You know you’re riding a good-looking bike when you rock up at home and the missus says, “Damn that’s hot.” I knew for sure I had no influence on that statement; instead she was referring solely to the dim-green Aprilia motard I was on.
It’s certainly a lot horn to look at – the barkbusters, that tiny bottom fairing, a very high motardy front fender and the muted splashes of green all over the new Dorsoduro combine to make a very eyecatching motorcycle. It’s not all just looks… it’s also great to ride.
The 750cc engine is typical Aprilia: punchy and fun. I was never underwhelmed with it being a 750 – but that’s not to say I wouldn’t jump on the chance to have a belt on the 1200cc model.
There’s the usual three engine maps to choose from with the press of a button each with its own distinct personality. At the twisty, bumpy Marulan track where we spent a day with Bernie Hatton, I was in Touring mode mostly to take the edge off that very responsive throttle. Back out on the road, I found myself turning to Sport the most to get that low-down power which is so addictive and easily accessed thanks to the super-light ride-by-wire throttle system.
New for 2012 is the introduction of an ABS system to complement the already excellent pair of 320mm discs getting squeezed by four-piston calipers up the front and the single 240mm disc/single-piston caliper combo up the back. At Marulan during the braking exercises, I was surprised to see how far I could push the brakes before the ABS started kicking in and it was only after Bernie demanded I start “locking that damn thing up” to find the limits that I actually began to.
Lapping the track was stacks of fun. The Dorso is light and responsive when flicking side to side through tight corners. With all the new riding powers Bernie had instilled in me, I was able to appreciate how much feel I was getting from the front.
One thing I wasn’t fussed on was the seat – but that’s kind of expected on a motard. The pain appeared to kick in because of the minimal width of the seat, not necessarily the plushness, which I guess is to keep with the style of the bike. It only started to grate me on the abysmally straight Hume Highway on the road back to Sydney.
For just $13,690, it’s a lot of bike. Throw in an ABS system derived from Aprilia’s racing division and you’re onto a bit of a winner here.
Configuration 90? V-twin
Cylinder head DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Bore/stroke 92 x 56.4mm
Compression ratio 11:1
Fueling EFI, ride-by-wire throttle
Power 67.3kW @ 87500rpm (claimed)
Torque 82Nm @ 4500rpm (claimed)
Final drive Chain
Frame material Tubular steel
Frame layout Trellis
Front: 43mm USD fork, adjustable rebound, damping and spring preload, 160mm travel
Rear: Monoshock, adjustable rebound and preload, 160mm trave
Front: 17 x 3.5 Rear: 17 x 6.0
Tyres Dunlop Sportmax
Front: 120/70ZR17 (58W)
Rear: 180/55ZR17 (73W)
Front: Twin 320mm discs, four-piston calipers
Rear: 240mm disc, single-piston caliper
Weight 186kg (dry, claimed)
Seat height 870mm
Max width 905mm
Max height 1185mm
Fuel capacity 12L
Fuel consumption 5.4L/100km (tested)
Top speed 220km/h (est)
Light and flickable
Not pillion friendly
Big ugly mirrors