The Dorsoduro thankfully retains...
The Dorsoduro thankfully retains Aprilia’s same easy-to-read analog tach/LCD digital information display. Wide aluminum handlebar is comfortable and provides plenty of leverage.
That braking capability is probably a good thing, because although it isn’t really noticeable until you really start aggressively flinging the bike through a tight canyon road, there’s no getting around the Dorsoduro 1200’s surprising heft. At 487 pounds fully fueled, the Aprilia definitely isn’t among the lighter bikes out there — and most especially those of the supermoto variety. The wide handlebar and sharp steering head angle combine for easy directional changes that mask much of the weight; but when the pace really heats up (especially over a tight canyon road that has lots of elevation changes), you can occasionally feel there’s a substantial amount of mass beneath you. Granted, most riders will never notice this; but we’d still like to see the Dorsoduro 1200 lose a little weight.
Those looking to replace the...
Those looking to replace the license plate bracket will need to find a solution for the keyed seat release switch located just below the right turn signal.
And lastly — as seems more common with the majority of supermoto-style bikes we’ve tested — if you’re planning on riding any distance, you’d best plan your gas stops carefully. Despite the engine’s healthy torque curve and rev limit of 9500 rpm, it still is a rather thirsty powerplant. We were hard-pressed to average 33 mpg under the most mellow of commuting environments in Touring mode, which means that with the 4.0-gallon fuel tank, your average range with the Aprilia would be around 130 miles max. Luckily the tripmeter goes into reserve tripmeter display mode when the fuel level reaches a gallon left (a good thing, because the low fuel warning light is barely noticeable in daylight), so you have ample warning of the need for a gas station.
Practical? No. Fun? Yes!
Supermoto-style machines like the Dorsoduro 1200 have a unique appeal. They’re definitely not for the masses — and especially the masses in the U.S., who usually need their motorcycles to fill multiple roles, including traveling distances longer than 130 miles. While the supermoto craze undoubtedly made its mark in Europe, it’s never really caught on in America, despite the best efforts of the sport’s enthusiasts. But there’s no denying that supermoto bikes are an absolute blast to ride, and the Aprilia provides much more fun than most bikes of this genre. Is it enough fun to justify its limited riding scope and $12K asking price? A lot of that depends on you and your needs. After the smiles it left on our faces, we’d like to hope so. sr
Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200
Standard Brembo four-piston...
Standard Brembo four-piston calipers may not be as flashy as the latest monobloc units, but their power and feel more than make up for that. Steel-braided brake lines are stock.
Strong, flat torque curve
Fairly nimble yet stable handling
Needs to lose some weight
Shorter wheelbase would help
A little more fuel range, too
Serious fun, but not for everybody
Suggested Suspension Settings
spring preload — 4.5 turns out from full stiff; rebound damping — 12 clicks out from full stiff; compression damping — 10 clicks out from full stiff; ride height — one line showing on fork tube
Spring preload — 20mm thread showing; rebound damping — 15 clicks out from full stiff; compression damping — 1 turn out from full stiff