2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200 | Preview

Aprilia Releases Caponord 1200 for Adventure Segment

As the Adventure Touring segment continues to evolve, so does the technology in each motorcycle company’s perspective machines.

This is especially true in Europe, where many manufacturers offered a bit more on their 2013 Adventure models – the restyled BMW R1200GS, the all-new KTM 1190 Adventure, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 and its new Gran Turismo model, and the Triumph Tiger Explorer in a more off-road worthy XC version.

Not to be left behind, Aprilia has updated its former Caponord EVT1000 with a more competitive adventure model – the Caponord 1200.

The 2013 chain-driven machine, which was teased in March at the Piaggio dealer meeting, uses the Dorsoduro’s 1197cc 90-degree V-Twin engine, though recalibrated for better road manners, and is highlighted with the latest slick technology, including triple mapping Ride-By-Wire, traction control (ATC), ABS and, with the Touring Package, Aprilia Dynamic Damping (ADD), which is a semi-active suspension system, and cruise control.

Speaking of the 2013 Caponord 1200, Aprilia says “introducing Caponord 1200, the perfect bike for any occasion. Easy to handle and agile in the city, thanks to its advanced and lightweight chassis, quick and fun in the countryside, thanks to its sophisticated electronic management and its generous twin cylinder engine, comfortable for rider and passenger in touring due to the particular attention to ergonomic detail and its excellent protection against the air, thanks to wind tunnel shape studies.”

At a glance, here are the highlights of Aprilia’s Caponord 1200:

Standard Equipment:

  • Ride by Wire system
  • Three engine maps, Sport, Touring and Rain
  • ABS (which can be disabled)
  • ATC (which can be disabled and adjusted to 3 different settings)
  • Adjustable windshield
  • Hand guard

Travel Pack additions:

  • ADD (Aprilia Dynamic Damping)
  • Cruise Control
  • Shock absorber with built in piggy back, spring preload electrically adjustable to 4
  • predefined settings (rider only, rider and passenger, rider only with panniers, rider and
  • passenger with panniers)
  • Pair of panniers color coded to match the body (also available as option on standard Caponord 1200)
  • Center stand (also available as option on standard Caponord 1200)

2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Engine

The Caponord’s 1197cc, 90-degree V-Twin engine was designed after intensive study of internal fluid dynamics, the tests aimed at “improving combustion, decreasing friction and maximizing performance.”

Aprilia’s engine, which features 128 horsepower @ 8500 rpm, and 85 ft. lbs. of torque at 6500 rpm, features an oversquare bore/stroke design, which gives it more grunt in the lower rpm range. With that much power, the Aprilia will be on top of the horspower race in the adventure class, with the exception of the 150-horespower Ducati Multistrada.

The engine arrives with offset cylinders for maximum lateral compactness, double-overhead camshafts driven by a mixed chain/gear valve timing system and four valves per cylinder.

Also included on the motor is a twin spark ignition, speed density type electronic fuel injection with two throttle bodies and micro-nebuliser injectors, stick-coils integrated in spark plug boots , a three-way catalytic converter with double oxygen sensor and a hydraulically operated clutch. To assist with powering various electronics, the Aprilia Caponord 1200 features a more powerful 690W alternator.

2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Electronics

First introduced on the 2007 Shiver 750, Aprilia’s Ride by Wire (RbW) system helps achieve smooth throttle throughout the rpm range, all while optimizing fuel economy.

The Caponord 1200 RbW features three maps – Sport, Touring, Rain – which can be selected on the fly by simply closing the throttle and selecting a map.

The maps are as follows:

  • Sport: maximum performance with responsive and direct power output in order to satisfy an aggressive riding style.
  • Touring: the maximum power expressed is the same as the Sport mapping, but output becomes more fluid and suitable for daily riding or touring.
  • Rain: power is limited to 100 HP in order to guarantee maximum control and safety in conditions of poor grip.

Also standard equipment on all 2013 Aprilia Caponord models is a two-channel ABS system, and ATC (Aprilia Traction Control), the “exclusive traction control system derived from the Aprilia Performance Ride Control (APRC) system on the extraordinary RSV4, designed and fine tuned by Aprilia to get maximum grip out of any type of surface, able to give the rider great riding confidence, simultaneously increasing safety.”

The ATC features three levels:

  • Level 1: for a pure sport riding experience, all fun and adrenaline.
  • Level 2: suitable for the city and touring and in general to manage the engine’s great power on any route.
  • Level 3: ideal for safety taking on difficult situations such as low grip surfaces, staying in complete control.

The Travel Pack provides further electronics, including Cruise Control and the ADD. Speaking of the Dynamic Damping system, Aprilia says the “brand new semi-active dynamic suspension system developed by Aprilia and patent protected.

“The system measures the energy transmitted to the vehicle by the harshness of the asphalt, recognizes the riding phases (acceleration, deceleration, braking, constant throttle) and adapts the suspension calibration in order to maximise comfort and maintain the bike’s balance.
All of this is possible thanks to the exclusive patented method which combines the principles of the skyhook and acceleration driven damping algorithms – well known in the motoring world – allowing maximum performance to be achieved across the entire fork and shock absorber frequency range.

“In the electromechanical calibration suspension systems already available on the market, the rider presses a button on the handlebar to activate an electric motor which changes the suspension set- up. In the Aprilia ADD dynamic semi-active suspension system, on the other hand, all the rider has to do is ride.”

The Caponord 1200 also features a new digital instrument panel, the LCD combing a speedometer, rev counter, total and two trip odometers, fuel level and coolant temperature. There is also a selected mapping indicator (S,T,R) as well as the shock absorber electric spring preload indicator (where available). The engaged gear is also indicated, as well as the ATC level adjustment and heated handgrip operation (available as a separate option). The series of warning lights on the side include the fuel reserve, ABS and ATC engaged/disengaged and Cruse Control (where available), Aprilia says.

2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Chassis

The Caponord’s frame is based on the Dorsoduro 1200’s, but is modified for adventure touring duties. Aprilia says the layout of the frame is still a mixed structure, made up of a trellis in high resistance steel tubes connected to a pair of die cast aluminum plates.

The Caponord features a new rear subframe, and a laterally-positioned rear shock absorber with spring preload and rebound adjustability. The 43mm front fork features adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound.

The new Aprilia rolls on lightweight aluminum 17-inch wheels, which take design cues from the RSV4, and uses a Brembo braking system (two 320mm discs squeezed by four-piston monoblock calipers up front, and a 240mm disc squeezed by a single-piston floating caliper out back.

The Aprilia Caponord 1200 is further outfitted for adventure touring with upright ergonomics, an adjustable windscreen, fairings designed for better aerodynamics and wind protection, standard handguards, a 33-inch seat height, and a 6.3-gallon fuel tank capable of up to 200 miles between fill ups.

The Aprilia Caponord will be available in two colors – white or black. Aprilia has yet to release the MSRP.

2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Specs:


  • Type: V90 four-stroke longitudinal 90° V-twin engine, liquid cooled, double overhead camshaft with mixed gear/chain timing system, four valves per cylinder
  • Bore X Stroke: 106 x 67.8 mm
  • Displacement: 1197 cc
  • Compression Ratio: 12.0 ± 0.5 : 1
  • Max Power: 128 HP at 8,500 rpm
  • Max Torque: 85 ft. lbs. at 6,500 rpm
  • Fuel System: Integrated engine management system. Injection with triple map Ride by Wire throttle management: Sport (S), Touring (T), Rain (R)
  • Ignition: Digital twin spark electronic ignition integrated with injection system
  • Exhaust: 100% stainless steel 2-in-2 exhaust system with dual catalytic converters and oxygen sensor
  • Transmission: six-speed
  • Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch, hydraulically operated


  • Frame: Modular tubular steel frame fastened to aluminum side plates by high strength bolts. Removable steel rear subframe
  • Front Suspension: 43 mm Sachs upside-down front fork with fully adjustable compression and rebound damping and spring preload. Wheel travel 167 mm.
  • Rear Suspension: Aluminum alloy swingarm Sachs hydraulic shock absorber with adjustable rebound and preload. Wheel travel 150 mm.
  • Front Brakes: : Dual 320mm stainless steel floating discs. Brembo four-piston radial calipers. Metal braided brake hoses.
  • Rear Brakes: 240mm stainless steel disc. Single piston Brembo caliper. Metal braided brake hose.
  • ABS: Continental two channel ABS system
  • Wheels: Lightweight aluminum alloy with three split spokes; Front: 3.50 X 17″ Rear: 6.00 x 17″
  • Tires: Radial tubeless tires; Front: 120/70-R17; rear: 190/55-17


  • Max. Length: 88 inches
  • Max height: 57.3 inches
  • Saddle height: 33 inches
  • Wheelbase: 61.6 inches
  • Trail: 5 inches
  • Headstock angle: 27°
  • Engine Capacity: 6.34 gallons (including 1 gallon reserve)