Riding out the Aprilia Dorsoduro 750
Motocross is perhaps one the most demanding of motorcycle sports, on both the bike and the rider. Rossi and other GP riders often do take to motocross to keep fit (and sometimes end up injurying themselves too, like 46 did in april 2010 ) proving the strength that it forges. Imagine how sophisticated and evolved the tech on these bikes would be.
The Idea of taking a motocross bike and turning it into street ready machine is what supermotards are all about. And in that kingdom, The Dorsoduro 750 and the bigger 1200 variant, are perhaps one of the most successful creatures. Aprilia has seeked to demonstrate its supermoto race pedigree in this street legal version of their know-how, and it does work, quite well.
You must have already read about the ride time I got in Malaysia on the Dorso in my other post, and have to say, I really got to enjoy this motorcycle's ability to be so versatile. I would imagine this 750 being the right kind of motorcyle to suit my kind of biking needs. Its ability to take on various kinds of terrain with little effort makes it a real contender if you plan to live off a single motorcycle, tour, sport or just plain 'ol city.
The tri-map, fly by wire electronics on the dorso give it a great combination of power and comfort. If you are like me, an RX (Yamaha RX100) freak, who spent most college days jumping around on the Yam, then you are going to love the Dorso. Even for beginners, I would say starting with the relaxed, least agressive Rain mode is a good way to get to know the ride. Once you have had enough time getting sure about it, you can switch to the Tour mode. Of course the madness really begins once you switch to Sport. The rear wheel is so eager to spin and grab the tarmac that you'll find yourself rodeoing it with just small quick throttle twists. The exhausts turn up the antics too. The high swept back pipes let out a "I'm serious, lets ride" roar. Watch out, here comes rude boy.
The stance, though high, is quite spot on in terms of balance. With most of the bike made from light weight high grade plastics and alloys, it translates to great control, responding quite quickly to rider inputs. The suspension is great, with the upside down forks travelling enough for the likes of a dirt kid. The long travel in the rear setup included makes the entire package feel really light. Turning radius too is much tighter compared to the larger bikes in this cubic range. Its light enough to be, can I say, prankster like. You definitely do find your brat side emerge on this Dorso.
The looks on this bike are sure to get you noticed. The lines are clearly inspired by the motocross/supermoto machines and with the rider position being quite high, you'll find yourself towering over in traffic. Make sure you rev the V-twin if you want people to turn and look at you. They sure will turn to look twice.
From a touring perspective, this bike will fare well. However, don't expect great distances doing high speeds. The bike tops out at a decent 200kmph but the lack of fuel capacity from the small 12-litre tank clearly points to Aprilia's focus. Short bursts around the country. You could tour on these bikes when the sunshines and you have enough fuel stops on your route to quench its thirst. Yes, Its not great on economy either, around 16kmpl(38mpg). Expect a 160km range from a full tank.
The way I look at it, its still a great package, barring range and fuel economy. If you are looking to tour through twisting country roads, hitting little towns and even cities, the Dorsoduro is a great choice. I'd pick it again any day.