2010 Aprilia Dorsoduro Factory | Review

750 Factory (Euro Model)

Two years ago Aprilia launched the first Dorsoduro 750 with Aprilia’s own then-new 750cc 90-degree V-twin engine. Time is now ripe for the Factory version and that means less weight and better handling in Noale language.

There are not a lot of changes that differs the Factory from the standard version and the top carbon fiber structure saves a two pounds. The new Sachs 43mm fully adjustable front fork however changes things a little more, as it’s top kit. To make the Dorsoduro Factory stand out more, Aprilia has added red paint to the tubular part of the frame. The engine is the same 92 horsepower motor found in the standard Dorsoduro, but for the first time we got to sample the second-generation triple riding mode.

I often get questions regarding how the Dorsoduro compares to the Ducati Hypermotard 796. That’s not a fair comparison, as the Aprilia is liquid-cooled and hence more powerful. If you were to put the Dorsoduro up against a model from the Bologna firm, it would have to be the Hypermotard 1100. As such, the Dorsoduro 750 Factory is good value for money as you get top performance from a mid-displacement bike that nearly matches an 1100 air-cooled twin.

Out on the twisty, but still fast, roads in the south of France, there are few other bikes I would rather be on to explore new territory. The Dorsoduro Factory is extremely forgiving should the surface be bad and the rider mediocre. The Dunlop Qualifier II tires are standard on the Dorsoduro and, with only 92 horsepower to cope with, these stick to the tarmac like glue. The tires are of big bike dimensions–a 120/55-ZR17 front and a 180/55-ZR17 rear.

The chassis is a lot sportier than on the Shiver 750 and, comparing the two, I’d choose the Dorsoduro Factory any day. I am entering the corners as hot as the Aprilia test rider in front of me allows, which is far from hot enough for the Dorso. I spent most of the time being slightly frustrated that I couldn’t go as fast as I wanted to, but still managed to play enough to know that the handling is top notch.

It’s the longer swing-arm and suspension that separates the Dorsoduro from the Shiver, handling-wise, and I much prefer the supermoto style. It’s a front-end thing, where I can just push those wide handlebars nearly as much as I like towards the tarmac at great lean while countering the weight transfer with my upper body. The chassis seems to be dimensioned for a much more powerful engine, as I find myself wishing for even more when exiting the corners.

The Sachs forks provides plenty of feel and, despite being only 43mm units, it is still proper supermoto equipment. It is the same story at the rear with a fully adjustable Sachs shock. Both front and back suspension features a supermoto-worthy 6.3 inches travel. The rear brake does a fine job sliding you sideways into those hairpin corners. The radial brakes biting on a set of wavy discs in the front are more than enough to even make the Dorsoduro trackworthy. On the roads, they provide top feel through that Sachs fork and I kept pushing without finding the limits.

Back to the engine–the Touring mode, which gives a less aggressive throttle response than the slightly harsh Sport mode. I still prefer Sport mode, though, as an aggressive riding style suits this bike well. The third mode is the Rain mode where power is reduced. In town, I’d opt for the Touring mode but Sport everywhere else.

I empty the gears quickly and the six-speed gearbox is easy to work along with the hydraulic clutch. Clutch it up in first gear and you’ll be doing fine wheelies all day, but come second gear and it is virtually impossible to bring the front very high–pretty much the same as a single cylinder supermoto in this area, with the difference that you can clutch it up at a higher speed. With 6.3 inches of wheel travel at the back the Dorsoduro naturally gets a bit light at the front under full acceleration and there are slight movements that to me are completely as a supermoto should feel.

The Dorsoduro’s motor is much more aggressive initially than in the Shiver, but goes out of breath quicker at high rpm. The Shiver has a version of the engine tuned for more top end power and produces three horsepower more. I never missed these extra three horsepower, as I believe the Dorsoduro will tackle the tightest corners faster.

The rumble from the 750 V-twin brings me slightly back in time to the performance twins of the late ’90s when they sounded more meaty than today. A couple of the test bikes had the accessory Arrow titanium pipes fitted, and following one of those I could hear what sounded like music to my ears.

The 2010 Aprilia Dorsoduro Factory is more of a cosmetic upgrade than a significantly better Dorsoduro. The couple of pounds saved on the carbon fiber parts isn’t really a selling point over the standard version–neither is the higher spec suspension. What really sells it to me over the standard Dorsoduro is simply the fact that it’s got a red painted trellis frame. It looks less bland and an already good motorcycle is now marginally better in a flashier package. Guess that’s one less excuse not to get one.

DORSODURO 750 FACTORY | Motorcycle Specifications

Engine: Aprilia V90 four-stroke longitudinal 90° V-twin engine, liquid cooled, double overhead camshafts with mixed gear/chain timing system, four valves per cylinder.
Fuel: Unleaded petrol
Bore x Stroke: 92 x 56,4 mm
Total displacement: 749,9 cc
Compression ratio: 11 : 1
Maximum power at the crank: 67,3 kW (92 CV) a 8.750 rpm
Maximum torque at the crank: 8,4 kgm (82 Nm) a 4.500 rpm
Fuel system: Integrated engine management system. Injection with Ride by Wire throttle opening management and triple mapping
Ignition: Digital electronic ignition integrated with injection system
Starting: Electric
Exhaust: 2 into 1 exhaust system in 100% stainless steel with three-way catalytic converter and lambda probe
Generator: 450 W a 6.000 rpm
Lubrification: Wet sump
Gear box: 6 speeds, drive ratio: 1st 14/36 (2.57) 2nd 17/32 (1.88) 3rd 20/30 (1.5) 4th 22/28 (1.27) 5th 23/26 (1.13) 6th 24/25 (1.04)
Clutch: Multiple discs in oil bath, hydraulically operated
Primary drive: Straight cut gears, drive ratio: 38/71 (1.87)
Final drive: Chain. Drive ratio: 16/46
Frame: Modular tubular steel frame fastened to aluminium side plates with by high strength bolts. Removable rear subframe.
Front suspension: Multi-adjustable Sachs upside-down fork with Ø 43 mm diam. stanchions. Wheel travel 160 mm.
Rear suspension: Aluminium alloy swingarm Gas-operated shock absorber with piggy back, with adjustable spring preload and compression and rebound damping. Wheel travel 160 mm
Shock absorbers: Front: Dual Ø 320 mm diam. stainless steel floating discs. Radial callipers with four pistons. Metal braided brake pipe. Rear: Stainless steel disc Ø 240mm. Single piston calliper. Metal braided brake pipe.
Brakes: Ant.: Doppio disco flottante Wave in acciaio inox diametro 320 mm. Pinze radiali Brembo a quattro pistoncini. Tubo freno in treccia metallica. Post.: Disco Wave d’acciaio inox diametro 240 mm. Pinza a singolo pistoncino. Tubo freno in treccia metallica.
Wheels: Aluminium alloy Front: 3.50 X 17" Rear: 6.00 x 17"
Tyres: Radial tubeless tyres; front: 120/70 ZR 17 rear: 180/55 ZR 17
Dimensions: Max. length 2,216 mm Max. width 905 mm (at handlebar) Max. height 1,185 mm (at instrument panel) Saddle height 870 mm Wheelbase 1,505 mm Trail 108 mm Steering angle 26°
Dry weight: 185 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 12 lt (range > 200 km)