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View Full Version : Ridden: Mana 850 midnight blue



dougan
12-18-2007, 06:38 AM
Cool Bike. Hard to call it a bike in the traditional sense... but it certainly has an extremely close resemblance to one.

Transmission: Smooth as silk. I played around in both the Auto-Touring Mode, and the Sport Mode. Auto-Touring felt the most Scooter-esque.... never noticed the automatic shifting, and it leaves you with a carefree feeling while riding the bike... awesome for highway riding, touring, etc.

Sport Mode was fun.... you can take the bike all the way to the redline, and the "Finger-Shifters" feel like super smooth clutchless shifting. Upshifts are represented with a subtle "Punch", because you never need to take your hand off the throttle (just keep it open and let it rip), and the downshifts felt like they had a comfy slipper clutch assisting them.

Power: This is not a wheelie machine. The power was not overly impressive, but the handling keeps it feeling very peppy (we'll talk about that in a moment). I would compare the power, very closely, to the BMW 800. The Shiver, in comparison, is quite a bit stronger.

Off the line feels very similar to a scooter. It doesn't jump like a motorcycle because there is no clutch... but it still gets up to speed efficiently with the 850cc..... and holding the throttle open while clicking through the gears is super fun.

Handling / Weight: This was probably the most impressive part of the bike. Similar to a scooter, it has a VERY LOW CoG (center of gravity). The bike feels MUCH lighter than it really is; feels snappy and responsive.... and very flickable.

I did some riding through traffic.... found myself doing something I wouldn't normally do on a Demo.... "Splitting & Weaving". It's so effortless, that i didn't even realize I was doing it.... it was instictive.... as it would become after a month or two on a new motorcycle (except, in 5 minutes... not 1-2 months).

Higher speed.... the bike holds on rails..... I actually found the Shiver to be slightly twitchy at higher speed corners...... not so with the Mana.

The suspension also seems very balanced... handling the weight transfers from braking or diving VERY WELL.

Ergos + Brakes: I put these two in the same category, because I feel like Aprilia always gets them both Perfect. No change with the Mana... Ergos and Braking were both perfect.

E-Brake: I didn't get a chance to test it.... But I'd love to DRIFT the Mana with the hand-operated E-Brake!!

Storage: Helmet Holder is prbably the coolest feature EVER!

Conclusion: I'm really interested to see the future of this machine. I'm interested to see who the market becomes, and what the consensus is. Will is Float...? I certainly hope so.... Aprilia did a fantastic job with the Mana.

The Mana is definately Outside-the-box.... and I continually use the example of comparing it to a scooter.... which IT IS NOT... but it is so unique, it is hard to compare it to anything else.

When the dealers begin receiving them in the next couple months.... Please go ride one. It may or may not be for you, but it is certainly and "experience".

Who is it for....? I would see the guys getting back into Riding after a decade+ off.... the power/size of engines from the good-ol-days 'til now has changed dramatically. Also... I would definately see first-timers, and Large Scooter riders moving in this direction. It may also be a perfect setup for the older gentlemen who are just looking to take an easy Sunday Cruise with their 21 y.o. girlfriend on the back.

But don't get that wrong.... it certainly has some SPORT to it afterall.

Warnings: You will reach for the clutch everytime you go to brake.... everytime to take a slow corner.... everytime you pull a U-ee........

but try to remember.... there is NO CLUTCH...!!! You will feel naked for the first 20-30 minute riding without a clutch!

Also.... Remeber.... there is no neutral!!! Don't do what I did.... REV the engine to see what it sounds like..... NO, NO, NO..... the bike will run out from under you.... just like a scooter.

have fun!

dougan.

PS: Centro Aprilia in Zurich, Switzerland is the 1st / Only dealer in Switzerland that currently has a Mana (Dark Blue). Grab your helmet and drop by for a test ride... you'll really enjoy it!

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d183/douganm/Mana.jpg

williamr
12-18-2007, 10:41 AM
Good feel for it. Thanks.

Did you get any feel for fuel consumption, or more important, range on a full tank?

Rob

Shorts
12-19-2007, 02:37 AM
Also.... Remeber.... there is no neutral!!! Don't do what I did.... REV the engine to see what it sounds like..... NO, NO, NO..... the bike will run out from under you.... just like a scooter.


Sounds like you had a fun time with the bike. Thanks for your writeup.


Offhand, Motorcyclist did a Mana writeup as well. It remained on the positive outlook side and interested to see how it's received.. Similar to your thoughts.

dougan
12-22-2007, 05:38 AM
Good feel for it. Thanks.

Did you get any feel for fuel consumption, or more important, range on a full tank?

I didn't pay much attention to the fuel.... I never really do. I know that is often a selling point for people.... and I can certainly see that being the case with the Mana...... but motorcycles are just toys to me.... so, 8 miles, or 80 miles to the gallon...... I'm still having fun.

I'm sure there will be some ride reports out soon with consumption details.

dougan.

Rob in Denver
12-22-2007, 08:36 AM
As a big scooterist, (Scarabeo 500) I fit the demographic
as a potential buyer. Shedding the tupperware, and the weight,
and the stigma of riding a scooter yet maintaining the
ease of use and storage factors all get my attention.
I admit to being fearful of buying this bike in its first year.
Who will understand it if there are problems? Good luck on that!
I hope Aprilia does well with it however-they could use a winner.
Thanks for the review!

Markus
12-23-2007, 06:42 PM
Hey dougan! Very nice, thank you! Do you speak german? I pick up some text passages from your test to http://www.aprilia-shiver.de/thread.php?threadid=187 .... wenn du Deutsch sprichst, dann aber hoppi anmelden :cheers: :).

Kind regards from germany
Markus

dougan
12-28-2007, 02:23 AM
I admit to being fearful of buying this bike in its first year.


I understand completely.... and yes, you fit the demographic to a "T".

as for a first run.... I always feel its important to have a close relationship with your dealer.... and hopefully he is a GOOD DEALER, at that.

While the Mana is a pretty significant leap in the motorcycle industry... the underlying technology isn't rocket science.... A qualified dealer who can maintain a Scooter/CVT, and a standard motorcycle will have no problems with this bike should any problems arise.

The only tricky part would be the electronics... but those problems are usually reserved for the BMWs, MV Agustas, and Ducatis of the world. Aprilia rarely build models with major electrical issues.

But yes.... this is the first year of a breakthrough machine.... so only time will tell. That said, I have always felt a greater confidence on my Aprilias than any other make i have owned.

@Markus: Ja, Klar... ein bissli Schwize-Deustch :-) Aber, isht sehr schwierig.

Rob in Denver
12-28-2007, 11:52 PM
I understand. I think the electronics was my main concern.
Probably just plug in a new unit if one goes bad. No big deal then.
Something to ponder, sitting here in the snow and freezing cold.

williamr
12-30-2007, 11:48 AM
I understand. I think the electronics was my main concern.
Probably just plug in a new unit if one goes bad. No big deal then.
Something to ponder, sitting here in the snow and freezing cold.

But new ecus are not cheap. Electronics feature quite a bit on the big scoot and DiTech fora, and this bike adds another layer of complexity, I suspect that there may also be calibration issues if parts of the transmission servo system need replacing.

btw - my earlier question about fuel consumption wasn't about cost, but about range. Anything less than 200 miles between petrol stops is a downer for me.

Rob

Harry H
05-02-2008, 11:16 AM
Iv'e bought a T-Max 500 for my daily commute recently and apart from the auto bit I really like the great big fairing. Whilst I think the Mana could be the perfect compromise they really do need to launch a faired version.

If I want it all rufty toughty I'll ride the Tuono. So if it was dressed up properly like the Pan European say I'd be booking a test ride.

ARAIHEAD
05-03-2008, 03:50 AM
If I want it all rufty toughty I ride the Dr Jon.

OOOOOOO you bitches!:eek:

The Dr.Jon
05-03-2008, 11:29 AM
:rolleyes:

mark_w
05-16-2008, 04:16 AM
Cool Bike. Hard to call it a bike in the traditional sense... but it certainly has an extremely close resemblance to one.

Transmission: Smooth as silk. I played around in both the Auto-Touring Mode, and the Sport Mode. Auto-Touring felt the most Scooter-esque.... never noticed the automatic shifting, and it leaves you with a carefree

.

it doesn't have a gearbox, so you won't feel it changing gear. it's CVT, so it constantly varies. when you use the gear lever or paddles it just picks setpoints so you think you're changing gear.

PAPASMURF
09-24-2008, 06:53 PM
But new ecus are not cheap. Electronics feature quite a bit on the big scoot and DiTech fora, and this bike adds another layer of complexity, I suspect that there may also be calibration issues if parts of the transmission servo system need replacing.

btw - my earlier question about fuel consumption wasn't about cost, but about range. Anything less than 200 miles between petrol stops is a downer for me.

Rob
I get 241 k's before warning of low fuel tha I still have 3L left good for about75 to85 k
jb