2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 | First Ride

2011 Dorsoduro

Recently I tested the 2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 on some gorgeous roads a few miles away from the Jerez circuit in Southern Spain.

The main new features is of course the new 1200cc twin engine. It’s immediately impressive and the max power output of 130 horsepower suits the motorcycle perfectly.

Due to this 1200cc motor, the Aprilia Dorsoduro doesn’t have those asthmatic tendencies such as in the 750. There’s plenty of power throughout the power range and the Dorsoduro 1200 is a wheelie machine of some stature.

The Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 features three levels of traction control, and the option to turn the TC off. I tried level 2 in the morning at Jerez, and then level one with less intrusion before turning it all off for some wheelies.

Out of the countless tight corners, the traction control worked beautifully. This can make everybody look good as they leave black lines out of roundabouts. The traction control on the Aprilia Dorsoduro enables you to keep an open throttle even in first gear. When attempting wheelies with the traction control on, the front comes down soon.

I chose Touring riding mode as I found the Sport mode to be too harsh and it didn’t make me any faster. What I needed was smooth power in all of those tight, first-gear corners along with the traction control.

The ABS can be turned off, but will turn itself on again automatically after switching the ignition off and then on again.

The main irritation point with all these new rider aids on motorcycles are the fact that the computer doesn’t work fast enough to my inputs. So when we did stop riding the Aprilia for a short time most of the time was spent tuning the traction control from on to off and making sure the ABS stayed off.

The riding modes can be changed while riding, but not the traction control or ABS. To be honest I would want the traction control changes to happen instantly pushing a button whilst riding. That would have been much more useful.

The motorcycle chassis fits the stronger motor just fine and there’s little you can’t get away with entering or exiting corners. The Pirelli tires on the Aprilia were very slippery at first but improved to give the confidence needed later in the day when warm and abused.

This is just a brief first impression. Stay tuned to UltimateMotorCycling.com for a full review of the 2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200.

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).