2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

Editor Score: 84.00%
Engine 17.5/20
Suspension/Handling 13.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 7.5/10
Brakes 7.5/10
Instruments/Controls4.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.00/10
Appearance/Quality 8.5/10
Desirability 8.0/10
Value 8.5/10
Overall Score84/100

When Aprilia invited Motorcycle.com to the press introduction for the 2018 Shiver 900 first ride, I thought, hadn’t that model been announced at EICMA 2016 as an upcoming 2017 model? If so, the model had been selling for a while already, right? It had. But as is typical, those lucky Europeans got it first and we had to wait. After the bikes made their journey across the ocean, braving Hurricane Harvey, and worse yet, meeting homologation, the new 900s arrived state-side. A few weeks later, the introduction of the new 2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 would commence.

Taking place in Ventura, California, journalists from all over the U.S. and Canada convened in the coastal city to check out the new 900s from Noale we had all so eagerly been awaiting. With the new Shiver having an engine enlarged from 750 to 900 and revised styling, we were all excited to get some seat time to bring our readers a first ride review.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

Well, it’s here now America.

 After having owned my personal Tuono for a few years now, I was happy to have a chance to test out a completely different platform from my own big naked… motorcycle.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

Aprilia claims a 480-pound curb weight, which coupled with a low seat-height, will be manageable for most.

The 2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 is a looker. The amount of detail that has gone into the design from an engineering standpoint to pure aesthetic is pretty fantastic. Almost to the point of being reminiscent of another Italian marque known for its “motorcycle art.”

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

Hi-Tech Silver is the only color option in the U.S. for the 2018 Aprilia Shiver 900.

Aprilia is a brand that is too little known in the U.S. of A, if you ask me. While speaking to Aprilia’s Brand Manager, Patrick Flynn, he related a story about a gentleman walking up to him at a gas station while he was putting break-in miles on these motorcycles, and attempting to pronounce: “Ape-pril-ee-ya.” Flynn gently corrected him on the correct pronunciation and informed the man Aprilias are Italian motorcycles. That was all he needed to hear. “Aw, yeah? Nice!” With 54 championships and the V-4 platform we all love here at MO, I wish more motorcyclists in the U.S. had access to Aprilia, however, it seems the most commonly cited issue is the company’s relatively small dealer network.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

A beautiful day to ride motorcycles… on the Ventura pier.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

The offset rear shock includes a standard ring nut for adjusting preload and a screw-type adjustment for rebound damping.

To put Aprilia’s upgraded Shiver 900 to the test, the Aprilia staff led us out toward one of my favorite roads in southern California, Highway 33. If you haven’t been, Highway 33, north of Ojai, includes a great mix of tight turns, fast sweepers, and gorgeous scenery as it snakes its way through the Los Padres National Forest. This road is a “must ride” for any motorcyclist. 

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

Aprilia’s new 896cc, 90-degree, V-Twin delivers tractable power, evenly above 3000 rpm all while wearing a stylish red valve cover.

Aprilia is using the same 896cc 90-degree V-Twin motor to power the new Shiver, as well as the new Dorsoduro (but that’s a story for another a few days from now), which is why both models were included in this introduction. The previous Shiver (and Dorsoduro) were 750s and left many journalists and consumers alike, wishing for something more, so that’s what Aprilia did.

2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 Review

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

While the Dorsoduro 900 is a bit more fun in the canyons, the Shiver 900 offers a more rounded set of skills.

The new V-Twin is claimed to produce 93.8 hp at 8750 rpm, with 66.3 lb-ft of torque at 6500. In order to punch the engine out to 896cc, Aprilia simply lengthened the stroke from 56.4mm to 67.4mm while keeping the bore the same at 92mm. While I might’ve preferred a little more torque deep down low in the rev-range, the new powerplant makes good, fun, usable power throughout most of the rpm range, but it’s happier if you stay away from real low on the rpm spectrum.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

Don’t let the word versatility fool you into thinking the Shiver is completely utilitarian. It works just as well around town as it does in the canyons.

The engine is said to have revised its crankshaft geometry and balancing to deliver a smoother ride. It felt pretty smooth to me, so good job, Aprilia. Other changes to the Twin include a lighter piston with a new coating to reduce friction, a reinforced piston pin, semi-dry crankcase with reed valves controlling oil movement, and new double-jet fuel injectors which spray at a higher pressure for better air/fuel atomization. Another big upgrade we are happy to see is the inclusion of the Marelli 7SM ECU, which was brought over from the V4 platform and now works as the brains of the Shiver’s operations, enabling the new TC management and streamlining electrical systems while shedding a claimed one pound of weight.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

I often find myself gravitating toward motorcycles on which I can barely touch one foot down flat, which often yields desirable legroom, though the 32-inch seat height of the Shiver 900 was a welcome comfort.

Rider interface with the Shiver is quite nice in most respects, however, there are a few nits to pick. The new ride-by-wire throttle feels great, although actual fueling can be jerky at low rpm. The bend on the handlebar puts the user in a comfortable rider triangle, while the comfy 32-inch tall seat allowed my 30-inch inseam to flat foot comfortably on both sides. Rider and passenger footpegs include rubber inserts to quell vibration. The gearbox feels solid with tight tolerances resulting in positive shifts, however, the amount of pressure needed to downshift was surprisingly high. Aprilia says the hydraulic clutch pull was been reduced by 15% thanks to refinements to its design and a change in friction material. This must have been a welcome improvement over the previous iteration because I felt the Shiver 900’s clutch pull was still a bit on the heavy side.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

Strong braking power is there, even if sometimes you have to grab a firm handful of brake lever to access it.

Braking is handled by dual 320mm floating rotors, squeezed by 4-piston calipers which are fed by steel-braided brake lines, while the rear uses a 240mm wave rotor and single-piston caliper with steel-braided lines. No Brembos here, likely to keep costs down, but the brakes are adequate for the task at hand. ABS is, of course, standard, as on all European motorcycles since 2016. The front brakes initially felt a bit vague, but some of the motorcycles had less than 200 miles on their odometers, and improved somewhat after more hard miles. I think it was an issue of the pads having not bedded-in entirely. Initial bite improved once they were fully up to temperature.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

In yet another display of practicality and/or versatility, Aprilia opted to use Pirelli Angel STs (120/70ZR-17 in the front and 180/55ZR-17 in the rear) which offer a good combination of grip and mileage.

Suspension on the Shiver 900 is handled by a new inverted 41mm Kayaba fork with 4.7 inches of travel up front. The new fork is said to be approximately one pound lighter and offers spring preload and rebound damping adjustments. In the rear Aprilia is using a Sachs monoshock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping and 5.1 inches of travel. The only time that I had wished for higher performing suspension was in fast, bumpy sweepers.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

The 4.3-inch TFT display offers easily legible information. An auto-contrasting function changes background colors from white to black based on a light sensor.

The new TFT display and user controls are easy enough to figure out, with the only tricky bit being that, to switch ride modes, you press the starter button once the engine is running to toggle between Sport, Touring, and Rain. Traction control offers three levels as well as Off, with 1 being the least intrusive. ABS is simply on or off and only accessible to change while the bike is in neutral. Ride modes are adjustable while riding, having only close the throttle to engage, while TC is adjustable on the fly. The Aprilia Multimedia Platform is also an available option which will allow the rider to sync with his or her smartphone for a multitude of options, including displaying incoming/active calls and any music being streamed, among other functions.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

The 2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 feels like it would be at home with just about any type of riding you could throw at it. Commuting, canyons, blasting through the city, you name it, the Shiver can do it.

Circling back to some of my previous comments, the 2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 looks great. From the red accents of the steel-trellis/aluminum frame to the red valve covers on the engine and “Be A Racer” graphics on the new, lightweight, three-spoke wheels, the new Shiver presents a high level of attention to detail.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

Those nifty caps on the tail pipes disperse exhaust laterally for passenger comfort and also add to the bike’s soundtrack in a great way.

As with the new wheels, not all of the interesting design elements are solely aesthetic. The caps on the under-tail exhaust serve an engineering purpose rather than just looking cool and emitting a more exciting exhaust note. They have been designed to improve passenger comfort by redirecting gas flow out of the exhaust to the sides rather than directly behind the passenger in an attempt to evacuate the hot, humid gases from the low pressure area created behind a passenger while riding. Happy passenger, happy life? Or something like that.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

We were told the 4-gallon gas tank will yield approximately 150 miles, which would give about 37 mpg. Your mileage may vary.

The 2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 delivers great usable power from its new 896cc V-Twin wrapped in a complete package that will be comfortable for most riders across a fair range of sizes. I did not hear a single journalist complain about the Shiver being at all uncomfortable. At $9,399 it also stays within range of its potential Japanese rivals like the Kawasaki Z900 at $8,799 (w/ABS) while being a fair amount less than a Ducati Monster 821 with an MSRP of $11,695.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

The Shiver 900 is Aprilia’s interpretation of a versatile, smooth, comfortable motorcycle that maintains that sexy Italian panache. While our ride included only a tiny bit of freeway and city, with most being had on winding canyon roads, I can back up Aprilia’s claims for the flexibility and charm of the Shiver and am sure just about anyone could enjoy this motorcycle while putting it to task with many different types of riding.

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900

2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 Specifications
Engine Type 90-degree V-Twin, 4-stroke, Four valves per cylinder, liquid-cooled
Bore and stroke 92.0 x 67.4 mm
Capacity 896 cc
Horsepower (claimed) 93.8 hp at 8,750 rpm
Torque (claimed) 66.3 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm
Fuel system Marelli 7SM Double-jet fuel injectors and latest generation Ride-by-Wire engine management. Choice of three different engine maps selectable by the rider with bike in motion: S (Sport), T (Touring), R (Rain)
Final Drive Chain
Front Suspension Inverted Kayaba 41 mm fork body, adjustable preload and rebound damping. 120 mm wheel travel
Rear Suspension Sachs monoshock absorber with adjustable preload and rebound damping. 130mm wheel travel
Front Brakes 320 mm floating double disc. Radial mounted fourpiston calipers with steel braided brake lines
Rear brake 240 mm wave stainless steel disc. Single piston caliper with steel braided brake lines
Wheels and Tires Cast aluminum; Front: 3.5”x17” Rear: 6.00”x17” Radial tires. Front: 120/70ZR-17 Rear: 180/55ZR-17
Saddle height 32.0 inches
Curb Weight 480 lbs
Fuel Capacity 4.0 gallons

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Aprilia Communities

  • Old MOron

    “The only time that I had wished for higher performing suspension was in fast, bumpy sweepers.”

    Huh? I don’t remember any of these on Hwy 33. Oh well, maybe my memory is faulty. But your bike review is not. I hope “Ape-pril-ee-ya” sells a ton of these 900 cc jobs.

    • DickRuble

      It’s that direct link suspension… A pity..

      • Old MOron

        I know that the direct link is less sophisticated than later suspensions, but hasn’t KTM been very successful with it? Why couldn’t Aprilia enjoy similar success?

        • DickRuble

          Because KTM sells brawn, and to ADV riders the subtle difference in road handling is not important. Most of the buyers also don’t know the difference. A street bike with sporting aspirations needs a Pro-link.

          • Old MOron

            I think the last time I rode a bike with a direct link suspension was more than 20 years ago. I wouldn’t know about how that changes the feel. I acknowledge that race bikes all seem to have fancy suspension linkage. And yet, even the world-beating Super Duke R makes do with direct link suspension. Is it really a must-have?

          • Gootch

            I went from a CBR to a Shiver and the handling is just fine. I haven’t noticed much drop off in the ability to lean over around a curve.

          • DickRuble

            Because suspension linkage has more to do with dealing with big, high speed bumps, less so, or less directly, with leaning.

          • Born to Ride

            I have personally noticed that every bike I have ridden with direct link rear suspension has felt harsh in the rear over sharp edge bumps. Hopping off my S2R1000 and onto my old M1100S, the difference was night and day even with the 1100 sporting an Ohlins shock and both bikes being set to the proper sag. The KTM isn’t so bad because it has over 6″ of rear suspension travel, where most roadsters and sport bikes make due with 4.9-5.25.

          • Kevin Duke

            You sure about that…?

          • Old MOron

            LOL, no, I’m not sure. That’s why I said, “I think.”

          • Kevin Duke

            The pedant in me wants to say that your “I think” didn’t apply to your SDR comment! 🙂

            High-end sportbikes (including the SDR) and all MXers and GP bikes have linkage rear suspensions. They wouldn’t if they didn’t perform better.

          • Old MOron

            The pedant in you has a good ear. I would expect nothing less from the E-i-C. Truth is I tried to look up the SDR. I couldn’t find any documentation that said it had linkage in the suspension, so I resorted to looking at pictures.

            I think this is the latest SDR. The bottom of the shock is obscured, but it sure seems to link to a straight bolt rather than anything fancy. Just the same, I guess I got it wrong.

            https://cdn.dealerspike.com/imglib/v1/800×600/imglib/trimsdb/3709001-0-12826311.jpg

          • Kevin Duke

            For the record, the big KTM Adventure and the SDR use linkages.

          • DickRuble

            Makes sense, more so on the SDR

      • Actually, Dick, a lot of manufacturers are ditching linkages, saying shock technology has come far enough to not need the extra weight and complexity. And the Shiver’s wallowing comes from the front end, not the back. Adjusting compression and rebound damping will likely help.

        • DickRuble

          Yeah, and mattress manufacturers are telling you the same about their technology being so advanced you no longer need a mattress. As a matter of fact, electronic publishing technonology is so advanced one no longer need writers.

          • Of course! LOL!

            When was the last time you compared bikes with direct links to linkages? On a racetrack?

  • john phyyt

    High Pipes. Going back to the 916. Even MV has gone for mass centralisation .

  • DickRuble

    A direct link suspension? Thanks, but no thanks.

    • Born to Ride

      Not that I like a direct link rear, but is there any bike that you can’t find something to complain about? Genuinely curious question.

      • DickRuble

        If there were one that I thought was sufficiently better than the one I have and i thought it was worth the money, I’d buy it.

        • SerSamsquamsh

          “Comparison is the death of joy.”

          Too bad that’s the way human brains work eh?

          • DickRuble

            I actually prefer that to death by regret of impulse buying.

          • SerSamsquamsh

            If you can impulse buy a motorcycle you’re doing ok! Congrats:)

          • DickRuble

            Uhh.. no.. what I am saying is I cannot afford impulse buying.. If you can’t deal with the consequences of the impulse, you cannot afford said impulse. 🙂

          • SerSamsquamsh

            A foole & his money,
            be soone at debate:
            which after with sorow,
            repents him to late.

  • Sentinel

    The “micro” fuel tank giving this bike the least/worst fuel range in class just kills it for me.

  • schizuki

    If the jerky fueling isn’t a dealbreaker, the goofy name is.

  • allworld

    “The 2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 is a looker. The amount of detail that has gone into the design from an engineering standpoint to pure aesthetic is pretty fantastic. Almost to the point of being reminiscent of another Italian marque known for its “motorcycle art.””

    IMO, this is true. I had a 2010 Shiver it was a nice bike, but the dealer network was dismal and today it’s even worse. I now have a Brutale, sort of went from the frying pan to the fire. 🙂
    Piaggio, Aprilia’s parent company needs to do a lot of work with setting up dealerships.
    In my area most dealerships will no longer work with them, period. So unless new dealerships open up or Piaggio remedies the situation Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, and Vespa are not competitive.

    • DickRuble

      Why do you need a dealer all the time? If you have a minimum of mechanical ability (changing oil, adjusting cables) and have owned bikes for more than a couple of years, the dealership should be last place you want to be.

      • allworld

        Have you ever owned an Italian bike?
        I have some basic skills, but often the issues are not basic.

        • DickRuble

          Just get a Honda and stop worrying about dealerships.

          • RPJ

            Funny… stupid, but funny all the same.

          • allworld

            Honda doesn’t do it for me……

          • DickRuble

            Ok, then better be happy with dealers doing it to you..

        • Gootch

          I’ve had a Shiver for a couple of years. The dealer is about two hours road time away. Since all I’ve had to do is change the oil and filter, the dealer’s distance hasn’t mattered.

          • allworld

            I too had a Shiver, I filed a lemon law claim, had it replaced and sold it. Not even the dealer could keep it running……….

        • Mr. agusta

          My “italian bike” mv agusta 800 dragster rr has over 12,000 miles on it and zero issues….I just did a 1065 mile “saddlesore 1000” in 22hrs.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HiL-emxxoA

    • RPJ

      Spot on. Piaggio has done absolutely nothing to help support or expand the dealer network for Aprilla or Guzzi. There are times that one might think they are intentionally trying to put them out of business. Great bikes with lousy support from Piaggio.

  • JMDGT

    It seems a little heavy but not much. It is beautiful.

  • kenneth_moore

    I know it’s not the most popular style anymore, but I love a set of under-seat exhaust pipes. It cleans up the rest of the bike so well, and looks great doing it.

    • spiff

      The other option is to pack it under the engine. Just like Buell, but only pretty.

    • Mad4TheCrest

      The best thing Aprilia could do to sell more of these is to change the name.

  • Jens Vik

    I think Piaggio group makes the most beautiful bikes in allmost every class. If they made one, they’d probably make a motorcross bike look good too.