SNEAK PREVIEW: Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally

New Rally version of the Aprilia Caponord makes its debut at INTERMOT next week. Should the Ducati Multistrada be worried?

2015 APRILIA CAPONORD 1200 RALLY Promotional Shot

Maybe the most attractive new bike from Piaggio’s motorcycle department is the Rally version of the Aprilia Caponord 1200, which will be unveiled next week at INTERMOT 2014 and goes on sale in Europe in January. What sets this new Rally apart?

Well, it’s a bona fide Aprilia Caponord, but this technological tourer is equipped with a very nice set of wire wheels (with a 19 incher in front) that are shod with multipurpose Metzeler radial tires. What’s more, the Rally is fitted with hard aluminum bags, new engine guards, additional long-range LED driving lights, and a larger fairing. These upgrades are all designed to make the Caponord Rally a more versatile and comfortable machine, one that can now be ridden more easily on dirt roads whenever the need arises.

CAPONORD-RALLY-2

I recently sampled the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally, and the bike more than fulfilled my expectations. The classis is superbly competent, and the 1197cc V-twin is strong and smooth. Although the engine is not the most powerful of the lot, its 125 claimed horsepower is more than up to the job, and the ride-by-wire system has three maps. Cruise control and ABS are standard, and the latter can be disengaged in the dirt. All the while, the active Sachs suspension works very well on road or track, automatically altering the damping in real time.

Has the Ducati Multistrada met its match?  Look for the Caponord 1200 Rally to arrive sometime in the US early next year.