Easily mistaken for a 750 cc or even a 600 cc naked super sport bike, Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 is very similar in size to its 750 sibling. However don’t let the small frame fools you. Weighing in at 212 Kg it is on the heavy side in its class. Looks can be deceiving as they say and Dorsoduro did just that. I thought I was able to set both feet down flat on the ground but with its 870mm seat height, I was tip toeing with my 170cm frame.

This upgraded model has new graphics, shredded some weights off from the previous model and comes with a ride-by-wire 3 mode traction control. The 1197cc Dorsoduro has a 90° longitudinal V-Twin with 4 Valves per cylinder and double overhead cam churning out 136HP at 8,700rpm. Max Torque is 115Nm at 7,200rpm. Although not as torquey as some of the naked models in the market, its power is however more than sufficient for any uphill climb or overtaking vehicles without the need to have constant gear change. Clutch lever is a bit hard for my liking, even with the softest setting. Gear change especially to neutral is not very smooth and takes a little left foot work to engage it.

Aprilia has fitted this Supermotard with an electronic ride-by-wire throttle system. Throttle response sensitivity if compared to the conventional system is minimal. Braking power is from the renowned Brembo system with double 320mm stainless steel floating discs grapping it via twin calipers with 4 pots each for the front and a Single 240mm disc for the rear. It also comes with ABS.

Additional feature on the 1200 Dorsoduro include Aprilia Traction Control (ATC) and Three riding modes, Sport, Touring and Rain. The sport mode is great for hilly terrain, effectively getting you through tight and wide corners without having to constantly downshift. But the situation changed once you are in city riding. This is where you will be in for a good left feet workout. Engine stress is less felt on Touring mode and great for highway rides. Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to ride in the rain as the sky did not open up during the short period of time I had with the bike.

Instrument panel is lighted up in red and is not very clear for long sighted rider. There is no fuel gauge indicator which proves to be quite a challenge due to its small 15 liters fuel tank. Rider needs to be constantly aware of the fuel limits especially when travelling on long distances where petrol stations may be limited. However you have the option of using the fuel range to plan ahead for your next re-fill. Other information that are provided in the instrument panel are, a trip meter, an analogue rev meter, a digital speedometer, fuel range, average speed indicator, last top speed clocked, lap timer, clock and temperature.

The power plant is cooled by liquid. But heat from the engine tends to dissipate onto my right thigh and this is really uncomfortable when you are caught in a traffic congestion added with the tropical climate here in Kuala Lumpur, I felt that my thigh will be in a “well done” state good to be serves on a platter.

The Dorsoduro 1200 has a good firm side stand. A beautifully design twin exhaust blasting out a good grunt. Almost as good as any after-market exhaust out there. Seat is comfortable for short rides but not for long travel. My rear got numb after riding for over half hour. My skinny ass could be a contributing factor.

The Dorso 1200 comes with a piggy back Sachs design springs and hydraulic shocks absorbers for its rear suspension and a pair of 43mm fully adjustable Sachs front upside down fork. With a Tubular steel Trellis frame handling could be much better if not for its weight.

Overall, this Supermotard is great for weekend uphill / downhill ride.

Text by: Justin Hong.
Photos by: Calvin Ho & Justin Hong
Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 courtesy from NAZA BIKES SALES & DISTRIBUTION SDN BHD.