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Aprilia CAPONORD 1200 Adventure Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

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.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 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.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 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.


MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 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.

Aprilia Caponord 1200 (2014-current)

Detail Value
New price £11,632
Dealer used prices
£9,560 (2013) - £10,770 (2013)
Private used prices
£8,600 (2013) - £9,690 (2013)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1197 cc
Power 125 bhp
Top speed 118 mph
Insurance group 12 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 5
Value rating is 5 rating is 5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 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.


MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 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

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Model History

2014: Model introduced

Other Versions



Top speed 118 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 125 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Weight 214 kg
Seat height 840 mm
Fuel capacity 24 litres
Average fuel consumption 55 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 12 of 17
Engine size 1197 cc
Engine specification 8v V-Twin
Frame Twin spar aluminium
Front suspension adjustment Fully adjustable 43mm
Rear suspension adjustment Fully adjustable
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 5(1 review)

  • Get it right FFS


    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    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 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.

    25 January 2014


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