The Shiver 750 is Aprilia’s solution for motorcyclists seeking a versatile street bike for new and experienced riders alike. It returns for the 2011 model year with a few upgrades to allow it to better keep pace with the recently upgraded Monster. Find out all the details in the 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 First Look.
Compared to the Monster, the Shiver is a bigger motorcycle. Not only does it weigh 65 pounds more, it feels larger dimensionally too. The seat itself is a bit taller than the Monster’s (31.5 vs. 31.9 inches) but not so much that it would make it difficult for shorter riders to be comfortable. The handlebar is positioned higher and just a hair closer to the rider which fosters a natural position on the road. While the red-backlit instrument cluster isn’t as sleek looking as the Ducati’s it too is simple to read as well as operate through its various functions via a handlebar mounted button.
The width of the bike is much broader than the Ducati. Part of the reason for its added girth is the larger 4.2-gallon fuel tank compared to the 3.8-gallon tank employed on the Monster. This also makes it feel more top heavy than the lightweight Duc. However the higher capacity equates to a longer range of 151 miles which is 18 miles farther based on our 36 MPG (one point higher than the Monster) average.
(Center) The 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 is powered by a 750cc liquid-cooled engine with 4-valve cylinder heads. (Below) The 2011 Aprilia Shiver has twin exhaust pipes that exit under the seat.
Push the starter button and the engine settles right into idle. Compared to the 796’s air-cooled Twin the Shiver’s liquid-cooled 750cc V-Twin has a different pitch to it. The exhaust note sounds more raspy and high-pitched as compared to the Monster’s low-bass rumble. However, it’s actually a hair quieter only registering at 78 dB which is four points lower than the Ducati. But what the sound measuring equipment can’t pick up is the cool high-tech sounding mechanical whirl that emits from the valvetrain, which is spun by a combination of gear and chain drive.
Twist the throttle and the Aprilia’s smaller-capacity engine doesn’t deliver as much immediate torque as the Monster. Looking at the dyno chart proves that the Shiver doesn’t crank out as much twist force until the power curves meet up briefly around 4500 revs before the Monster then continues to pump out more torque. The Shiver eventually arrives at its peak number at 46.54 lb-ft at 7400 revs. In terms of horsepower the curves are similar until 5500 rpm. After that the Monster continues to pump out a few extra horses until the Shiver eventually catches up at 9300 rpm with a peak figure of 76.63 which is just 0.36 horsepower off the Monster.
While the Shiver doesn’t crank out quite as much power as the Monster, the way it makes power is much smoother feeling. The Aprilia doesn’t exhibit any of the lean-fueling condition at low rpm and the engine generally runs better at all rpm. Part of the reason why it feels superior is Aprilia’s use of an electronic ride-by-wire engine management system that removes the physical connection between the throttle bodies and the throttle. It also adds the ability to adjust the way the engine makes power with its rider-selectable engine settings. By holding down the starter button the rider can select one of three power modes (Sport, Tour and Rain). We preferred the Sport mode as it maximized the feel of engine power. We also noticed that the engine vibrates far less than the Ducati. Factor this in along with its superior ergonomics and the Aprilia is a more comfortable bike to rack up the miles on.
Despite being slightly down on power not to mention being over 15% heavier than the Duc, the Shiver actually ran the quarter-mile quicker in a time of 12.67 seconds at a trap speed of 106.3 mph. One reason why the heavier Aprilia was able to run a faster time is its lower final drive gearing not to mention added feel and response from the hydraulic clutch which makes it easier to launch. The six-speed transmission also offered a higher level of performance than the Ducati’s. Neutral was always easy to find and we encountered far less mis-shifts than the Duc. It also felt much “tighter” and had less slop at the shift lever.
(Above) The Shiver 750 delivers a good balance between sport and comfort on the street. (Center) The suspension damping is on the soft side and becomes apparent during aggressive riding.
In spite of its extra heft the Shiver is almost as agile as the Monster. It steers into a turn with minimal effort but once turned it doesn’t feel quite as surefooted as the Duc. This is because it has the combination of extra pounds along with its soft damping settings in the suspension which make the chassis more prone to wallowing even at a medium street pace. The Shiver also feels like it carries its weight higher in the chassis which also hurts its handling slightly. Once turned however the Shiver’s chassis performs similarly to the Ducati and will surprise you with its cornering abilities. Overall ride quality was also on par with the Ducati.
Like the Ducati, the Shiver employs a similar braking setup only without the benefit of ABS (anti-lock brakes). A pair of radial-mount four-piston calipers bites down on 320mm rotors with stopping force delivered through stainless steel brake lines. The Aprilia’s setup feels on par with the Ducati. Initial brake bite is mild and braking force ramps up slightly as you pull back on the lever, offering a good balance of non-intimidating stopping power.
Overall performance of these bikes is close. But what really made the Aprilia stand out from the Ducati was how much better everything worked. From the feel and well-calibrated fuel settings of the engine and the more logical and accommodating ergonomics, the Shiver is a superior motorcycle. Factor in that its reasonable $8999 price tag that is nearly a Grand cheaper than the Ducati and you simply can’t deny that the Shiver 750 is the bike to have if you’re seeking an affordable Italian Twin.
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2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 Comparison Review