We’ve all experienced the exciting period of a new motorcycle relationship where all we want to do is ride together. Unfortunately, Tom Dean has found his new Italian love affair during a pandemic lockdown. Still, it sounds as if the two of them are making the best of the time.
An almost Peter Egan Zen-like quality comes over me as I take the key out of my Aprilia Shiver 750 one last time. It’s about 45 degrees here this evening in the hinterlands of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Shiver is an apt name for this new-to-me bike. I lock it up in the garage not knowing when I shall next take my wild pride of Italy out again for another ride. My esteemed Governor, Mike DeWine, has declared a lockdown in Ohio to last for at least two weeks. I shall miss my Shivering rides in the early Ohio spring.
So, what makes this bike so good? Well, hello, it’s Italian! And it’s red. And it’s got a trellis frame. The Holy Triumvirate of motorcycling no? That it’s a sporting V-Twin with a bold exhaust note is the icing on the cake. Did I mention the bike is red?
I came to own the bike through somewhat unconventional means. Having sold my previous ride, a Moto Guzzi Griso 1100, in early spring I was fast on the lookout for another bike. My mind was open to different bikes, but I have a predilection for Italian machinery. Firing up the computer and hitting Facebook Marketplace, I felt I’d hit the motherlode in terms of available bikes. The problem was the whole lode was usually located 500 miles away. All the bikes I liked were either in Illinois, Kentucky, or Pennsylvania. What’s a rider to do when you’ve got a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket and spring is coming fast?
After about my 5000th search on Facebook Marketplace for a bike close by, I decided to turn to an old standby: Craigslist. I can hear the clamor now, “Oh yeah, Craigslist the fine purveyor of many a high dollar scammer the world wide over.” Maybe. But wade past the scammers, and many times, a fine bike can be had. Such was the case with my new Shiver.
Looking in a town about 40 miles away, I found a Craigslist ad for a super clean 2012 Aprilia 750 with low miles. Making a quick email connection with the owner of the Shiver, I found out his name was Chris, and he, too, was a dedicated Italiophile. Chris was looking to sell a couple of bikes in order to buy a new Panigale V2. So far so good. I made an appointment to meet Chris and take a look at the bike. The following Saturday came, and I took a short ride up to Chris’s place to inspect the bike. As soon as I pulled in to Chris’s driveway and saw the Shiver, I knew I was a goner. Visions of money flying out of my pocket began to immediately dance through my head. The Shiver absolutely gleamed! It was basically a new bike and every piece of it shined. The bike had a mere 2700 miles on it and looked like it just came from the showroom. I did a short test ride on the bike, and everything worked perfectly. I was really surprised by the exhaust note, which had a strong V Twin basso profundo sound for still being a stock system. Hmm, Chris how much did you want for the bike again? Little quibbling ensued, and both of us settled on a satisfactory price. Chris made the transaction easy for me, as he knew of a local bank to notarize the title, and he even agreed to follow me back to my house and deliver the bike for me. Folks like Chris are truly salt of the earth motorcycling people.
So far my Shiver ownership has been a happy one. I’ve washed it a couple of times and oiled the chain. It needs only very little, and I’m really a lucky owner. As the Corona thing passes I look forward to fielding questions on “hey what’s that thing” once the local bike nights roll around. The Coronavirus will eventually flatten out, and I count the days till I can take that first long warm ride. Keep the home fires burning everybody. Summer is on the way!