Two years after its release, the first test and the comparative, Aprilia has invited us to a new test of the Caponord 1200 slightly optimized for 2015. Program, an alpine raid 600 km bringing us to the highest road in Europe. Relevant this Caponord 2015 ascent passes this great loop.
High on legs, a racy facies, a complete electronic staffing (Ride by Wire, ABS, ATC), semi-active electronic suspension ADD to assure him as comfortable as dynamic qualities in the effort: we know for have tested and compared in 2013, the Aprilia Caponord 1200 is a formidable maxi-road trail.
And if a few quirks were indeed appeared at launch (difficult weather conditions, ADD improved, felt his first pneumatic mounts unconvincing), it must be recognized that France models available a few months later had increased significantly.
Besides this Caponord 2013 certainly less efficient than the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure 1190 KTM and Ducati Multistrada 1200 was (slightly) mounted on the second step of our podium during our game against the maxi-trails to chain the invincible GS. Its equipment and comfort had then made the difference!
The Italians had perfected their big techno trail 2015. The new vintage of 1200 Caponord has indeed an update of the semi-active suspension, injection adapted to the revised exhaust, muffler optional Arrow, new Brembo monobloc, a loop back stiffened and mesh the geometry have been revised.
To take the measure of this new configuration, appointment was taken in Nice for a rather unusual test. Our guests have called Raid Caponord, offering us to join Barcelonnette then back to our starting point, crossing several passes, including the famous Col de la Bonnette (2802 m), the highest point of the highest road of Europe. Nothing less!
And inevitably, on this trip, our high-end test machine was equipped with the Travel Pack, including the semi-active suspension ADD, piggy back shock with adjustable preload electrical, side bags, cruise control and center stand.
Our Aprilia Caponord 2015 free version develops 125 horsepower and is equipped with the new silencer optional Arrow. Starting the carton! The sound that emanates from the exhaust opening of the valve is more rugged than before. Grrrrrrrrr!
Vowel consonants A.: BS, TC, CC, DD
In the presence of large 29-liter side bags (can accommodate a full-face helmet each), a good leg cast is required to access Laselle peaking at 840 mm. Once installed, your servant – 1.83m – but has good ground support.
The particularly wide sitting on the rear portion is however much indented and thin enough to base. Fortunately, because with its wide handlebars and therefore weight (we weighed the model Travel Pack 2013-256 kg fully fueled), operate the Caponord stopped imposes a certain ability to anticipate.
An adaptation time is also needed to become familiar with the handling of orders. It must be said that like a Ducati Multistrada, the Caponord is equally well endowed with electronic audience. The Ride by Wire, there are in fact three mappings (Sport, Touring, Rain), which evolved right on the button of the contactor.
Higher on this stalk, there is control heated grips (optional) and the cruise control ACC. On the left, the Mode button allows you to scroll through the information in the dashboard, divided into two platforms each with a partial, maximum recorded speed, driving time.
Finally, the suspension setting – fully automatically with the semi-active ADD mode or setting yourself preload depending on the number of occupants and cargo – the degree of intervention of the traction control (ATC 3 levels) and disconnect the ABS will operate via two buttons located to the left of the LCD. The segment, and even in the Aprilia range, there easier!
An interesting mix sports / tourism
Our first kilometers reveal thoughtful ergonomics. Right chest, arms apart but certainly relaxed, legs perfectly coiled against the sides of the tank and are not too bent. It has room on the soft seat and the ability to evolve while finding a nice continued presence of the bead installed on the front of the passenger seat.
ADD ON, Comfort is very good thanks to the work of electronic suspensions, whose response time is further optimized this year. On the roads of the hinterland of Nice to Gorges du Verdon, they are frankly undermined by a succession of bumps and potholes. However, casting pipe, they play perfect harmony.
We continue our journey on the legendary Route Napoleon. Intoxicated by the Aprilia V2 torquey that tear your arm copiously past its reserve area close to 4000 rev / min – but still a little hollow below – the pace is accelerating without the chassis are fails. This cash acceleration without being broken and optimizes almost real-time ride height, even on heavy braking. The rocking horse effect Wader is limited. What a job!
Always at the same pace, heading now on Daluis Gorges. Other routes to miles of flush cut corners in the red shale walls open to us. Gorgeous! This winding path, a new Caponord not lack of sportsmanship. With a good road feel, Italian proves easy to place in corners and on its rigorous trajectories.
Dunlop Qualifier it’s hardly lend themselves to criticism, offering a good grip, a gradual setting the angle and more than satisfactory stability. Fully enjoy what engine catapult way – what is more versed in Sport mode – that enchants its completely angry tone. What also undermine the ground clearance and note that it is not only the nipples footrests which morflent. Right side, the muffler also takes to rank!
Back in the valley, before our final ascent to the Col de la Bonnette. Along Tinée through villages highlights the weakness of low speeds and especially an engine that is reluctant to go below 3000 rev / min, requiring changes unpleasant reports the presence of a clutch control still hard. In contrast to the more accessible, we cruise quietly sixth, flirting with 3500 r / min, without too feel vibrations or hiccups, it has equally good protection of the Italian maxi-trail.
Aprilia Caponord On eggs
Arrived in St. Etienne de Tinée after Isola, forty kilometers separates us from the Col, the highest point of the highest road in Europe. The Grail merit, and a storm of Mountain Waters us copiously while a dense fog settled on the heights. We then opt for mapping Rain, limiting the maximum power to 100 horsepower, ATC remaining on level 2, as for other modes.
However, with too feeble response to our taste, and finally a very good grip on wet tires coupled with a perfect management of the acceleration, a return touring mode is needed to not stay stuck in outlet pins. Here ATC – little intrusive – and ABS put in trust. Auspicious as to the summit (2802 m) the road is narrow and steep ravines and impressive.
Review Observations: Still relevant, not enough advanced
End of run-Barcelonnette Ubaye. We traveled more than 378 km winding roads today and finally regret any ache.
Thanks to its optimized suspensions and ergonomics, the “new” 1200 Aprilia Caponord has preserved us, giving us the full feeling in the heat of the action. Nice to return the next day, and some 200 km further, confirm these positive impressions.
However, some shortcomings remain to us on this vintage 2015, which finally seems unlikely to change. Already, the average consumption of our test machine oscillating between 7.4 and 7.8 l / 100 km seems still high for the category.
In addition, the exhaust revisited and new optional silencers are good things, but we would have preferred to appear for example an adjustable rolling bubble, a softer clutch or a more sophisticated cruise control (on bit tight lock on the desired speed). That said this almost– Evolution brings to light a relevant maxi-trail still unknown, which shines for its versatility. Still, the competition is no shortage of arguments.
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