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Aprilia DORSODURO 1200 Naked Motorbike Review

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Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Powered by a brand new, Aprilia-built 1197cc V-twin engine and fitted with ATC (Aprilia Traction Control), variable throttle maps and ABS, the Dorsoduro 1200 challenges big supertmotos like the Ducati Hypermotard 1100 Evo and KTM 990 SMR head-on. It’s more grown-up than its rivals and doesn’t have the instant ‘wow-factor’ like a supermoto should. It’s on the heavy side and is slow to change direction. It’s a more long-distance machine than a wild, B-road big supermoto scratcher. Fit better wind-protection and some storage and it would make a fun tourer.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Aprilia’s new liquid-cooled, 90° V-twin 1197cc motor pumps out an impressive 130bhp at the crank and 85flt of torque, far more than its rivals. There’s more than enough power right the way through the rev-range and there’s no question the Dorsoduro 1200 is a fast bike. With its electronic ride-by-wire throttle system the Aprilia has three riding maps: Sport., Touring and Rain. Ironically, ‘Sport’ mode has too much of an aggressive throttle response, especially for wheelies, so you end up riding in the softer ‘Touring’ setting most of the time and you miss out on the best of the what the Dorsoduro has to offer. 

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Unlike some feisty supermotos, the Dorsoduro 1200 is nice and stable on fast, bumpy terrain and the ride quality is good. It’s tall, so smaller riders may struggle getting both feet on the floor at a standstill. ABS and a three stage traction control system (which works with wheelspeed sensors and not gyros like the RSV4 Factory SE) is a very useful safety device and standard on UK machines. If you want to have supermoto fun on the Aprilia you can turn the electronic rider aids off as it won’t slide or wheelie with them switched on. The only thing is you can’t do it on the move and have to stop.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

As you’d expect from Aprilia the standard level of equipment is very high. As well as the electronic ABS and traction control it comes with a multi-function dash, fully-adjustable Sachs forks and rear shock and radial Brembo front brakes. Compare and buy parts for the Dorsoduro 1200 in the MCN Shop.

Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 (2010-2012)

Detail Value
New price £9,974
Dealer used prices
£6,300 (2011) - £6,880 (2011)
Private used prices
£5,670 (2011) - £6,190 (2011)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1197 cc
Power 130 bhp
Top speed 135 mph
Insurance group 13 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 5
Value rating is 4 rating is 5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

The Dorsoduro 1200 is built with Aprilia trademark attention to detail, using good quality components. It’s too early to comment on reliability, but there were no major problems reported with the Dorsoduro 750, so there should be no cause for concern here.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

You get a lot of bike for your £9799, it has a powerful engine and useful electronic riding aids. It’s cheaper than the KTM 990 SMR and the SP version of the Ducati Hypermotard Evo too. Find an Aprilia for sale.


Insurance group: 13 of 17

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Model History

Model introduced in 2010

Other Versions

Dorsoduro 750
Dorsoduro 750 Factory


Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 130 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Weight 203 kg
Seat height 870 mm
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Tank range 137 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 13 of 17
Engine size 1197 cc
Engine specification 8v, V-twin
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment 43mm Sachs forks, fully-adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Single Sachs shock, fully-adjustable
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs with Brembo four-piston radial caliper.
Rear brake 240mm disc with single-piston caliper.
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 5(2 reviews)

  • More Brutal Than A Brutale, More Monstrous Than A Monster...


    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    First let's clear up a common factoid - The 'new' version of the Dorsoduro 1200 has a different paint scheme and slightly lighter wheels. That's basically it - ignore comments that it has more power or electronic aids, they remain unchanged since it's launch. I purchased mine new in 2011 and based upon my experience (5k miles to date) would offer the following comments: 1> It became apparent to me that most road tests of this machine are to be taken with a pinch of salt - if the bike wasn't tested in 'Sport' mode then forget it, as that is where the real action and purpose is. There has been much criticism of the 'aggressive' nature of the throttle response - for 'aggressive' read 'instantaneous' or if you prefer 'spot-on'. There is no indication that this is a fly-by-wire system at work here, it's simply superb fueling and control of that process. Accordingly if you are cack-handed it will bite you and it will bite hard - I have ridden with others on test days and seen several sportsbike owners get off this bike trembling and scared, presumably as they unthinkingly rode it in the same manner as they ride a four cylinder. Bad idea... 2> I have ridden many new bikes over the last few years and I have found NOTHING that competes with the Dorsoduro's party trick - at 4000rpm it's already hurtling forwards in a way that Ducatis (for example) can only dream of. If you want a bike that explodes off the line, here it is and the slightly weighty feel does assist here by keeping it stable. 3> The bike will be entirely docile if you ride it thoughtfully (even if like myself you never use any of the electronic aids, I want a machine that is just what it aims to be, not a partially castrated version). However due to the height and 210kg weight it does require some effort. I recently rode the 2014 Ducati Monster 1200, which has an engine that low-down sounds somewhat rattly low down but then takes off like crazy at 6000rpm - an easier bike to ride all round and certainly a sensation of a notably greater power hit, but then again if you seek power over torque I would instead go for the MV Agusta Brutale 1090 which is also a class act - reminded me of the GSXR1000 whilst I rode it. The Ducati Monster also had an irritating fueling surge on a constant throttle, never experienced this on the Aprilia. Personally I love instant torque and here the Dorsoduro has NO rivals - possibly excepting the KTM 1290 which I have yet to sample. 4> Bang for your buck - yes it has lots, particularly when compared to Ducatis and KTMs, which typically cost approx half as much again. I don't care to pay over the odds for a name, do you ? 5> Reliability - nothing gone wrong at all. 6> Although the engine can certainly feel savage curiously enough over long distances, say 200 miles, you step off without numb fingers or toes, in reality it's a smooth and sophisticated lump. 7> Riding position - sublime if you are 6" and over. The motorcycle equivalent of a Range Rover, whereby you can look over hedges and fences to see where you are going - so you can simply tour or act the fool whenever you so desire at a mere nudge of the throttle... 8> Fuel tank is limited at 15 liters (ignore the brochure which claims 17 liters) - seat is a little too hard (same applies to comfort Gel version) - side stand is inconveniently placed and neutral can be hard to find. The bike is loaded as standard with high quality components and the finish remains excellent, despite having gone through the rain and not always getting cleaned immediately afterwards. My conclusion is that whilst some other Super/Hyper motos certainly have more power nothing punches from low down like this one. To be honest I want power on the track; on the road I just can't imagine utilising 160+hp without losing my licence - I want an instant, massive torque hit because I adore it and this fun can be had at (somewhat) lower speeds than the instant go-to-jail alternatives. If you suspect you feel the same way take a Dorsoduro 1200 out and try it in Sport mode - just don't blame me if you then find you cannot live a moment longer without it !

    18 July 2014

  • Try one !!!


    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    I have owned the 750 version and a Tuono so I can say this bike has the best of both.It looks,sounds and goes great and now the 1200 is not being imported its quite rare. A fantastic bike !!!

    06 April 2013


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tall but worth a try

incredible bike and the Aprilia V-twin has evolved beautifully but way too tall for most...6ft riders can barely get one foot flat down and for me at 5'6" its comical but not as funny and the experience of the bike itself. User friendly, flexible engine and a stock sound that many manufacturers are afraid to offer. A slightly bigger tank would be better and is often a deciding factor for some bikers.

20 July 2012 22:24



Why can't they make bikes like this for those of us who arent  7ft tall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

03 July 2012 16:59



A supermoto that doesn't scare the horses? Nice alternative to the KTM and Ducati, and a sensible price. Nothing wrong with a tourer you can have fun on. And it seems Kawasaki agree, with the Z1000SX, same destination, different route. Variety rules.

05 November 2010 22:42

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