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2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 Review


by Pascal Bastien ,

A Roman catapult
The 2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 will catapult you safely and effortlessly beyond legal speeds while the front wheel leaves the ground with each of the first four gears. The extremely powerful brakes feel like you’re throwing an anchor into the pavement, however, you still have to watch your weight transfers if you hope to execute linear stops.

On rough stretches, the massive power will test the limits of the rear tire's grip. You must also excel in the art of drifting when attacking a twisty ribbon of asphalt at high velocity. On the plus side, the surprising agility of this large-displacement motorcycle and the excellent calibration of its suspension (designed for sporty riding on bad pavement) will easily propel you past other sport bikes, especially if there's any gravel or loose dirt in corners.

When leaning into said corners, the fork and shock combine to deliver a nice planted feel, keeping the Dorsoduro 1200 very stable even if you accelerate early upon your exit. What's more, the effective mass centralization and progressive suspension improve handling and responsiveness to meet rider inputs.

Unsuspected comfort
Planning a short trip is not as crazy as it sounds. At 110 km/h on the highway, the small windscreen reduces turbulence to acceptable levels, the suspension admirably soaks up bumps and cracks, and the friendly riding position lets you marvel at the scenery.

All in all, the 2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 is sure to please as a big-boy toy for weekday commuters and weekend warriors thanks to ultra-aggressive looks, flawless fit and finish, tremendous V-twin power, and great chassis balance.

Ultra-powerful engine
Great suspension for the road
Surprising comfort
A treat for seasoned riders

Not suitable for everyone
Very little protection against the elements

2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200
(Photo: Pascal Bastien/

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