Aprilia is going after the adventure bike market - hard - with its powerful, newly designed Caponard 1200.
Having captured the hearts of track racers and cycle reviewers with its high end MotoGP-styled superbike RSV4, the Italian bike manufacturer is trying to increase American market share by going after a more casual class of rider. The Caponard is clearly meant to challenge the dominance of the BMW GS-series and Ducati Multistrada machines.
The Caponard -- a dramatic upgrade from the mid-2000s Caponard 1000 and a grown-up cousin to the company's Mana 850GT -- offers a V-twin 128-HP power plant (from the same base as Aprilia's Dorsoduro 1200, using the company's now-standard electronic throttle Ride-By-Wire system) and includes standard ABS, Brembo brakes, a traction control system with settings for canyon riding, cruising, and off-road, and engine settings for Sport, Touring and Rain.
It also promises long ride comfort, with a more upright seating position, a wide, flat saddle, an adjustable windscreen, and a 6.4 gallon gas tank with a range of approximately 180 miles between fill-ups. Optional equipment includes cruise control, pannier saddlebags, center stand and more.
I haven't seen a price point for the new bike yet, but for comparison sake the Mana 850GT as set at $11,999. The Caponard is likely to be in stores in Spring, 2013, in time for warm weather on the Angeles Crest -- and, with that cruising range, well beyond.