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Aprilia SL1000 FALCO Sports Tourers Motorbike Review

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Aprilia SL1000 Falco motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The Aprilia SL1000 Falco is a generally well-regarded, half-faired, ‘street sports’ version of RSV which never quite took off in the way it could have. Unique twin beam frame and slightly detuned V-twin made it more streetable, although still very much a sportster. The Aprilia Falco is often overlooked so is a potential used bargain.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Aprilia SL1000 Falco uses a detuned version of the 60° V-twin engine from the Mille sportster. Less powerful it may be, but the Aprilia SL1000 Falco will still reach 155mph and wheelie when the throttle's wrenched in anger. Broader power comes from a twin silencer exhaust and remapped fuel injection, which crops the peak power slightly but bolsters bottom and mid-range.  

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Aprilia SL1000 Falco's frame was an all-new double twin spar designed to show off the engine. With geometry bordering on the sporting it allows the Aprilia SL1000 Falco to change direction quickly while maintaining stability. Where the RSV is tall and uncompromising, the Falco has a lower seat and less extreme footpeg positions. The result is that you sit 'in' the Falco, rather than 'on' it, which makes for better cornering with confidence.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Angular styling and fairing give the Aprilia SL1000 Falco a unique look while providing adequate weather protection and pillion accommodation. Large grab handles mean an easy time for passengers. Other components shared with the Aprilia Falco's more sporting sibling are the brakes, and they are just as sensitive and powerful as on the out-and-out sportster. In all, far posher than its sober looks suggest. Compare and buy parts for the Aprilia Falco in the MCN Shop.

Aprilia SL1000 Falco (1999-2005)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£2,740 (2004) - £3,160 (2004)
Private used prices
£2,590 (2004) - £2,790 (2004)
  View full used price info
Engine size 997 cc
Power 118 bhp
Top speed 156 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Aprilia has something of a reputation, in terms of build quality and durability at least, as an ‘Italian Honda’, and the Aprilia SL1000 Falco is as good example as any of that. The standard of components, fit and finish is high and there have been few reliability issues. Instead, the biggest blackmark against Aprilia in recent years has been patchy dealer back-up and spares availability.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Less is sometimes more. By making its roadster less extreme than the RSV Mille sportster it's based on Aprilia broadened its appeal and produced a motorcycle that's both easier and more fun to ride. The Aprilia SL1000 Falco is a bit of a wolf’s in sheep’s clothing (and price) too. If you like the rather subdued looks, the Aprilia SL1000 Falco is a damned good value all-rounder with a sporting edge. Find an Aprilia SL1000 Falco for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

1999: Aprilia SL1000 Falco launched.
2005: Aprilia SL1000 Falco discontinued.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 156 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.8 secs
Max power 118 bhp
Max torque 70.5 ft-lb
Weight 190 kg
Seat height 815 mm
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 135 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 997 cc
Engine specification 8v 60-degree V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all Aprilia SL1000 FALCO motorcycles for sale

Aprilia
SL1000 FALCO

6937 miles

£2,200

Aprilia
SL1000 FALCO

23866 miles

£2,750

Aprilia
SL1000 FALCO

16916 miles

£2,495

Aprilia
SL1000 FALCO

22020 miles

£2,699

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(14 reviews)

  • Excellent beast

    grumbleweeduk

    Average rating rating is 5

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    I bought my Falco after selling my Africa Twin. It is a good bike for taller guys - I'm 6'5 and i can get comfy on it no prob. Mines derestricted and has RSC carbon cans. Sounds fab! Keeps up with modern 1000's and handles better than my old CBR ever could! with 45mpg average (verified over 2000 miles) its cheap to run too! BUY ONE!

    05 June 2012

  • Best Value Italian Bike

    richtea

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Real value for money, and with 118BHP it has plenty of usable power. Ride is firm, not quite perfect, but at the price I have no complaints. Comfy over long distances for lanky gits like me. Warped clutch needed replacing, but was around £150 fitted as far as I can remember, so its a drop in the ocean compared to price of cans, plastics, etc. Overall a very pleasant surprise - no big expenses, no electrical problems, unlikely to be stolen, and will catch out the Sunday-only Fireblades. Which strangely seem to have copied the red Falco colours. V retro :-)

    19 June 2008

  • 01 Falco

    jovanostu

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Great bike overall, especially for the price. Extremely reliable. Fantastic engine. Only drawback is crappy rear shock, but shocks should be custom anyway.

    23 May 2008

  • Love it

    omayj

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Had mine since new and she's great fun. Certainly keeps up with the sportsbikes on a Sunday. Equipment is pretty good for a cheaper bike - brembo brakes etc. Now that she's 2.5 years old, she's starting to have a few problems. Had to replace the warped front disc and had oval sprockets after France last year. The stand is also a nightmare but thats a general tali bike problem. It's my first big bike, had a Fazer 600 after I passed my test. Love the v-twin and can't imagine going back to a four now. Plus most people don't know what they are so it get's lots of attention. Cracking bike for the money.

    10 September 2007

  • Brilliant Bike

    D-Rider

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Bought new in June '05 for under £5k. This bike never fails to put a smile on my face - it can do just about anything (well, on-road anyway). Excellent Falco community at www.apriliaridersite.com . The motor is awesome and it handles really well. In standard trim it's a great bike .... but fettling and personalising Falcos is completely addictive. This is my first non-Honda and build quality is at least as good - probably better - than any other bike I've owned. Of course the sidestand mod Must be done and upgrading the shock pays dividends. After that, change as much or as little as you want .... but above all ride it to keep that grin permanently on your face!

    14 June 2007

  • Great twin!

    andyh2

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Bought one new in 05 and although I don’t have it anymore the bike was brilliant! It compared favourably to the VTR I used to own, having better suspension, a bit more power and even better build quality (really, better than a Honda). The engine is really good fun / very good low down as you’d expect and the fuel injection is spot on. Equipment is good, comfort is good (for the rider), faring is good and you get trick components (USD forks, slipper clutch)! The only thing I felt the need to change was the rear shock. This included raising the rear a little to speed up the steering, but that was just my preference. Highly recommended, a shame they stopped making them.

    11 April 2007

  • Awesome wolf in sheep's clothing. Used bargain of the decade

    danowat

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Whilst looking for a sensible replacement for my '01 CBR600F, I wanted something bigger & more comfortable, I was pointed in the direction of the Aprilia Falco. I had never seen or heard anything about this bike before, and on reading as much info as I could, seemed like the bike for me. It does everything very well, it goes well, has bags of grunt, stops very well, excellent brembo brakes, looks nice, is very comfortable for a bike that is on the sporty side of a sports tourer, on my CBR I would struggle to do 150 miles before aching, I have done 300 miles straight on the Falco and could quite easily have done another 300. Wind protection is very good, it handles well enough to keep up with 600cc sports bikes on the ride, which is more than good enough. The highlight of the bike is its engine, just make sure its derestricted, it pulls, and pulls and pulls, all the way to its 10,500rpm limit. Strengths: Engine, Comfort, Looks, High 6th gear, great for cruising, Headlights are like laser beams, VERY cheap used prices, a HECK of a lot of bike for your money.
    Weaknesses: Sidestand, Suspension is a bit harsh for UK roads, fuel economy can be a bit scary if you ride flat out everywhere.

    10 October 2006

  • A real world bike without pretensions

    Mcrooters

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I sold a VTR firestorm to buy a new 2005 model falco. The falco really is the perfect bike for my needs. I find it hard to think of any way to improve the bike. It feels a class above the honda and more like the 99 R6 I also ride in sharpness terms. Still running the Falco in I gained so much confidence and formed a bond in under a thousand miles. Strengths: Grunt and handling,the individual aspect of owning a bike that is so low key yet real world fast. Weaknesses: side stand is a bit silly and the wiring looks a bitty exposed

    26 March 2006

  • Needs a bit of work but highly satisfying and distinctive

    blackhill

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Stepping up from a zx-6r, i was under 30 and my insurance wouldn't let me have a 750cc sportsbike. big v-twins were the rage (2 years ago) and i looked at an sv1000, which look better but have a poor build quality reputation. i liked the looks, price and performance of the falco, considering it a worthwhile step up. the bike needs more rider involvement than your typical jap bike, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your mood. Poor residual values due to aprilia discounting is a mixed blessing too. Strengths: the feel of the v-twin makes it a world away from 4-cylinder, the optional luggage is good kit, touring potential (france, italy and spain last may) is superb. And the roar from the wolf exhausts, whilst embarressing in town, was great when i had 3 foot long white flames coming out of it at Monza WSB campsite last year. were you there? great handling on smooth roads. Weaknesses: the standard suspension is too choppy on rough roads, when my mates can easily get away from me. very annoying, but an upgrade (possibly maxton) is on my list this year rather than change the bike. a downsize on the sprokets was necessary due to overgearing plus juddery bottom end power delivery. servicing is a bit pricey, but probably worth keeping it all working well. it can be hard work to ride when you're not in the mood. and the s*d*st*nd gives me temporary hearth failure!!

    06 March 2006

  • Great power, great sound and great value

    panpan

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Purchased a Falco in 04 as I wanted an Italian Twin without the Ducati money. I wanted it to be really different so I located a full Falco Fighter Kit and had it colour matched to the bike. Later I have added Ohlins suspension front and rear, yet still its cheaper than a Ducati. I regularly use it on trackdays and its as fast as any of the other Italian Twins. Excellent power, accelleration, handling and braking. Strengths: The bike is set up for the track, it sounds fantastic, looks different and goes well. Weaknesses: The only weakness is the stock suspension. Junk that and the footrests will be on the floor all the way arond the corner!

    21 February 2006

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arrivisto

arrivistosays

TRX850 suits me better than a Falco

The last time I thought of "upgrading from my Yamaha TRX850, I bought an Aprilia Falco, which should have been everything the TRX was, and a bit more besides. But although the Falco was very nicely made, it was really uncomfortable for a 6'2" rider like me, and I got backache each and every time after only 20 miles. I couldn't fit my knees into the tank cutaways, and the brake pedal didn't fit my right foot. Also the Falco was much heavier and less easy to "throw around". So the Falco went, and I've stuck with the Yamaha. I've put 25,000 miles on the TRX in four years.

15 September 2012 12:16

queen bodecia

User's Badge

queen bodeciasays

Not an accident...

The dreaded 'C' word. But I'm on the mend now. And my bike is a boy bike, not a 'her'. :o)

27 April 2007 21:06

astea7777

astea7777says

Why dont you ride her????

If its not a rude question, is the reason you haven't ridden the Falco due to an accident? Either way, hope you are well soon and get to enjoy the benefits of global warming this summer!

12 April 2007 14:44

queen bodecia

User's Badge

queen bodeciasays

Well...

I'm going to be the first person to post in here :)

However, I have a Falco that hasn't been used in over 6 months so I don't really have much to say. Hopefully I'll be better enough to ride it again in a couple of months... :)

04 April 2007 14:50

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