On Aprilia have a long experience among the Supermoto and his first version of the Dorsoduro, which appeared in 2007. That was a very groundbreaking motorcycle, designed by Michelangelo Galluzzi, the one who was the designer of the Ducati Monster, currently part of the Piaggio group, where he is responsible for the design of the Moto Guzzi, among other stories.
At its birth, the Dorsoduro, leaving aside the 1000cc Superbike twin, was presented as a 750 that was somewhat ahead of its time, since even then (ten years ago!) It was riding electronic throttle, the well-known ride by wire that today has been adopted in all types of motorcycles. It also had three different maps and its twin was featured with a mixed gear and chain timing system. Actually the cycle part of the Shiver 759, a roadster that also has a new version, about which we will talk soon. The Mana, an exotic 850cc automatic, had no continuity.
Since then, Italians insist, like Ducati, on aesthetics Supermoto, while other manufacturers have abandoned it and have gone into other concepts such as neoclassical waves cafe racer.
This style of fun motorcycle has not finished succeeding in our country, despite the fact that a long series of European and Japanese brands have tried it with different models and displacements. In countries like Great Britain and its particular way of understanding things, the Dorsoduro is not even marketed. But on the other hand, the Shiver, which also debuts in the displacement of 900 with a new model that we will talk about shortly, it is a considerable success.
On the other hand, the staging of this new 900 cc engine and the fact that there is no investment in homologation Euro 4 for 750 and 1200 engines, it seems that among Aprilia’s projects is to market a new 900cc Caponord. that we could see in the classrooms next fall …
The Euro 4 has softened the Dorsoduro, which goes from 750 to 900 cc by increasing the stroke (11 mm) and preserving its diameter. With their 95 hp power is at the limit to be able to market a 35 kW version and, therefore, is an alternative among card users A2.
Aesthetically it is still a motorcycle with a lot of personality, dominated by the exit of the silent ones below a seat of generous dimensions. There is no lack of “bumps” in carbon fiber, as a touch of technology and, in this new version, in front of the fuel tank two air intakes have been added for the airbox.
The development of this Dorsoduro has lasted about a year and the chosen scenario has been the Nardo high speed circuit, but the truth is that where the Dorsuduro 900 protos have made the most laps, is in Nardello. Nardello? Yes. It is a simulation of a track that has sections of Nardo and Mugello. More than 50,000 kilometers have been accumulated by the roller of the Noale factory dyno.
The engine of this new Dorsoduro has been revised, starting with the optimized combustion chamber to be able to pass Euro 4 regulations. The engine has also been revised. electronic control unit by Magneti Marelli and the ride by wire system it is infinitely more precise than in the first versions. The pistons are new, lighter and with less friction and the injectors.
One of the novelties The most prominent ones are found inside the central crankcase (semi-dry) since, to optimize lubrication and maintain a more stable temperature at the point where the crankshaft rotates, two small reed boxes have been added. The first communicates with the primary and the second is larger, voluminous and with three petals. Its function is to regulate the air intake to allow a greater fluidity of the oil in the lubrication. The crankshaft has been balanced according to the new displacement, but the previous connecting rods are preserved, which were the same as those of the Dorsoduro 1,200.
The structure of the escape, in which the silencers peek out from under the seat, which conditions the clean and attractive line of this spectacular Dorsoduro.
The chassisWith a sporty look by mixing red and black, it is a true example of Aprilia’s expertise, combining steel tubes and aluminum side beams. The dimensions are preserved, but to gain manageability, the tires they are now lighter (almost a kilogram at the front and 1.3 kg at the rear). The fork by Kayaba with 41 mm diameter bars replaces the previous Showa (43 mm) and is 500 grams lighter, but retains the shock anchored on the left side, which does not have a link system and is adjustable in preload and extension hydraulic.
Apart from these developments in terms of engine and cycle part, we must highlight the new TFT screen, which contains a large dose of information, is easy to read in full color and backlit. Surprisingly we miss the fuel gauge.
The new Dorsoduro is a motorcycle less aggressive than the previous version. Its entry into the world of Euro 4 has softened it and with a well-controlled 95 CV of power, it is a more universal motorcycle, less demanding in terms of engine, but retaining the spirit of a true Supermoto.
The position driving is the usual in this style of motorcycle, that is, with a wide handlebar (a lot) and generously sized seat that extends over the fuel tank. Therefore, the body is in a very forward position. It is a high seat motorcycle conditioned by an exhaust system with the silencers that appear below the seat and a huge and warm flask under the ass …
The instrument panel It is now a TFT-type screen that offers good visibility and, through a button on the left hand side, a good dose of information is accessed and parameters such as traction control or ABS are adjusted and the driving modes (Track, Sport, Rain). These can be modified on the fly from the “start” button on the left hand side.
The sensation that transmits the V-twin at 90º that opens its displacement is that it is smoother and quieter than the 750 cc version, in addition to having a engine torque very generous. It is not at all aggressive and with the Dorsoduro you go from corner to corner with the feeling that the situation is always under control. The overall feel has improved many integers, including the gearbox and clutch, which now have a softer, more pleasant feel. Unlike previous versions, this 900 is more elastic and with it you can open the throttle without problems from 2,000 rpm. To give you an idea of what has improved at mid-range, it should be noted that over 5,000 rpm 10 HP of power has been gained.
Refering to cycle part, preserves the good manners we already knew, but the touch of the new Kayaba fork is more sensitive and the braking it is powerful and modular, despite the fact that it gave me the impression that the lever did not have much travel at the front.
Play with driving modes it is forced. I prefer the sport mode, since the throttle response is more immediate, and as regards traction control, it should be noted that on the twisty routes around Madona de Campliglio, an area in which we certainly we crossed with hundreds of motorcycles, I stayed with the intermediate point (2 of 3), since in 3 it was excessively intrusive.
It conveys great confidence both in the entry of the curves, where it is nothing “stubborn”, as at the start, where it benefits from the good response of the two-cylinder and a slightly extreme geometry despite its sporty airs. I also liked it in the fast corners, as it was very stable and you just have to bear in mind that the mass transfer during braking is considerable.
On roads general or highway, logically your driving position with arms wide open is not ideal. Neither is the raised fender and, if you go over 150 km / hour, there is a certain flapping sensation that is in no way worrying, but is part of the idiosyncrasy of the large Supermoto. His autonomy will be limited, as the fuel tank has a capacity of only 12 liters.
In short, the Euro 4 has “Humanized” to the Dorsoduro, which is now more pleasant, with more displacement and retains its Supermoto riding position and a stellar cycle part. With it you can have fun on all kinds of roads, especially on very twisty roads with good floors.
They call it… ”Supermoto in balance”.
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