|Overall||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
I picked up my bike yesterday. In spite of a rainy weekend, I have ridden 250 miles, and run through the first tank of gas. These are my first impressions - I will try to update them after break in is completed. I am very satisfied with the bike. Fuel mileage on the first tank netted out at 38.4 mpg - which is better than I expected during break in. Other riders report mileage in the mid 40's. Since the bike is equipped with a 6.6 gallon tank, I expect that fuel range will far exceed my seat range. The Electronic Fuel Injection works quite well. No surprises relative to the carbureted bikes that I have been used to - other than quicker throttle response. Start up is immediate, as is rideability - no hesitation during warm up. I have seen reports of quirkiness with EFI setups - on Aprilias, as well as some other makes. There are none so far on my bike. Idle is smooth. There is no surging any where in the rev range. Roll offs and roll ons are both smooth. The engine does not stumble or quit at stops. In other words, it behaves as it ought to. The engine is quite responsive - and even though I am respecting the break in restrictions, there is plenty of power below 5000 rpm to promise many smiles further up in the fun range. The engine is a 60 degree V-twin, manufactured by Rotax, and rated by Aprilia at 98 HP (at the shaft). Dyno charts that I have seen put rear wheel HP in the mid 80's. There is some vibration, but not like the buzz common to many inline fours. The Anti Vibration Double Countershaft (AVDC) system does its job well. This is my first bike to have a dry sump lubrication system, and I like it - it is cool to be able to see your oil level through the sight guage while you are riding. The transmission shares this system. The six speed transmission is quite smooth. The clutch is wet type, and hydraulically controlled. At sixty mph, engine RPM is about 3600 in sixth gear. The break in 5000 RPM limit results in 85 mph. I have not had a chance to calibrate the speedometer. The front fork is a massive 50mm unit, the largest on a production street bike that I am aware of, but non adjustable. So far, the factory settings seem fine for me. The same for the rear shock, which is adjustable in preload and rebound damping. Since this is meant to be a dual purpose bike, it sits higher than others that I have owned, and has significantly more suspension travel. The system does its job well, giving a plush and well controlled ride. It is not harsh in any conditions that I have encountered, and it would take a heck of a bump to bottom this suspension out. Handling seems light and quick, and the bike holds a nice line in the turns. The rigid, aluminum frame and swing arm surely contribute to this feeling of sure-footedness. The wheels are spoke type - of a patented design that allows the use of radial tires. They are unique in that the wires pierce the rim in a flange that runs the circumference of the wheel. It is one of the first things that I noticed when I saw the bike - and to me they are quite attractive. From what I have read, the Metzeler Tourance tires are of high quality, and well regarded. The brakes are Brembos. There are two discs at the front, with two pot calipers, and one at the rear, with a single pot caliper. They are the strongest that I have ever used - very confidence-inspiring. I purchased this bike as an all rounder. I ride to the mountains of North Carolina each fall. To do this, I wanted a bike that is able to do a 600 mile day in comfort, and still be fun in the twisties. I also wanted a bike that can be reasonably competent on the gravel and dirt roads that I have had to avoid in the past. I think that I have found it in the Caponord. First impressions...? First rate!
|About the reviewer:|
|Location||Pensacola, Florida, United States|
Submitted: July, 2002