Aprilia Mana X combines flat track style with scooter function

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p04303_0251.jpgPhotos: Sideburn

The Mana X represents Aprilia’s idea of what a fun, stylish urban run-around could look like. Minus the ugly headlight, it represents ours too. At first glance the Mana X looks nothing like the Mana 850 that its based on, but it retains what looks like most of that model’s frame and all of its engine and CVT transmission while adding flat track-inspired styling and some interesting technical twists.
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The styling is the immediate appeal of the Mana X. Over the standard
model it’s been lowered and had its seat extended to cover most of the
airbox (the Mana’s fuel tank is underseat); huge dirt-style tires have
been fitted to 17″ wheels; there’s a new swingarm with KTM 690 Duke-style
exposed bracing; a heat-wrapped under-engine exhaust; some sort of
not-a-grab-handle sits proudly at the rear, housing the LED brake
lights; spiky motocross-style foot pegs round out the changes.

Look closely at those foot pegs and you’ll notice something’s missing:
gear and brake levers. Because the Mana X uses a CVT transmission,
shifting takes place automatically or by buttons mounted on the
handlebars. This has left room for the rear brake to be moved up to the
left bar. Aprilia envisions the Mana X appealing to riders looking to
make the switch from scooter to motorcycle, so retaining a scooter’s
control system makes sense.

For now the Mana X is just a concept and not one that looks terribly
production ready. Despite being based on the Mana 850, it would need to
have its rear extended to cover a much greater proportion of the rear
tire in order to be road-legal. Having said that, we’d really like to
see something similar reach showrooms; a stylish, accessible, fast
motorcycle that doesn’t adhere to traditional motorcycle categories and
therefore isn’t subject to their stereotypes could be just the thing to
encourage more urban riders to move up to large motorcycles. We just
wish Aprilia would get the damn thing into a photo studio already.

Click the image up top for the photo gallery.

Aprilia

  • martialstax

    It looks mean and purposeful and fully capable of handing any roads left after the Apocalypse. And no worrying about missing a shift when the radioactive zombies are coming after you!

    At least that’s the fantasy that would be playing in my head if I was riding this bike. I like it.

  • Tyler

    NIce swingarm, but a maintenance nightmare, as far as keeping it clean.

  • JR

    I love the styling.

    Make a regular shifting one and I’d buy it. Something to compete with the Harley XR1200

    Why don’t we get any street trackers in the U.S.?

  • Tanshanomi

    The Mana X doesn’t really trip my trigger, but I must recognize Aprilia’s truly aggressive pursuit of innovation. And they do it without the non-real-world “concept bike” window dressing that other manufacturers pass off as innovation.

  • chan

    Styling: absolutely. Until the yet to be born flat-track fad crests, this is coolest look out there, now that Monster has “blah”-ed from Nosferatu deadly cool (i.e. The Crow sequel, 12 years ago) to Cloverfield-esque frantic and fitful stabs at stylistic relevance.
    CVT: sure, why not? I had a scooter 20 years ago in Anchorage and loved it. (Does anyone remember the FM radio equipped Honda Elite?) Two wheels good. You must be this tall to ride this ride, otherwise c’mon in, the HOV is fine.

  • contender

    I think it looks boss. I am not in the market for an automatic motorcycle, however.

    If it is to be a step up from a scooter for a scooter-only rider I would think that there would need to be some kind of storage. If someone got onto two wheels only for the utility and economy their ‘step up’ will likely need to provide both. I am not convinced this market segment is going to take off.

  • TeeJay

    If this was the last bike on earth, I’d sell my gear and helmet and toss away my “A” license.

  • Matt

    I think it looks great but the seat needs to be moved back to ride 2 up. While having the seat extend to the triple clamp looks cool, it doesn’t make a lot of sense and that space could be used for some sort of storage (at the expense of style, granted).
    What’s the deal with the forward facing left-side exhaust?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Matt, I believe the Mana X is single seater. If you look close in one of the gallery images, you’ll notice there aren’t any passenger pegs.

  • http://www.moonlakevintage.com james

    This bike is sweet. Automatic…… well I always had a secret yearning for a Hondamatic and I like the headlight. It has a stark empty design like a zombies eyes or when the look in my eyes when i get my credit card statement.. i want one. I wonder if i can charge it

  • http://cohobot.blogspot.com/ coho

    It looks like a Yamaha TW200 on some sort of crack/steroid cocktail.

    I like.

  • seizmen

    I love it. I like the auto-tran also. But really, I’d prefer to see a smaller & lighter version of this bike with 400-500cc engine. That being said, if the Mana X were available in the USA I would buy one.

  • Jim

    I own a Mana 850 — having upgraded from a scooter — yet I love this styling too. It would be great to get something this uniquely futuristic and tough-looking while staying in the automatic family. But some kind of storage option would be essential, even if it were just modest fabric sidecases or topcase. Even for city riding, I prefer to pack locks, cover, rain gear, first-aid kit and such, and don’t want to wear a backpack to do so. The Mana’s storage locker where the gas tank ordinarily resides is ultra-convenient for this purpose. Hey, Aprilia, when can we expect the Mana-X, with storage accessories, in the U.S.?!

  • http://www.usrmt.com/Game_Phantasy+Star+Universe.html psu meseta

    Talking about the stock exchange is always interesting and enlightening. I’ll wait for the next posting. Thank you.