.  I signed up for the S1000XR and they led a nicely paced 20 minute demo ride with a good mix of back roads and a couple exits on the interstate.  Holy hell I loved that ride!  Perfect riding position, the power of that motor is incredible, the handling is easy, the suspension was amazing and I really dug the sound.   Wind management on the highway was decent.  Was blown away by the roll-on power on the highway section – even in 6th, just twist the throttle and the thing launches forward at a ridiculous pace.  Two things kept it from being the perfect bike – first was the vibration.  Every ride report mentions it, and they are not exaggerating.  This thing buzzes all over the place, the bars being the worst.  By far the worst high-frequency vibes I’ve ever felt on a bike. Maybe that can be fixed with bar-end weights or some other magic bullet.  The one thing that can’t be fixed, of course, is the fact that the bike is nearly $20,000 – and that’s without bags.  Absolutely no way would/could I spend $20k on a bike.  But WOW what a bike.

Kawasaki ZRX1200R
I was able to borrow a friend’s ZRX for an all-day ride in PA and LOVED it.  Incredible power and torque, sounded great, and pretty comfortable for a day.  And don’t get me started on the looks!  Hands down for me the best looking bike ever made.  After much soul-searching decided if would be a great 2nd bike for me, but really wouldn’t work as a Multistrada replacement.  

Current version of Multistrada
Got a nice demo ride from Eurosports in Coopersburg, PA.  Riding position excellent, handling was great, motor was potent but at touring (not hair-on-fire) pace not really engaging.  Plus the price was out of my reach.

Other bikes considered

Moto Guzzi Norge
Demo’d the Norge many times over the years and always enjoyed it.  Leg room is a little tight, but otherwise very comfy.  If I wanted the newer 8v motor (which I have not tried) would have to spend around $8k for a used one.  Maybe something about the bike being pretty much the same as it was 10 years ago made me give it a pass this time, not sure.

Yamaha Super Tenere
Ridden a couple of these a few years back.  Very comfortable, easy to ride, seems easy to live with, liked the shaft drive, and the styling looks OK to me.  Each time I rode it though I was let down by the motor.  No drama to it, just an ‘adequate’ powerplant.  Did not get a chance to test the newest version so maybe that’s changed.  

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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 10:48:18 pm »

Nice  Thumbsup
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 05:32:40 am »

Thanks for the review!
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2016, 09:12:38 am »

Very cool. Red Italians rock!
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2016, 10:10:56 am »

Holy heck, that is one sweet deal!  I just checked and MSRP is $15,499 and I suspect that is without the top case.  I may have to reconsider my definition of "cheap" in search of my next ST.  I notice it is a bit heavy, but overall seems like a great bike.  Interested to know how you get on with it.
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2016, 10:54:23 am »

Congratulations. Nice looking bike.
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2016, 01:12:36 pm »

 Bigok
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2016, 01:38:17 pm »

I quite like these, apart from the exhaust of course  Embarassment but many bikes suffer from that elephantiasis appendage.
Beautiful in red.

What sort of range does the Caponard get in real life to reserve ?
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kendenton
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2016, 03:00:31 pm »


I quite like these, apart from the exhaust of course  Embarassment but many bikes suffer from that elephantiasis appendage.
Beautiful in red.

What sort of range does the Caponard get in real life to reserve ?


The exhaust may not be pretty, but the sound  Inlove

In WV spirited riding I got 175 miles before the light, rode another 15, and put in 5.1 gallons.  On mostly slab on the way home got 200 miles before the light, went another 10, and put in 4.9 gallons.
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2016, 04:08:39 pm »


The exhaust may not be pretty, but the sound  Inlove


The exhaust looks gorgeous alongside the sawed-off lamp post-bazooka-potato launcher on the Kawasaki C14.

Dan
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2016, 09:05:02 pm »

Congratulations Thumbsup
Perfect all around bike.  
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2016, 03:10:12 am »

I had an Aprilia Mille RSV.

I loved the big, stomping v-twin and its menacing exhaust note  Inlove
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