Aprilia ETV1000 Capo Nord

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The new Aprilia was Smith’s favourite – it’s the one that feels most like a conventional sports tourer. Its 96bhp V-twin engine feels as strong as the Tiger’s and has the bottom-end punch you’d expect from son-of-Mille. Alone among the three, there’s just a hint of off-idle hesitation from the fuel injection.

Its most striking aspect is its phenomenal stability due to its large trail and long wheelbase. To change direction at high speed, apply in writing. But the ETV is deceptively easy to sling about. The suspension is sophisticated, it steers accurately and the handling feels safe and predictable. Unfortunately, the Brembo brakes are the least powerful here.

Though it coped adequately with easy off-road going, it’s no more a trail bike than the Tiger. The exhaust is very vulnerable underneath, and the plastic bashplate is laughable.

The clocks look neat at night with their eerie blue glow, and the odometer and speedo are the most accurate. Though the twin high-level silencers look the part, they’re wide and rob potential luggage space. There’s a rack and the pillion pad removes to reveal a neat extra cargo area, but both lack adequate bungee points. Panniers (around £340) and a tank bag (£76) will be available soon.

3 You could store your sandwiches in the cargo space, but several bottles of Evian would probably be more useful

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff