It’s rare that a manufacturer debuts two new models at the same time unless there are multiple trims such as the Aprilia RSV4 RR and Factory versions. When MO found out we would be riding both Aprilia’s new Dorsoduro and its Shiver 900, I was actually looking forward to the novel opportunity. It would be interesting to see how different the motorcycles would feel while sharing many of the same components, most notably, the same 896cc 90-degree V-Twin engine.
We had a chance to dyno the Shiver 900 and were a little bit underwhelmed by its 81.9 hp and 55 lb-ft of torque at the rear tire. However, the power is easily usable in the lower to mid range of the tach, making it fun to ride around town and in the canyons. It’s the open roads that stretch out with longer straights or fast sweepers where you start to miss the extra horsepower of similar machines in this category such as Kawasaki’s new Z900.
Braking is handled by the same dual radially-mounted four-piston calipers in the front and lone single-piston unit at the rear squeezing a pair of 320mm front and single 240mm rotors, respectively. Steel braided brake lines keep braking power consistent and, while the brakes felt strong, initial bite was almost non-existent.Power improved once the pads were fully bedded in, but tapping into the brakes’ full potential required a firm squeeze.
The Dorsoduro felt more lively on tighter roads with its 15-tooth front sprocket as opposed to the Shiver’s 16. I also preferred the Dorso’s stiffer fork but these differences are what make the Shiver a more comfortable all around motorcycle. Without being too extreme in any one direction, the Shiver delivers accessible power around town while the bigger front sprocket and longer gearing make the bike more user-friendly in most circumstances.
Both bikes have their places. The Dorsoduro is a livelier hooligan or supermoto-type motorcycle that is great for jaunts through the canyons and slicing through traffic. The Shiver feels comfortably at home in nearly any scenario without being too extreme to be used as an only child in someone’s garage.
After spending a bit more time on both following the press intro, we put together the following video to give our longer-term perspective on the similarities and differences between these new Aprilia siblings.