APRILIA CAPONORD 1200 (2013-on) Review

Published: 23 January 2014

Often forgotten Italian adventure bike is actually among the best of the breed

APRILIA CAPONORD 1200  (2013-on)

Often forgotten Italian adventure bike is actually among the best of the breed

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The ride quality and comfort from the semi-active suspension is class leading, especially when ridden two-up. Over bumps and imperfections it’s almost alien like – it’s that good and smooth. It’s not all about the clever suspension either, the ABS is excellent, so is the traction control and changeable rider modes, and it's all wrapped in an excellent chassis with a powerful 125bhp V-twin at its heart. It might not be the best looking bike on the market but the ride quality is one of the best.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

The semi-active suspension on the new Caponord is more advanced than any other system on the market. The Ducati and BMW systems only adjust compression and rebound on the move whereas the Aprilia system also changes preload. This isn’t for ultimate performance but for comfort and ride quality. The end result is really impressive, amplified further with a pillion or luggage, bumps and imperfections almost disappear. It’s a really impressive system, one of the best on the market, if not THE best. When you up the pace, the sporty handling is impressive, too. It’s possibly not as sharp as Ducati’s Multistrada, but still more than adequate with excellent ABS-assisted brakes and traction control.

Engine 4 out of 5

The 90 degree 1197cc V-twin is very similar to the engine used in Aprilia’s Dorsoduro, but refined and re-mapped to give more midrange performance. Maximum power is a quoted 125bhp @ 8500rpm and maximum torque is 85ftlb @ 6500rpm. There are three engine maps: Sport, which unleashes full power, Touring, which gives the rider full power but a softer response and Rain which limits power to 100bhp. Aprilia claims the new engine is 20% more fuel-efficient than the Dorsoduro motor.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The Caponord shares a very similar motor to the Dorsoduro which has been proven over recent years without any major reported problems or nightmares. Sachs controls the suspension and electronics which have had extensive testing and should be glitch-free. Overall, the level of quality and components used is high. The only slight downfall is the amount of UK dealers for parts and servicing, therefore check where your local dealer is.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

Considering the amount of technology which has gone into the Caponord and the level of components used the asking price of just under £13,000 seems reasonable and cheaper than the comparable competition with a similar spec, like Ducati’s Multistrada which is over £15,000

Insurance group: 12 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

For the full spec bike with semi-active suspension you need to opt for the Travel Pack model, priced at just under £13,000. For this you get traction control, electronic suspension, ABS, different fuel maps, panniers and Brembo brakes. The standard model doesn’t come with the active suspension. The Aprilia comes with a huge 24 litre fuel tank, the largest in this segment of adventure bikes. The Caponord is also iPhone compatible with a built in USB socket and Bluetooth. By downloading an Aprilia Caponord app you can store the bike’s data, like wheel speed, rpm or the amount of traction control intervention and also watch this information live as the bike has a top yoke bracket to accommodate your iPhone. There’s also a huge list of accessories, as you’d expect for a touring model.

Owners' Reviews

7 owners have reviewed their APRILIA CAPONORD 1200 (2013-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your APRILIA CAPONORD 1200 (2013-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.9 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.9 out of 5
Equipment 4.9 out of 5
5 out of 5

The Aprilliant

07 February 2016 by Martin Nowell

In 2012 we were in the process of updating our Guzzi Stelvio so off to the dealers to test all the available "adventure style bikes. Tried em all and the only one that came close to the Guzzi was the Caponord. My wife and I travel Europe and ride... Read more together year round so pillion comfort is a key feature. Within 5 mins of our 2nd test ride the Caponord had blown away all the competition inc the new Guzzi NTX. 3 yrs and 14000miles on we know we made the right decision. For us it is the perfect long distance European mile muncher yet also a supreme upright sports bike with all the luggage removed. The handling and ride is class leading. This is for me the best choice for what I want from my bike and is the best value for money against the competition. I was a little concerned about the vast array of electronic gizmos on board but not one single glitch so far. We chose the travel pack with some added goodies mentioned later all that for 12.5 grand and we are on the road !!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
This where this bike shines like a beacon. Ride quality is sublime and is the best I've ever experienced and its not at the expense of superb handling either. Aprilia have got this spot on. In auto mode on the suspension you can forget about the need for fiddling with any adjustments just get on and ride and enjoy the almost surreal comfort of this suspension system. Fully loaded for European touring the bike is still agile and flickable. The result is all day comfort. On a recent trip to Turin we covered 400+ miles on 2 consecutive days with ease. I am in my 60s and I cannot think of any other bike I could have done that on, and my wife feels the same. The brakes are awesome too being Brembos I guess that's what we would all expect. There is a pleasing lack of excessive dive on the front too when braking hard and the ABS just adds more confidence to an already impressive set up. It all adds up to a superb all rounder of a motorcycle for comfort performance and safety
Engine
5 out of 5
Lets talk sountrack 1st. This bike has to be the best sounding 2 cylinder bike around even with the std can. I am a fan of v twin engines anyway but this sound stirs your soul. Below 3000 revs the engine can be a bit lumpy/snatchy. Above that and up to the rev limiter its silky smooth for a twin. Very little vibration and a smooth broad addictive curve of power and torque-superb. It may not produce the BHP of the Duke or KTM but 125 horses is plenty for me thanks and the way it delivers it is brilliant. The engine has 3 levels of mapping Sport Touring and Rain. The Sport mode is a bit too fiery for normal use and Touring is the std for us. Rain mode comes in handy if the weather is bad or if you have to thread your way through city traffic The 6 speed gearbox is also slick and so easy to use
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No issues The bike has performed faultlessly from day one and still looks like new no corrosion anywhere and it has never let us down, nuff said
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Considering the spec and all the rider aids which all work so well this has to be the best value adventure style bike out there. I have no intention of going off road on a bike weighing 200+ kilos, for me that's insane so the 17" wheels are better for purpose. The bike came shod with Dunlop qualifiers and the rear was gone in 3000 miles. A change to Bridgestone T30s has halved the wear rate. In the first 600 miles the fuel consumption was also really heavy but at the 1st service Aprilia sent out a new complete suite of software inc new fuel mapping. Since then we are getting between 43-55 MPG fully loaded and not hanging about.
Equipment
5 out of 5
We chose the travel pack version which gets you the panniers and the ADD suspension. We added factory top box heated grips and a 12v bar mounted socket. I have added a Tutoru mechanical chain oiler [brilliantly simple and very effective]. Radiator covers from Evotec. Front fenda extenda from Pyramid. A larger Puig touring screen with air deflector and a siren horn which lets all other road users know you are about. The addition of these esp the screen has made what was a great motorcycle close to perfection for our needs. The original screen was not that effective particularly re helmet buffeting which I cant deal with on longer trips
Buying experience

We got the bike from Blade in Swindon and dealt with Paul Dobb the manager, who could not have been more helpful and had a good knowledge of the bike which had only just been released We negotiated a very good deal on the extras but had to wait a while for the Aprilia top box to get here. Blade have handled all my servicing and I have been well happy with them all round

5 out of 5

Caponord Rally is captivating.

30 October 2015 by Big Bull

The Caponord Rally is captivating, with its sharp good looks, ease of handling, value for money and a cracking engine with a throaty exhaust OMG. Its sooo under stated to its compeditors. Buy it Best Bike in this type you will have had. After 7k in 3... Read more months I now know that.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Nothing less than excellent I ride the Rally with the 19 inch front wheel having never ridden on a 19 before I was cautious but no need this bikes suspension is special I have covered over 7000 miles in 3 months so I am not just a Sunday biker.
Engine
5 out of 5
The 1200 motor is the companies original Mille 1000 bored out which was used in the Dosaduro 1200 with no noticeable problems. It has a vg range of power and free revving, unlike the V4 engines which have had valve dropping problems (back right usually). The Caponord engine is prob their most reliable.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Aprilia finish is vg, quality parts top brembo brakes and top suspension. No problems to moan over so far with over 7k on the clocks.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Bike comes fully loaded with 3 boxes at 14k but offers are out there. The standard Caponord is now £9999OTR, crazy CHEAP.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Caponord Rally comes pretty much fully loaded, cruise control 3 boxes active suspension as standard. Heated grips add £125. No Centre stand though that's an extra too.
Buying experience

Bought from Jim Allan Motorcycles in Scotland very friendly and informed staff. Well established dealership.

5 out of 5

Try one! You will like it.

25 September 2015 by BigBull

This Italian styled bike does it all. From performance to comfort its a peach. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
AAS Aprilia Active suspension is superb, almost same, as what is on its more expensive rivals BMW and Ducati. Best brakes on offer on most bikes at present Brembo. Super comfort its a ride all day machine whether on ur own or 2up. Whether with luggage on or not. Bike is dam light and easy moved, not like a GS. Its a rascal when stripped of luggage on the twisties and that exhaust is dam noisy too. Big grin factor guaranteed.
Engine
5 out of 5
125 bhp plenty for all that your going to use it for. Easy 135mph if you require it. Easy power delivery bike has full traction control but I switched it off. This bike is easy to ride fast. Also left AAS in full auto setting. Big V twin engine has sufficient power and engine braking to inspire confidence on twisties.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Build and reliability to date after 5k miles has been superb. No issues.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Rally to date has been super cheap to run. With its 1st service at 600 miles next service 6k miles on at 6600k miles. Rear tyre lasted to 5k front still got plenty left on it. 40 to 50 MPG amazing. No oil usage or any issues so far.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Aprilia have fully loaded it 3 x boxes all with very usable liners. Heated grips optional but dealers will throw in. Cruise control that works, stunning spokes larger wheels which IMO set the bike off superbly. Other standard equipment as previously stated included AAS ATC which are all usable and easily switched off if preferred. 3 power modes too, add to this package. The OE tyres Metz Next are superb, they are also standard on the BMW GS 1200 new models
Buying experience

Bought from local dealership, hassle free and informed staff. Also had a demo to try. All in all very sweet experience. Had trade in so change over price was much better that other local dealerships for a similar bike.

5 out of 5

Aprillia Caponord, looks, character and very underrated.

05 September 2015 by Ackey

Handling and breaking are superb. Plenty of feel in both areas, either fully loaded with pillion or out for a weekend thrash with the guys. Tank range is proving adequate at around 240m, not bad for a twin. One niggle would be the seat height which... Read more is right on my limit, I'm 5ft 8", although I haven't changed to the lower seat option as some of the padding is removed making it harder

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
When purchasing our first tourer we tried all the makes available, I really wanted a Multistrada but was very disappointed with the vibration and snatchy feel. My wife also found it very uncomfortable as a pillion. V-strom, triumph tiger 8 & 12, BMW Gs. A friend suggested the Caponord, which we had not heard of. Following a test we fell in love with it, perfect all rounder. Confident feel cornering, braking is just superb, although I am comparing them to the TL100s and a ZX9R!
Engine
5 out of 5
Strong, pulls like and Ox and the exhaust note is intoxicating. So far after 7500m covered it hasn't missed a beat even in extreme temperatures as we just found out in Southern Portugal.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Should be a five really, but on the first service some of the seals needed replaced (warranty work and free of charge) but I had only covered 1000m.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
Overall looks, although I guess it's a marmite bike! Dash display and gadgets are great, so easy to alter suspension settings with the touch of a button. Rain, tour and sport. The travel model comes with rear panniers which are a good size and waterproof, always a bonus. You can buy an Aprillia top box, but it's way to small. We fitted a Hepco and Beck, the journey model. Comes in gloss black and looks like it came with the bike. Tyres, Dunlop Qualifiers as standard which were great if you can afford to change them every 2500m, we have fitted Michelin Pilot Road 4s (GT), great in the wet and dry and seem to be lasting very well.
Buying experience

Purchased from a dealer locally, well our only Aprillia dealer in the South West. We bought the Demo model as it was in black, my colour choice for £10560. They also had a new one in Red for nearly £12000. No budge on price really, it did only have 150m on clock. But we got lots of discount on some extras etc.

5 out of 5

A bike everyone should try - and most should buy

26 July 2015 by Capofan

Fast, Comfortable, Practical, Effortless Fun - so much bike for the money. And its not a BMW...... Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Brakes effective with great feel and control. ADD superb and works. Ride quality and position means you could run out of fuel before you want to stop. Numb bum and legs after about 3-4 hours so as good as any bike
Engine
5 out of 5
Power and torque everywhere. Great sound with Arrow exhaust. Ride by wire throttle jerky in sport mode at lower speeds. Rain mode helps keeping to limits around town.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Too early but everything has a real quality feel to it. No dull metal just yet
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Unknown yet. MPG lot better than some of the stories - in fact impressive. Got 50-52 mpg on a 250 mile run in Touring mode with some fast riding. JUst over 200 miles full tank to fuel light. Suggests another 50-70 left in reserve?
Equipment
5 out of 5
Came with Arrow exhaust so no knowledge of improvement over original but sounds great, crash bars look good and probably save expensive damage, Qualifier tyres work well. ADD best standard feature. Ride, power and handling seemed identical with a pillion possibly better as more stable
Buying experience

Got mine from a dealer - Hunts in Manchester. Paid asking price of £9599 but fitted sat nav, topbox plate at cost and delivered 250 miles away for free. Great service - very helpful.

5 out of 5

Travel Pack

28 October 2014 by ronda

Difficult to nit pick really.Screen replaced with MRA screen,much better looks and performance. Better with Avon Storms in performance and mileage. Front preload up 2 complete turns from standard. Strangely suspension better after 3000... Read more miles. Performance and comfort A1. Addictive. Love it.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Get it right FFS

25 January 2014 by rugbybiker

Wish MCN could manage to get bike details correct rather than mislead. 118 mph, was that the bike you couldn't work out on test that was automatically restricted until 600miles. Cos it certainly isn't a true statement about the Caponord after the... Read more running in period. Also you need some new counting beads when it comes to estimating tank range...24litres = about 53 gallons which at 55 mpg gives a tank range of 290 miles. Waste of time readng the rest as it's all more accurately reported elsewhere. Waste of money buying your paper s well come to think of it. The bike ? FANTASTIC if a bit heavy.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Read all 7 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £11,632
Used price £7,900 to £11,900
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £160
Performance
Max power 125 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Top speed 118 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 55 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Specification
Engine size 1197cc
Engine type 8v V-Twin
Frame type Twin spar aluminium
Fuel capacity 24 litres
Seat height 840mm
Bike weight 214kg
Front suspension Fully adjustable 43mm
Rear suspension Fully adjustable
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2014: Model introduced

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • APRILIA CAPONORD 1200  (2013-on)
  • APRILIA CAPONORD 1200  (2013-on)
  • APRILIA CAPONORD 1200  (2013-on)
  • APRILIA CAPONORD 1200  (2013-on)
  • APRILIA CAPONORD 1200  (2013-on)
  • APRILIA CAPONORD 1200  (2013-on)
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