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Thread: Test rode Caponord at San Francisco show

  1. #1

    Test rode Caponord at San Francisco show

    I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to test ride a gray Capo' at the SFO bike show this weekend and was VERY impressed. To set the scene, I have a BMW K100RS '92 and a Honda CBX 1100 (6 cyl) '81 as a frame of reference.
    The power was amazing, I was in a group of test riders which included Mille and Futura piloted bikes and they were pushing it but the Capo' stayed right with them.

    The bike is very comfortable, (I'm 6'3'', 210 lbs) and I felt zero vibration through the bars or pegs although a little though the seat when stationary.

    The engine is amazing, it pulls like a train, I got the impression that the gearbox was there for amusement only, you didn't need it as the bike didn't seem to care which of the top 3 gears it was in, it just accelerated at the slight hint of throttle. I'd have to say it is faster to 60 then my BMW and probably on par with my CBX. Given all three bikes are rated around 100 bhp I'm not surprised, but what I am surprised at is the lack of revs the Capo' needs to get moving, it pulls from just off idle and rockets from there!

    I was a little worried coming into the bends that the long legs (suspension) would make the bike wobble but not so, it handled as if on rails, the bike could definitely perform better then my skills would allow it.

    On the downside I did feel that the front dived a little more then I'd like when braking, it feels like it would benefits from stiffer springing on the road. It has a very informative set of instruments but it could also use a gear position indicator as part of it's bag of electronic tricks.

    The looks for me are sort of 'urban' if you know what I mean, purposeful and modern but all the nooks and slots etc look like they'd be a nightmare to clean.

    Overall I have to say that I think Aprilia has hit the mark with the Capo'. I spoke to another chap who had just test driven the BMW GS1150 and then the Capo' and said if he was to buy one today it would be the Capo' hands down... that's saying something given how long BMW have had to refine the GS !

  2. #2
    micah apriliaforum com

    While in Spain, I visited a couple of bike shops and saw the Capo-Norde in person, it is a cool ride...not nearly as bulky in person as it appears in the mag pics...way cooler than the 1150GS from BMW and with enough power to please all.

  3. #3

    shifting blues

    After waiting since dec i rode a demo capo and was very dissapointed with the smoothness of the drivetrain. Shifting is notchy and hard to match revs at any speed. Going to first gear from rest resulted in a hard klunk.
    I don't expect this to shift like a 600 cc jap sportbike but am really dissapointed.
    Does anyone know if things will loosen and get better ?Does this sound typical or am I too sensetive Does anyone have any advice. The bike is at the dealer awaiting my pickup or denial Do you have an opinion?

  4. #4

    first ride blues

    Capoman - My first ride on the Capo was very clunky as well, but it was not the bike that needed smoothing, it was my control of the fuel-injected throttle. The fuel injection is very sensitive.

    I am used to bikes with carbs and more play in the throttle, so my first couple of hours were kind of herky-jerky. I had to focus on shifting smoothly, especially downshifting. When braking and blipping the throttle to match rpm to wheel speed it seemed like the rpm had dropped off a lot more than I expected, so I usually didn't bring the rpm back up high enough.

    However, I can tell you that my second and third rides were much smoother, and by the end of my 200 mile day this past Sunday I felt like I was riding smoothly again.

    As for the clunk when shifting into first gear, mine does that very slightly, and it is nothing compared the clunk from either my airhead BMW or 1000cc Ninja.

    Suggest you go ask the dealer for another test ride, possibly a bit longer, so you can have a chance to focus on these things. If you tell him the second test ride could make the deal I'm sure he'll approve.

    Good luck. Marty

    - 02 Aprilia Caponord
    - 88 BMW R100RS
    - 86 Kaw ZX1000R

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