View Full Version : 3800 mile cross-country ride- results!

04-21-2003, 06:23 PM
8 days San Francisco to Toronto, Canada (including a one-day layover in Alcoa, TN to get front brake rotors replaced); 500 - 700 miles per day, travelling just a day ahead of bad weather that finally caught me in TN. Temperatures ranged from 20's to 85 or so. Lots of wind in AZ - TX, lots of rain TN - VA.

Before the trip: new Michelin Anakees, Scottoiler, stiffer progressive fork springs with SAE 5 wt oil, Rick Mayer touring seat, heated grips, SignalMinder for increased visibility (turn signals as running lights), and a radar detector with "heads up" display. I had the throttle bodies synched, and ECU mapping checked, prior to departure. That resulted in a new ECU, because the original one "lost its memory" when reprogramming the mapping, and wouldn't hold a tune.

Brakes: front rotors developed a wobble when braking, I swapped out the pads, since the originals were worn down to 1.5mm, which made the wobble worse. I called ahead and had rotors shipped to Aprilia of Alcoa, TN. They swapped out the rotors in about two hours (warranty repair). Now, they're perfect (and the EBC pads have much nicer modulation than the OEM pads).

Heated grips: couldn't have done it without them. I installed a "Heat-troller", a pulse width modulation controller that obviates the need for a resistor to switch from "low" to "high". The heatroller only modulates properly when my electric vest is turned on, otherwise, it's pretty much full-on, all the time. The supplier hasn't been much help in diagnosing that problem. He said he had no idea, and referred me to another customer who had a similar problem, to let us work it out amongst ourselves! A different approach.

Mayer Saddle: A godsend for my butt. I still take more breaks in the afternoon than I do in the morning, but I don't think I could have done the trip with the original "monkeybutt" saddle.

Anakees: see other post (real nice tires).

Scottoiler: flawless, but it makes a mess. I turned down the flow rate to a drop every 3 - 4 minutes, rather than the recommended 2 drops per minute. Original chain now has almost 10,000 miles, still going strong.

Radar detector: paid for itself.

Aside from my problems with the brakes, the bike ran flawlessly. I was heavily loaded (side bags, top box, extra bag on passenger seat) with camping gear, 210 lb rider (wearing ~25 lb Aerostich suit), as well as my "office stuff", including a laptop! Initially, I encountered some speed wobble in high speed corners, a new experience on the Capo. I dialled up the preload to max, rebound to -15 clicks, and that took care of it.

I took an extra quart of Motul 20W50, but did not have to add any during the trip. The engine was absolutely wonderful.

Oh, and my exhaust pipes are getting more mellow-- It's actually starting to sound like a motorcycle. I may not even need to get aftermarket cans if this trend continues!

A great trip! More later-- my daughter wants ice cream!


04-21-2003, 06:37 PM
Hey thanks for the trip report. Thats sounds like you had a fun adventure.

what do you think caused your rotors to warp?

also, have you taken your bike off paved roads yet? Any comments about that?


04-21-2003, 07:18 PM
Hey Killer! Thanks. I did have a great trip.

The brake rotor warped for reasons that no one knows. I have ridden the bike fairly hard, including lots of mountain roads in California-- but the brakes should handle that just fine. The rotors were not cooked or discolored, and were pretty true when cold. All the mounting bolts torqued ok. When hot, they vibrated dramatically when on the brakes, to the point of badly effecting control for corner braking. The tech who did the replacement said: "these things happen once in a while, maybe due to microscopic flaws in the metal that get amplified when it heats up".

Offroad: buy a KLR or DR or something! I suspect the Capo would do fine for light offroad use, but I can't afford the $1000+ bill for the replacement bodywork when I dump it. Its pretty much that simple. I have done some dirt roads, and I don't think it's as capable as my GS. The BMW has a much more compliant suspension for offroad or light offroad use, better intrinsic protection, and less bodywork to damage.



micah apriliaforum com
04-22-2003, 09:25 AM
Glad to read of your trip. I have always wanted to do a cross country on a Capo or Futura....as for your rotors, this is fairly common, if you get them hot they warp. Go aftermarket when the warranty is done and you may not need to do it again. Of course I do not know of any rotors in the aftermarket off the top of my head....

04-22-2003, 06:50 PM
Thank you for a great report...i'm hoping if work levels out, i can take the time to put some big numbers on my blue beast and put my report up for you guy to drool over ( i can dream can't i ) i have one question for you, open highway,CAPO or GS. i think we can all agree, offroad the GS has it. i would really like to hear your opinions on the 2 machines.

04-23-2003, 06:24 AM
Hmmm: Capo vs. GS. On the open highway, the GS has it: better wind protection, and the more supple suspension eats expansion strips much better.

BUT, my GS-riding friends tell me that on the twisties, they can easily keep up with me on my GS Adventure. But they give up trying to keep up with the Capo, which has a much more responsive engine, and seems to have more flickability in the corners.

Strangely, I often feel like I am going faster on the GS, because its handling characteristics inspire more confidence (for me). But my regular riding buddies are quite clear: I go way faster on the Capo!



04-25-2003, 05:37 PM
The GS has better wind protection?

04-28-2003, 06:37 AM
To clarify: I have a GS Adventure, which has a slightly taller windscreen than the GS. I installed a Laminar Lip on the Capo, but the GS Adventure still has less buffeting in the head & shoulder area (6' rider).

05-15-2003, 01:34 PM
thanks for the insight. I think you are truely the only one that can make a experienced, fair comparison between the two bikes.

I have been on the fence between the GS Adventure and the Capo and could use your insight. Becuase i have a MilleR, i feel better knowing the Capo is a capable bike. Additionaly, the Capo is cheeper, lighter, and faster than the GS.

However, i have yet to meet someone that does not like thier GS. Only people i know that are selling GS's are guys that are upgrading to the Adventure. Strong selling point.

Tell me, if you had to do it over again and could only buy one, which would it be?

Im planning on keeping my MilleR and replacing my Blackbird with this bike. I wan to use it for long weekend rides out to DeathValley, White Mountains, Bodie, etc. The type of places that are long rides to get to, but you realy need a dirt road capable bike once you get there. A blackbird just wont cut it on a dirt raod in death valley.

So, could you please spare some advice? Would the Capo be a capable touring bike with dirt ability? Or should i just go the distence and get the Adventure?

you can reach me directly if you prefer, my email is SoNKlined at Cox dot Net.

thanks again



Denis B
05-18-2003, 04:37 PM
Nice story,

Before buying my Caponord compared the GS with te Caponord (rented it for several days) ; I have 11 000 km now on 8 months time and have never regretted it.

for the lovers of off-road,
Aprilia now has the Caponord Rally Raid
launched : see www.aprilia.com/models03/adventure (http://www.aprilia.com/models03/adventure)
I think this bike should do it to mach the GS on dirt roads.