"See? The braces really did pay off!"
Aprilia is on to something with the Shiver. I can feel it. It's a bike I could ride all day long without making a call to my chiropractor after. I normally kept it in Sport mode because, really, having three power modes in a bike that only delivers 75 horses to the ground is a bit silly. That said, the electronic wizardry on this bike does take some time to figure out, but if this is your only bike and you don't ride something different everyday like we do then it becomes second nature. The bike looks great and the little 750 is a fun engine with an intoxicating exhaust note, but it falls flat on its face when the road starts to bend. A shame since the bike has so much potential. For the price, you either have to be a die-hard Aprilia fan or a wealthy beginner. For me, I'm hinging on the hope that there's a shred of truth to the rumors about a more sport-oriented model in the future.
"Oh I'm from Canada, eh?"
If Aprilia is aiming for upscale, entry-level riders with the Shiver, then the company has hit that target spot-on. The Shiver handles acceptably well, the engine is nicely refined, and the package points to a bright future for the company in its post-Rotax era. The fellow that stopped me in Beverly Hills certainly seemed to think it was a cool bike and wanted to know where he could buy one. But while the Shiver is modestly priced for a semi-exotic Italian sportbike, it's too expensive for my tastes. It needs to have something more than just being Italian to justify the price or it should be cheaper than, for example, an R6S, which offers a lot more performance for less money.
"Shown here trying to hit the high note."
The Aprilia Shiver 750 has all the ingredients of a great middleweight naked machine: an all-new V-twin engine with lots of technology (including ride-by-wire throttle and three-way engine maps), a nice aluminum chassis, decent suspension and tires, and brakes that would do justice to a sportbike. I like most of its styling, and the stock engine note from the twin underseat exhaust cans isn't overly sanitized. And the ergos are quite bearable in my opinion.
The problem is that all those nice parts don't necessarily equal a well-sorted whole. The three engine modes all have quirks that can become annoying, and the rear shock's capability can quickly overwhelm the non-adjustable front fork, as can the powerful front brakes if you're not careful when applying them. The Shiver's chassis can handle higher speeds, but the lack of ground clearance and wide motocross-style handlebar cannot.
And then there's the price tag that won't be helped by the weak U.S. dollar. I really want to like the Shiver 750, but too many of its parts don't seem to like me.