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Aussie Launch – APRILIA DORSODURO | Bike Tests | Latest Tests

Aprilia’s exotic V-twin supermotard returns in a new 900cc guise. Steve Martin backs it in...

The supermotard craze was huge in the early noughties. Everybody was doing it, from road racers to weekend warriors, and championships were formed around the world. It seemed that all was well with people having fun, and the top riders could even make a living out of it. After a while companies like Husqvarna and KTM cottoned on to the fact that if they bolted a headlight and tail light onto their single-cylinder supermoto rockets, the customers would snap them up. Then the bigger Italian factories jumped on the bandwagon with firstly Ducati revealing its Hypermotard in 2005, and then Aprilia the Dorsoduro in 2008.

These two models are still the most successful in the sector and have battled for supremacy over the past decade. Aprilia has chosen to completely freshen up its weaponry, doing away with the two ‘edge of spectrum’ models from last year – the 750 and 1200 – and replacing them with one new 900cc all-rounder.

After a big unveiling at EICMA 2007, the Dorsoduro hit the market in 2008 in 750 guise, sharing the engine and frame of the Shiver nakedbike. But it wasn’t until 2010 that the big guns fired and the V-twin engine of the Caponord 1200 tourer became the basis of the 1200 Dorso. A peak of 96kW and aggressive power delivery made the big Dorso a lot of fun to ride, but at times it was also hard work. With Euro 4 emissions looming, Aprilia decided to delete the 1200 version and stroke the 750 to gain the best of both worlds. When considering the path forward, it would have been an obvious choice to give the lighter and more streamlined 750 Dorso a dose of steroids rather than use the big touring engine.

A quick glance over the stats of the new 900 might make you think that it’s just a stroked 750 with a new coat of paint, but in fact there has been a lot more change than meets the eye.

Read the full story in the current issue of AMCN (Vol 67 No 13) on sale now!