When we look at Aprilia’s lineup, it is surprisingly sparse. The brand has only a pair of models with its V4 engine, and another pair with its 900cc v-twin. Four bikes – that’s it.
The revised middleweights – the Shiver 900 and Dorsoduro 900 – debuted in 2017, bringing some refinements to the lackluster 750cc machines that they replaced. The 900cc bikes are not the stars in Aprilia’s lineup though, and they struggle to sell at Aprilia dealerships, but they have a tremendous amount of potential.
We say this because it always felt like Aprilia could have done more with the engine platforms available to the Italian brand. A long-travel suspension adventure-sport makes a ton of sense for the V4 platform, and today we see what could be done with the v-twin platform.
Yamaha really hit on something when it made the MT-07 and MT-09 motorcycles – two machines that still offer plenty of features and fun, while enjoying the benefit of not emptying the bank account.
Similarly, we have already seen that the Yamaha MT-07 makes a convincing track bike, especially when you change out the lower-spec components and add a full set of fairings.
Today, Oberdan Bezzi imagines a similar treatment for the Yamaha MT-09, with a slant toward endurance racing duties, which we find very appealing.
As expected, at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Kawasaki unveiled a new retro-syled model based off its popular Z900 street bike, thus creating the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS.
As the core of the bike is the same four-cylinder, water-cooled, 900cc engine that is found on the Kawasaki Z900, but Team Green has completely revamped the styling to have a more heritage look and feel to the “RS” model.
Peppy motorcycle meets trendy aesthetics, the Kawasaki Z900RS truly lives up to its “Retro Sport” moniker. Equipment includes LED lighting, new spoke-looking wheels, and a revised exhaust design.
The paint scheme is meant to mimic the design found on the 1972 Kawasaki Z1, one of the Japanese brand’s more classic motorcycles, while appealing to the features that modern motorcyclists rely upon.
Set for sure for the European market, it will be interesting to see if Kawasaki brings the Z900RS to the USA. We would expect so, but stay tuned for more information.
For the 2018 model year, Aprilia is updating two long-time members of its lineup, creating in the process the Dorsoduro 900 and Shiver 900 motorcycles.
Today we will focus on what it is like to ride the Shiver 900, though many of our thoughts about this updated roadster are similar to those we published about the Dorsoduro 900 yesterday – you can read those here.
While previous iterations of the Aprilia Shiver 750 were fairly forgettable, the overhaul that has been given to the Aprilia Shiver 900 makes the peppy roadster one worth considering. Dare we say, it surprised us.
The engine is of course revised, and is now Euro4 compliant, but Aprilia has added a more robust electronics suite, as well as new hardware pieces and chassis updates.
As with the Dorsoduro though, the real strength of the 2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 is its pricing, which at $9,399 MSRP is very competitive against the other European middleweights. Good news too, the Shiver 900 is a potent motorcycle to ride.
It is tough work reviewing two motorcycles in one day, but that is exactly what we did this past week in Ventura, California – as Aprilia USA had us riding the new Dorsoduro 900 and Shiver 900 motorcycles.
Coming to the United States for the 2018 model year, the Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 gets a much-needed update for its tenth birthday, with Aprilia overhauling the affordable maxi-motard with some needed upgrades and modern touches.
In addition to a revised and bigger engine, which is now Euro4 compliant, the Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 gets a modest electronics suite added to it, as well as new hardware.
The overall design of the bike hasn’t changed much, which is perhaps a good thing, as the Dorsoduro has always been a visually appealing motorcycle.
The real strength with Aprilia’s 900cc platform though is the pricing, and at $10,999 the Aprilia Dorsoduro is the cheapest motorcycle in the large-displacement supermoto category – giving riders an excellent bang-for-the-buck offering, not to mention a fun motorcycle to ride.
For the 2017 model year, the Aprilia Dorsoduro 750 gets an upgrade to 900cc, making it the 2017 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900. Aprilia says that the new 896cc 90° v-twin engine is a stroked out version of the 750cc motor (from 56.4mm to 67.4mm), which allows Aprilia to meet Euro4 emission standards while also giving the Dorsoduro 750 a much-needed upgrade.
Despite the 150cc increase in displacement, the 2017 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 makes only an additional 3hp, with peak power now set at 95hp at 8,750 rpm.
While that change in horsepower is underwhelming, there is somewhat better news to be found in the torque curve, which sees a 6 lbs•ft torque increase, for 66 lbs•ft at 6,600 rpm.
Aprilia says that the torque curve for the Dorsoduro 900 is flatter than that of Dorsoduro 750, and at all rpm points higher. That is at least modestly reassuring.
The Yamaha FZ-09 will follow it European counterpart, the Yamaha MT-09, for the 2017 model year – getting an “upgrade” to its styling, along with a few performance enhancements.
Yes, this means the face that only a mother can love is coming to US soil; but on the bright side, it’s bringing with it traction control, fully adjustable forks, and anti-locking brakes.
The new headlight assembly features four LED headlamps, with other styling changes being made to the tail section, radiator shrouds, air scoops, and license plate mount (now on the swingarm).
Yamaha hopes that this styling effort will appeal to younger buyers, while the added features will appeal to more pragmatic buyers. Like on the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6, a quickshifter can be added as an optional accessory item, at the dealership.
Along with the “don’t call them spy shost” photos that Husqvarna released yesterday, the Swedish brand owned by a German company that’s based in Italy has also released a video that elaborates on the design of the new Husqvarna 900 street bike. As we’ve seen already from the concept sketches, and affirmed in the photos, the new street-going Husky is a super-sized supermotard that features BMW’s F800 series parallel twin motor, albeit slightly revised to 900cc. Find the design philosophy of the new Husqvarna 900 according to Head of Husqvarna Design Raffaele Zaccagnini after the jump.
Here’s an interesting twist: instead of going through the trouble of setting up some sort of “spy shot” moment, and leaking it to the press, Husqvarna has cutout the middleman, taken its own photos, and sent them to web and print publications. Because of this, the use of the “spy shot” label is probably not appropriate, though we’d make arguments that it hasn’t been an appropriate label in many other situations as well. Leaving that subject for another time, what you really wanted to see is the new 900cc Husqvarna street bike in almost all of its glory.
The folks at MCN have had their finger on the Husqvarna street bike pulse lately, and today published sketches of the soon-to-be released BMW-derived 900cc Husqvarna street bike. Part street-naked, part supermotard, these sketches seem to suggest that the new Husky will stick somewhat to its dirt roosting roots. Despite the large displacement size, the street-going Husqvarna looks to be very minimalistic and svelte, though how much of that will translate over into the final design remains to be seen.
We’re still apprehensive as to what BMW’s plans for Husqvarna are in the coming years, as the German company clearly wants to use Husky for its evil road-going purposes, but so far there’s nothing in these sketches that send us running for a long rope and a short drop. The designs appear to stay true to what we’d expect from Husqvarna, though you can leave your conclusions in the comments. Additional sketches after the jump.
Details on the impending Husqvarna street bike have been scarce, though we have seen the Swedish brand’s Mille 3 Concept, but the folks at Visordown managed to get a Husqvarna represented to spill some of the beans on the machine. Knowing that the 900cc parallel-twin motor comes from the BMW F800 series, it’s expected that the extra displacement will come from the motor being bored out.
Now adding to our knowledge, Husqvarna UK has outlined that the new 900cc street bike will be a naked machine that comes in either a standard and “factory” specification. The new 900cc parallel twin motor will also be the basis for further street machines from Husqvarna, which will be released farther down the line.