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.
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.
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.
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
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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.