Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 review


  • Make: Aprilia
  • Model: Dorsoduro 1200 ABS ATC
  • Cubic Capacity: 1197 CC
  • Horse Power: 130 HP
  • Top Speed: 240 kmph
  • Delhi ex-showroom Price: Rs. 17,87,995

Review Rating

  • Engine and Performance
  • Looks Feel and Build Quality
  • Handling and Braking
  • Accessories and Key Features
  • Final Verdict

Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 review

The Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 has been around internationally for 6 years now. Over the years it has remained pretty much the same visually. The last major update was for the electronics and some much needed weight reduction that came in the form of lighter alloy wheels. The Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 is a blend of a lot of motorcycles and here is why. Its got the seating position and stance of a dirt bike, looks like a super moto and a wild engine. The thoughts keep coming and you really do not know where to plug it in. The Dorsosduro 1200 needs to be properly investigated then, right? In this part of the world we are not used to seeing such creatures, Yes, we used the word creature, you will know soon enough why.

Engine and Performance

Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 review - engine and performance
Let’s get the numbers out of the way first. The 1197 cc V twin, DOHC with four valves churns out a very strong 130 HP at 8700 RPM. Torque numbers lie at 115 Nm at 7200 RPM. The 100 kmph comes in at 4.5 seconds. The stand still to 170 comes all too easily and after that, the surge mellows down a bit and if you can hold on with all the wind blast, it will blast past the 200 kmph easily and keep going to a top speed of 240 kmph. Before we go on to how the power is delivered here are a few more details, this time regarding the electronics on board. There are 3 riding modes – Rain, Touring and Sport and then you have the three level traction control. Rain mode brings down the power to 100 HP, Touring mode just makes the power delivery a little smoother, but you still have full power, and then Sport mode, do we even need to tell what it does? The throttle is ride by wire as well. We stuck with the Sport mode almost all the while. Let me ask you to do this first, think about the moment when you are in an aircraft, it has just taxied to the beginning of the runway, it straightens out onto the runway and the captain gives it all to attain lift off speed. You just sink into your seat ever so slightly and you definitely enjoy that acceleration right? Now take that feeling and multiply it by 10, no wait by 100, add the sound of rumbling thunder and that’s what it feels like every time you wring the throttle on the Dorsoduro 1200. In gears one, two and three, if you are enthusiastic with the throttle, every time you touch it, the front wheel is not going to be anywhere near the tarmac. So much of torque in the low end is just spectacular. If throttle control was ever a problem with you, the Dorsoduro 1200 will give you crash course and you will learn fast, you have to, it is a wild horse that otherwise will just throw you out and laugh at you. The rule is simple, turn in, make sure you are pointed the way you want to go and wring that throttle, by the time the front wheel hits the ground you will be there. You can cruise around all day at 120 kmph too in the 3 to 4K RPM range too and the twins will just purr along. Oh, the Dorsoduro 1200 can do much higher speeds comfortably, it is just that the wind blast plays some serious spoilsport. Heat dissipation was pretty good even after riding in the city in some truly congested scenes. Efficiency returned was 15 kmpl.

Looks, Feel and Build Quality

Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 review - looks feel and build quality
The Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 looks like a dirt bike, but with strong hints of a supermoto thrown in. Everything right from the high front mud guard, to the headlights, the fork hugging tank, the long seat and the twin under seat exhausts all gel in together beautifully. It looks wicked, angry and ready to pop that front wheel at you any second. Even though the design is about 6 years old, it still remains fresh and in fact far better than some of its freshly updated competitors. Sit on it and you are immediately comfortable. The seat height is not for everyone though, shorter riders (below 5’9) will find it tough for a flat footing. The reach and hold to the handle bars is a nice aggressive one. Feels absolutely good beneath you. Let us not even discuss build quality shall we? The Italians have used their best and that’s it. Check out the detailed photographs of the Dorsoduro 1200 for a detailed look at the bike. Also here are some cool Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 wallpapers for your desktop.

Handling and Braking

Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 review - handling and braking
The Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 makes you sit with your chest wide open. The wide handle bars combined with the tall seat help navigation in city pretty easy. The narrow seat is actually quite comfortable and you have to sit quite to the front of it and grab the tank with your knees firmly if you ever really want to handle this creature. At slow speeds or fast, you notice one thing, the moment you want to change direction, the weight of the Dorsosuro 1200 becomes very apparent. It’s a bit lazy to turn in and you need to muscle it. But once set in, it is very stable around a corner and exits strong. The meaty front USD forks from Sachs are surprisingly soft, they are adjustable though. At the softest setting, it was fidgety under hard braking and corner entry. The rear suspension was just perfect and we luckily got it set early in the right spot (midway), and it did good to soak in those bad bumps while keeping composed even with some spirited riding. The front brakes are something that really surprised. The Brembo’s up front just have so much feel that you know exactly what the tyre is doing, so very confidence inspiring. It is the same story at the rear as well, the bite is also gradual and you get good control over all the naughtiness that you will end up doing with the Dorsoduro. And in case you goof up, there is also the ABS backing you up.

Key features and Accessories

Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 review - meter

The electronics package that the Aprilia Dorsoduro has is pretty strong. 3 Ride modes, 3 level traction control, 2 channel ABS and Ride by wire the Dorsoduro 1200 has it all. The meter console is loaded too, you get all the regulars, adjustable display brightness, lap timer, programmable gear shift indicator light and is even multilingual. All the settings are controlled by the buttons on the switchgear, so they are never more than a thumbs reach away. The suspensions at both ends are adjustable like we told you before. The headlights could have been a bit better though, lacked a strong throw.

Final Verdict

Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 review - verdict

And now you know why we called it a creature. With the traction control off and in sport mode, you need some titanium jewels to push this motorcycle. And while the traction control is your best friend on the Dorsoduro 1200, Aprilia have given it enough freedom even in mode 3 for that front wheel to pop up and the rear to slide out, so that you can have some fun with things still in perfect control. This motorcycle is actually a street naked disguised as a aggressive looking super moto while also sharing some DNA. The Dorsoduro 1200 demands respect from the rider, you just cannot pick it up and thrash it around, you need to tame it first and every time you think you have, it will surprise you. The beauty of this machine is that it scares you, you know it is wild, yet you just cannot get enough of it and you just give into the challenge of taming it. It has this unique ability to turn something as boring as a ride to the mall just mile away exhilarating. That’s the Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 for you.

Specifications Sheet

Design Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve, 1197cc V-twin
Bore * Stroke 106 mm x 67.8 mm
Torque 115 Nm @ 7200 RPM
Power 130 HP @ 8700 RPM
Fuel delivery Fuel injection
Starting aid Electric
Transmission 6 speed
Frame Trellis type
Front Suspension Adjustable USD Fork from Sachs
Rear Shock absorber Adjustable Sachs hydraulic shock absorber
Brake system Front Brembo Dual Disc
Brake system Rear Brembo disc
Brake disc diameter front 320 mm
Brake disc diameter rear 240 mm
Front tyre 120/70 ZR 17 inch
Rear tyre 180/55 ZR 17 inch
Fuel tank capacity 15 L
Headlight 12V 55W/60W
Wheelbase 1528 mm mm
Length 2248 mm
Ground clearance 118 mm
Kerb Weight 224 kg

Test Riders

Sudeep Avin NijishPavan