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Aprilia Mana GT - probably the ultimate despatch rider’s bike
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Aprilia Mana 850 GT ABS - first ride

By Michael Neeves -

First rides & tests

 23 June 2009 19:55

The £6999 Mana 850 GT ABS is much more than its specs suggest. On paper it’s a bike with a 839.3cc V-twin scooter engine (the same lump, incidentally, you’ll find in the GP800 made by Aprilia’s sister company Gilera).

Like the scooter it has a CVT (continuously variable transmission), but it also has three ‘auto’ modes: Touring, Sport and Rain, to suit your mood and conditions. It can also be turned into an electronically controlled, semi-automatic seven-speed sequential gearbox with a flick of a button.

What’s new?
For the first time it’s available with a half-fairing and ABS as standard.

What’s it like to ride?
It’s the perfect commuter bike and probably the ultimate despatch rider’s bike. In auto mode you just twist and go like a scooter, you don’t have to think about anything other than dodging traffic. There’s no gears or clutch to worry about and to top it all there’s a big, easy to access storage compartment, large enough for a lid, where the tank normally is. The fuel tank is actually under the seat.

Why is it better than a scoot?
The Mana has a proper motorcycle frame, chunky swingarm, new 17-inch Pirelli Angel ST sports touring tyres, upside down forks and radial brakes. This lets the Aprilia glide over bumps and brake and corner a thousand times better than a scooter. Which also makes it much more fun.

Verdict
Brilliant. If Aprilia did a Tuono with an auto box, we reckon that would be the fastest thing up a mountain ever built!

Facts
Aprilia Mana 850 GT ABS £6999
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 839.3cc
Power: (claimed) 76bhp
Torque: 54ftlb
Weight: (dry) 227kg
Colours: Blue, white

Rivals
-
Gilera GP 800 - £6461, 65.5bhp, 56ftlb - Find a Gilera GP800 for sale
- Aprilia Shiver GT ABS - £6799, 95bhp, 60ftlb - Find a Aprilia Shiver for sale