Whooping it up with Aprilia Caponord

By A. NACHI | 30 December 2014

The minute I was asked by my editor if I would like to review the Aprilia Caponord,  I answered yes without giving any thought to my family weekend schedule.

I have never ridden an Aprilia before.

I heard so much about this Italian bike especially the Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC.

This was my golden opportunity to test this Italian iron horse.


After considering all the options, I decided to ride the Aprilia Caponord to Cameron Highlands.

The 90 degree 1,197cc V-twin on the Caponord is very similar to the engine used in the Aprilia Dorsoduro, but refined and re-mapped to give better mid-range performance.

Aprilia claims that the new engine is 20% more fuel-efficient than the Dorsoduro’s motor.

Maximum power is 125hp at 8,250rpm and 114Nm of torque at 6,800rpm.

There are three riding modes – Sports,Touring and Rain.

The minute I sat on the Aprilia, I realised I had ample legroom and the bar was within my reach without having to stretch my arms.

The seating posture was neutral with a wide handlebar.


The seat is wide, flat and comfortable.

Overall the ergonomics were very practical and good.

The Caponord comes with standard hand guards and a manually adjustable screen.

The screen did provide some wind protection, but I still felt the turbulence around my chest and helmet.

Instead of the manually adjustable screen, the folks at Aprilia should have considered an automatic windscreen.

On the highway the V-twin engine is smooth as silk.

Once above 3,500rpm, I could feel the engine coming to life gradually.

No strain on the engine when opening the throttle wide. Shifting gears back and forth in the highlands was a breeze.


For a V-twin motorcycle engine, the Caponord is very obedient.

Every corner exit in Camerons was fun because the torquey engine of the Caponord gave me the instantaneous power that I needed.

Furthermore the 17-inch wheels with Dunlop Sportmax tyres were perfect for the road.

Ground clearance on this bike is good and I did not experience any foot pegs kissing the tarmac.

The Caponord’s engine performance is nothing to brag about, but the Aprilia certainly gives what you want.

This 214kg machine has plenty of sporty characteristics enveloped in an adventure-inspired design.

From my few days of riding on this bike, the Caponord makes a worthy tourer.

The highlight of the Capanord is the ADD (Aprilia Dynamic Damping) system.


It’s a dynamic and semi-active suspension system that can be set for single rider or two-up, with or without luggage, or set to auto so it detects the rider, pillion, luggage and even the fuel load and adjusts the spring preload.

Aprilia is the first motorcycle manufacturer in the world to introduce this sort of technology.

I could feel the different riding experience with ADDs technology while I was pushing the bike hard on the highways, rough trunk roads and up into the highlands.

The ADD is able to identify bumps and humps on the road and automatically sets the hydraulic suspension accordingly for the rider’s comfort.

The changes were seamless and quick. It is simply mind blowing.


The minute I approached a toll,  I saw the thick broad yellow lines that are designed to slow you down and which is usually is usually bumpy and irritating.

But on the Caponord, I felt very little of the bumps. It was unbelievable.

It was like riding on a cloud...but of course I exaggerate.

Meanwhile, the Caponord’s Ride-by-Wire throttle control, which comes with Sports, Touring and Rain riding modes are designed to adapt to any riding possibility with optimum comfort and safety.

On the highway, the Sports mode is aggressive and fun, but perhaps a little too much for me.

Meanwhile, the rain mode was good enough to give enough traction on the wet Cameron Highlands roads, yet the ride was pleasant and smooth.


Personally, the best riding mode is the touring.

The power delivery in this mode is very gradual, yet quick.

While commuting to work on a few occasions, I could feel the engine was close to stalling on me when it dipped below 2,200rpm.

I had to ensure the clutch release and the throttle was well-timed around that rev range to avoid the embarrassment of a stalled engine.

The sweet spot in the city is ideally above 2,500rpm.

After thirty minutes of braving the jam I became a pro, it pays to pay a little bit of attention to the tachometer while riding in traffic.


The Caponord’s braking system uses Brembo’s Brembo monobloc callipers.

Sudden braking on the highlands’ tight corners did not require me to grab at the brakes, instead all that was required were my three fingers with their gentle squeezes.

The Caponord is a comfortable touring motorcycle with a lot of character and power.

This Aprilia is great as a weekday commute vehicle, and on the weekends, you can conquer the highways and the back roads with ease.