World first test: Aprilia SL750 Shiver GT

Published: 02 June 2009

MCN has just finished the world-first test of the new Aprilia SL750 Shiver GT.

The motorcycle is a new model for 2009, taking its complete chassis and engine from the naked Aprilia SL750 Shiver but adding a smart new half-fairing with cubby holes to store personal belongings, and a 12v socket to charge phones, sat-nav and other accessories.

MCN rode the first Aprilia SL750 Shiver GT in the country, covering 500 miles of commuting, motorway riding and back-road fun to find how good it is. Chris Newbigging rode the Aprilia:

Top quality
“Unlike a lot of mid-priced sensible bikes, the Shiver is a good looking and well built motorcycle – it doesn’t look or feel like a £6499 bike, it’s up there with more expensive bikes

"I like the cubby holes in the fairing too – they’re useful for keeping petrol and toll money to hand when you’re on the road, or stashing ear plugs so you’re never left without a set. The 12v socket is handy for gadget freaks too

Great fun
“The ride is quality too – the 749cc v-twin engine is strong with a linear power delivery right up to the 10,000rpm red line. In fact it’s so linear I could almost complain that it lacks a bit of v-twin drama, because there’s no point in the rev range when you feel a sudden increase in power.

“It handles really well too. I was quite surprised at how good the suspension action is because the forks are un-adjustable and the shock is basic, but you can see Aprilia has worked to make the Shiver GT work without needing adjustment.

"It doesn’t crash over bumps or wallow around when you’re riding hard – if you’re really on the limit it gets a bit vague, but to be honest you’d be unlikely to ever ride hard enough to really cause a problem on the road.

Practical
“I often find Italian bikes pretty poor for comfort, and while the Shiver doesn’t have the comfort of a Goldwing you can ride for a tank of fuel at a time without needing to stop.

"I got 43mpg on a motorway/A road journey and 120 miles before the reserve light. The fairing protects well at up to 100mph, which is all (or more) than you really need. The seat, foot pegs and bars are well spaced.”

Not great for pillions
“Taking a 6ft, 9.5 stone (yes, really) pillion wasn’t as successful as you might hope – the bike coped OK, retaining enough handling composure to scrape the footpegs, but even my skinny beanpole test subject was sitting on his hands when he tried to use the grab handles.

"He also said he felt too close to the rider, and the change in aerodynamics caused both rider and pillion to suffer from turbulence that isn’t there riding solo.”

THE FACTS
Aprilia SL750 Shiver GT
£6499, ABS model £6895
Engine: Liquid-cooled 90° v-twin, 749cc (92x56.4mm), six-speed gearbox, ride-by-wire fuel injection.
Power: 95bhp (claimed)
Torque: 59.77lb-ft (claimed)
Fuel capacity: 16 litres
Colours: Red, silver or black
Tyres: 120/70-17 (f), 180/55-17 (r)

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