The Shiver 750 GT’s strongest attritube is its handling capabilities. A beautiful steel trellis frame and an aluminium swingarm grace the Shiver’s sides. Along with the very good Angel ST Sport touring tires from Pirelli handling and grip is taken care of. We can lean the Shiver 750 GT more and with greater ease than on the Mana 850 GT that was launched at the same time.
It’s very easy to control the Shiver GT and it steers very well. The 43mm upside down fork is sensitive enough and there’s good feel through the handlebar. The laterally offset rear monoshock is good enough for the job, but no Ohlins in terms of feel and feedback. An impromptu hail storm followed by heavy rain made us quickly appreciate the Shiver’s ABS brakes. It’s interesting to note the minor effect the rear brake has riding downhill when it’s wet. ABS kicked in straight away, which is good news because without it the rear would just slide. The Shiver 750 GT also features the 3-way drive mode selector allowing for a sport, touring and rain mode that we talked about in depth in our 2008 review.
Our main beef with the Shiver is the engine. Despite being powerful, the 750cc V90 just doesn’t feel quite right. Though the Shiver GT features the second generation Aprilia Ride-by-wire throttle and sophisticated fuel injectors there’s something wrong with the way this engine feels and delivers power.
The engine pushes out a claimed 95 ponies and lots of torque, but it was difficult to feel it. In first gear we had to help raise the revs with the clutch in the tightest hairpin corners. We managed to entertain ourselves on our tour up the Alps by pulling little wheelies out of all those corners, but only by dumping the clutch to raise those lazy revs again. The higher up we went the more asthmatic the Shiver felt which is only natural, but it only amplified our grievances with the engine. The engine feels much better in the Dorsoduro configuration than in the Shiver. Perhaps the distinctive exhaust system causes some of this. There is something good hiding within the cylinder walls but it’s not being transmitted to the rider in the current configuration.
The 6-speed gearbox and the hydraulic clutch work well together. This is a good thing as there’s lots of gearing to be done to get the best out of the engine.
The soft panniers don’t have the same finish as on the more purposeful Mana 850 GT and they’re not as roomy either. The Aprilia Shiver 750 GT is more of a sports touring package. Despite the fact that the 750 engine is more powerful than the automatic Mana 850 one, we’d choose the Mana for carrying a passenger. We can’t imagine having to carry a passenger on the Shiver 750 through the Alps.
A nice Shiver GT touch is the extra glove box space on the half fairing which is handy for keys, mobile phone and change for toll roads. Of the two glove compartments one can be locked and there’s also a handy 12 volt power socket for charging your phone or plugging in a GPS.
The 2009 Aprilia Shiver 750 GT ABS suits the sporty rider first and foremost because there’s lots of riding to be done to get the best out of the package. If you want to ride a lot with passenger and want a powerful midrange then you might want to look elsewhere. Touring solo for shorter distances suits the 750 GT best. We can’t get our heads properly around the awkward power delivery and we know there are better middleweight touring bikes than this. Bring on the 1200!