The 850cc v-twin Italian beer cooler

Dailies, Reviews -



If you’ve never heard of the Aprilia Mana 850 GT, you’re not alone. People either assume it’s just another sport-touring bike or get confused when they realize there’s no clutch lever. Despite that and the fact that it has a very scooter-like CVT (automatic) transmission, it’s definitely still a motorcycle. HFL‘s favorite feature? The gas tank is under the passenger seat, which means you can flip up the cover to the ‘tank.’ Do so, and you have a 130mph beer cooler.

You read that right, beer cooler. It swallows seven pounds of ice and a twelve pack of PBR without even breaking a sweat. Just pop the cover open, pull out the liner and drain-plug and you’re good to go. As the ice melts, it drains right out the bottom. Crappy American beer will stay drinkably cold for a full 24 hours, even in 80+ degree weather. The waterproof lid appears to provide excellent insulation.

Prefer to drink real beer? You’ll have no problem fitting two 750ml bottles of Stone Subliminally Self Righteous, as we did, and an additional 20oz bottle of Triple Karmeliet too.

Condensation is the only thing that will give you away

Water drains out the bottom as the ice melts and leaves no mess and nothing else behind. The Mana started up mere seconds after we scooped the remaining ice out of what Aprilia mistakenly refers to as the “helmet compartment.”

  • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    Can you fit a clutch lever in that compartment?

    • Sean Smith

      Nope. But it’s still faster than a Ninja 250. ;)

      • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

        Yes, most things are.

  • Kirill

    That rules

  • KR Tong

    No clutch lever means you can crack one open at a stop light, hand one to your friend then laugh at him when the light turns green. Professional driver on a closed course only.

    • Gregory


    • dux

      Dope!!! Drinking and driving has never been so cool!
      That means I need a convertible helmet though (Shark Evo?).

      Sounds like a great joint review – HFL, your thoughts?

      • Jimmy

        An aerodynamic beer helmet, with camel pack tubes.

    • Wes Siler

      Totally possible, it opens with a button on the left handlebar anytime the ignition is on. With no need to put that left hand back on the bars ever, you could easily finish a brewski while cruising a couple of blocks.

      • dux

        When’s the road test coming out?

        • Wes Siler

          Once the hangover wears off.

  • Kevin

    Pabst? Really?

    I hope you guys drink it ironically.

    • Kirill

      PBR is probably the best poverty-spec beer out there. Craft brews are a luxury that cannot be afforded in these austere times!

      • Emmet

        Stewart’s Mountain Brew FTW. Unless you’re not from upstate NY.

        • nymoto

          Dude stewarts mountain brew is terrible, but I did drink a 12 pack once. Only once.
          Jesus that stuff tastes like shit, it makes PBR taste good.

        • Kirill

          Thankfully, I’ve never been anywhere near upstate NY.

      • doublet

        BS. PBR sucks. It’s just trendy now. Execs were actually baffled as their upward trend began. Get some Busch. “Cold as a mountain stream, smooth as its name”. Or Natty Boh if you’re in the region.

        • aristurtle

          I’m “in the region”. Boh is pretty terrible.

        • Kirill

          Natty anything is godawful. The bros in the Inland Empire love that shit.

          • aristurtle

            National Bohemian is unrelated to Natural Ice/Natural Light. They’re all awful, but Boh is a little less awful.

            Man, I’ve really got to take another trip out to the Dogfish Head brewery. I wonder if it’s possible to balance two cases of IPAs on the back of a Ninja 250? Sounds like a challenge!

            • doublet

              There’s something sad I heard about Dogfish head.. a buddy of mine is a budwiser regional account manager, and he was telling about some documentary having to do with ‘micro brews’ and I think Dogfish head has been almost totally bought out.

              I lived in Lewes, DE for about six months! It was fun.

              I just can’t stand PBR for some reason, though. Or Heineken if it is even the slightest degree away from nearly frozen.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

      They’re hipsters. What don’t they do ironically?

      • the (unfortunate) roomate

        enjoy pabst.

        and wes is way more hamptons than hipster. gotta give him credit for trying though.

        • Wes Siler

          For the record, I am not from, nor have I ever lived in or remotely close to, the hamptons.

          I have gotten in trouble there though:

          • the (unfortunate) roomate

            thats not what your website says….

        • Ken

          Not everyone that drinks Pabst is a hipster… some of us are actually broke

    • Mark D

      I’ll drink a PBR over a bud light or even highlife anyday.

      As a broke ass student, I can’t really justify $10 6-packs anymore. Sadly.

      • ike6116

        Ill drink a Keystone Light over a PBR any day.

        It’s actually the cheapest and doesn’t come with the burden of “hipster cache”

  • michael uhlarik


    You really need to stop drinking Pabst. What is it going to take for you to discover what beer is all about? Another trip to Newfoundland?


    • Sean Smith

      Wes will drink anything. Don’t worry though, his new lady-friend and I are beer snobs and we’re working hard to convert him. If I had my way, we’d only drink Allagash Currieux, Belgian triples and quads and the occasional high-alcohol strange brew with weird stuff like grapes or apricot.

      • JonB

        You guys don’t come to norcal enough. We have a stunner of a Belgian beer house in Oakland.

        • Sean Smith

          We have Würstkuche here.

          • Joel

            Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena does alright, too. And Quadrupel is just a couple blocks north, if you want a nicer place to drink your triples with some good food.

          • the (unfortunate) roomate

            you meant to say, we have Congregation.

            • Sean Smith

              Man, a God reference on the Icon jacket story and now you’re recommending a church themed bar? Seven different Belgian Quads on their menu is pretty damn impressive though.

              • the (unfortunate) roomate

                i know, are my evangelism attempts working?

          • contender

            Würstkuche gets so damned crowded. No love for My Father’s Office?

  • Myles

    To all the peeber naysayers:

    • Taco

      Ha. I don’t care what Dennis Hopper thinks, he’s dead. I wanna know will the Mana be able to hold one of those Heineken mini kegs?

      • Wes Siler

        Should do.

      • cadillacjack

        that would be awesome! then you’d just have to attach a camel back hose on that sucka!

  • T Diver

    Who needs helmets with beer?

  • T Diver

    Totally off topic but I’m watching Mecum auction now. They are doing bikes. It’s a pretty good gauge of the industry in terms of demand. (Shit is cheap.) Vale’s pit bike [scooter] sold to around 3 grand.

  • Gene

    ABS. Factory bags. Auto tranny. Killer look. Built-in bad beer bucket. Better’n a DN-01. I think I’ve found a replacement for my SV-650.

    And my nearest dealer is 380 miles away. Yay.

  • Tony T.

    How does the vibration of the engine treat the beer?

    • cadillacjack

      comforting but stern.

      • dux

        Stern but fair?

  • John

    Wow! Along with oil, brake fluid, and petrol you now need to add ice and beer to determine wet weight.

  • the_doctor

    Guys, start charging us $5 to drink good beers, please.

  • holdingfast

    nice article in the East Hampton Star wes! pretty awesome, A.
    B. PBR tastes good enough – most importantly: what is it? 4$ for a sixpack? and who cares if hipsters drink it? are you gonna stop riding because hipsters ride motorcycles?
    C. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that maybe PBR was chosen because of the colors of the can as in red white and blue. never a bad choice, alyways looks good in pictures too – very patriotic! So .. nice choice in beer dudes!

    ps. belgian beer is like belgian chocolate: just not thaaat good. haha..

    • Gregory

      Yeah, patriotic for the French, Russians, Dutch, British, Koreans, Icelanders, Czech, Slovenes, Cubans, Panamanians, Chileans, Aussies, Kiwis… oh, and the US, too.

      Pabst is just good beer. Since Olympia is no longer available… and Rainier isn’t really around no more…


      • HolyHandGrenade!

        Olympia is horrifically bad.
        Used to get that stuff in college when buying a mixed pallet – we would take anything under $7 a case (‘95-‘99). A mixed pallet usually consisted of parts, Olympia, Black Label, Hamm’s (basically PBR), Schaefer, and maybe Ft Pitt – all gross but all got the job done. Who cared what it tasted like, it all went down the same in a Beirut game – fast, with a good portion landing on the floor. (I think the local distributers would buy skunk beer from around the country and sell it to us – so bad beer made ever worse)

        Sad but back then Natural Light was considered a luxury – anything over $8 dollars a case was excessive (when buying in bulk, it adds up). Keystone was just crazy talk.

      • Dumptruckfoxtrot

        Where are you from Gregory? Rainier is still plentiful in Washington State.

        • contender

          No joke. They were selling it at Alex’s last night in Long Beach.

      • Campisi

        Olympia is still technically available, but Pabst (their current corporate overlords) changed the recipe. It tastes a lot more like Pabst now.

  • Groomez

    HA I knew there’d be a PBR debate

  • Michael

    While uglier, the BMW F650CS had an option to add a speaker box where the tank would ordinarily go. While not big enough to hold a 12 pack, that level of convenience covers up a lot of flaws.

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