Aprilia Caponord 1200, a faired Dorsoduro

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Look at this spy photo of the Aprilia Caponord 1200 from Motociclismo and compare it to the shot of the Dorsoduro 1200 below. Same frame, same rear sets, same subframe, same engine, same forks, same brakes, same bars, same mirrors, same swingarm, same numberplate carrier. In fact, the only thing we can see which isn’t the same (other than the fairing) is the new GP-style exhaust. Will Aprilia’s new adventure tourer essentially be a faired supermoto? Judging by this evidence, yes.

That’s no bad thing. Nor is it the first time this approach has been adopted. The KTM 990 SMT notably adopts an ugly fairing, transforming Austria’s bonkers big motard into a practical commuter, if not much of a distance machine. It struggles to manage 150 miles on a tank. The Ducati Multistrada 1200 is also less of a big dirt bike and more of a tall superbike.

But the Aprilia isn’t a sharp as the KTM, nor as fast (or as pricey) as the Ducati. As a heavy (492lbs wet), comfortable, tall bike, HFL contributor Kevin Ash stated the Dorsoduro is already more of a naked adventure bike than it is a big motard.

So why introduce the Dorsoduro 1200 ahead of the Caponord when the fairing arguably makes a stronger case for the platform? According to Kev, it’s all about image.

“Aprilia is concerned that its image in the bike market is fuzzy, that people don’t really know what Aprilia stands for,” explains Kevin. “So the company first of all is bringing this into sharper focus and emphasizing the brand’s association with technology, sport and fun, and they don’t seem to think the adventure class is defines this quite sharply enough. Maybe they started developing the Dorsoduro 1200 before the Ducati Multistrada was really known about…”

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As is emphasized in this remarkably terrible video, the big Dorso is packed with tech features even if it can’t quite match those of the Multistrada. Aprilia equips the bike with traction control, switchable ABS and a ride-by-wire throttle with three engine maps.

The performance, price and tech features are enough to potentially position the Caponord as an affordable alternative to the Multistrada or a higher-performance, tech-laden competitor to all-conquering BMW R1200GS.

When it reaches the US market this summer, the Dorsoduro 1200 will be priced at $11,999. Its new 1197cc liquid-cooled v-twin makes 130bhp and 85lb/ft of torque. Compare those numbers to the BMW ($14,950, 110bhp, 88lb/ft, 447lbs dry) and the Multistrada 1200S ($19,995, 150bhp, 88lb/ft, 423lbs dry) and you can see the niche Aprilia is aiming for. Presumably with a small price premium and hopefully with a gallon or two added to its 4-gallon tank. The only thing that could potentially throw a spanner in the Caponord’s looks is the upcoming water-cooled 2012 BMW R1200GS.

Look for the Caponord or whatever Aprilia ends up calling it to be officially unveiled at the EICMA show in November and for plenty more “leaks” before then.

Motociclismo via MCN

Included in this gallery are shots of the Capo 12 plus images of the components it appears to share with the Dorsoduro.

  • gt1

    Same junky panniers I had on Moto Guzzi Breva 1100.

    • gt1

      New images suggest Alu panniers from Stelvio.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate BeastIncarnate

    That really is an awful video.

  • Kentaro

    worst. video. ever.

  • ike6116

    You haters just don’t like that video because it’s 2XTREME.

    Wow, that video was straight out of 98.

    • Kevin

      Funny, I was thinking the bike’s styling was straight out of 1995.

  • Ray

    I also think they were trying not to cannibalize the newly revised Stelvio, which this platform potentially could, given the Stelvio’s leaky o-ringed tubeless spoke design, but much larger fuel tank. Wonder what it means for Guzzi, as the Stelvio seemed to have been its flagship…

  • gregorbean

    I loved the look of the Dorsoduro from the first time I saw it. Then I made the mistake of test riding it in the same couple of hours as a Hypermotard Evo SP. In fairness, it was the baby Dorso, but man did the Hyper made the Dorso feel like a dud. Begs the question, when’s Ducati gonna try their hand at the true ADV tourer game, not just the road oriented Strada?

  • slowestGSXRever

    omg! MAD POWER!? I want some of that!

    • Myles

      Exaggerated performance!

      On the real tho, how weird is it to see “130 hp” in bike promo material and be like “meh”? That’s more power than my car.

  • Trev

    That crankshaft is a little odd, but I would love to hear the engineer’s reasoning as to why they put the crank and connecting rods that close.

  • markbvt

    Yep, you’re right, that was a terrible video. I kind of feel like I need to go scrub my brain out now, in the same way as if I’d just listened to a Justin Bieber song or something.

  • Bill

    Aprilia needs to quit coming out with bikes that are nothing more than clones with only slightly manipulated DNA of Ducati’s machines.

    It seems that they cannot innovate, only imitate. I’m somewhat embarrassed for them, really.

    I expect MUCH more from an Italian manufacturer. Come on Aprilia, create your own distinctive machines and start earning a reputation for true innovation and passion!

    By the way, no, I don’t work for Ducati. I’d say the same thing about the multitude of Japanese clones of H-D which only serve to overly glorify the object of their envy while cheapening the image of their own wares.

  • Turf

    Wow..that video.

    Good news on the new capi is that, unless made of lead and black holes It can’t possibly weigh more than the old one…fuckkk that thing.

    I dig the Dorso…but ya know, Hypermotard