2010 Aprilia Mana 850 GT ABS Review
The scootercycle returns. And this time it’s ready to cross borders at the flick of a wrist.
Returning riders and noobies alike can appreciate the ease of Aprilia’s fully automatic motorcycle, while experienced riders might just join them for the marvel of technology included in the Mana 850 GT.
When first introduced to the American market in 2008, the Mana 850 was a head scratcher to the regular motorcycle crowd. Built around a scooter powerplant yet designed like a motorcycle, what do you call it? Some would call it an abomination; others would disagree. One thing everyone can agree on is that it has classically quirky Italian style.
Technically speaking, the 2010 Mana 850 GT isn’t much different from what Pete rode last spring. A must read if you’ve never seen the Mana before.
The Mana 850 GT employs a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with an option to electronically have it function like a semi-manual 7-speed sequential transmission, and with a choice of three engine mappings, all made accessible at the push of a few buttons. “If you’re a scooter rider graduating to the motorbike-like Mana, you’ll be in your element,” remarked Pete in his review of the standard Mana.
For 2010, the Mana 850 GT’s powerplant, like the standard Mana’s, is still based on the 839cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, eight-valve, single-overhead-cam, twin sparkplug per-cylinder, 90-degree V-Twin sourced from the Euro-only Gilera GP800 scooter.
Where Pete noted the potent and powerful Aprilia-branded radial-mount 4-piston calipers found on the Mana 850, the newly-introduced-to-the-U.S.GT model sports ABS brakes as standard. Our man in Europe, Tor Sagen, gave the then-unavailable auto ‘Priller a spin around the Italian Dolomites last summer.
Braking performance on the GT remains the same, naturally, as on the standard Mana, with plenty of stopping force and good feel from the dual four-piston binders; the addition of ABS front and rear only sweetens the pot.
Also found on the GT is a small fairing (or a large headlight cowl depending on your point of view) with an integrated adjustable windshield. The range of adjustment isn’t much, roughly an inch or so via two slotted screw holes, and there’s some buffeting at freeway pace from the somewhat narrow screen. However, the screen and fairing offer enough protection to divert a decent amount of windblast away from the rider. Something’s better than nothing in this instance.
Aprliia calls the Mana 850 the missing link in an evolution that makes the world of motorcycling and its emotions accessible to all types of user.
With ABS as standard and the addition of a chest-high windscreen, the Mana might be more than just a grocery getter here in the states; it could be your all around bike, period. “The Mana is the motorcycle world’s answer to the point and shoot digital camera,” quipped Sagen.
The hard-sided saddlebags seen here are an Aprilia/Mana-branded option and became part of a comparison test here in Southern Cali. Stay tuned for that report.
Budget-minded suspension components help to keep the price down on this otherwise unique exotic form Aprilia. The $10,599 GT is the only version of the Mana that Aprilia will import to the U.S. in 2010.