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2008 Aprilia Shiver 750 First Ride

Friday, June 8, 2007
Europeans have eaten up mid-sized streetfighters like the Honda Hornet and Kawasaki Z750. Aprilia hopes to capitalize on this trend with the new Shiver 750.
Europeans have eaten up mid-sized streetfighters like the Honda Hornet and Kawasaki Z750. Aprilia hopes to capitalize on this trend with the new Shiver 750.
For those in the market for a funky middleweight roadster, the choice has never been so good. Gone is the stuffy, slightly cheap image that used to go with these naked and half-naked streetbikes - because now the Z750s, Fazers and Hornet 600s of this world, as tested last week in MCN, are brimming with performance and style to match their practicality and reliability. And if you want to be a bit different from the Japanese crowd, there's always the brilliant little air-cooled 992cc V-Twin Monster S2R 1000 to tickle your taste buds.

But things are about to change because Aprilia has joined the party with its new V-Twin 750cc Shiver. This is the first Aprilia to be designed from a clean sheet of paper since cash-rich Piaggio have been in charge. It's the first of many new models that will eventually plug the massive gap in Aprilia's range between their 125cc and 1000cc bikes, which has just the single-cylinder Pegaso rattling around in it at the moment.

In typical Aprilia style the Shiver looks a million dollars in the flesh, has technical innovations like a 'ride-by-wire' throttle system (more about that later), sounds great and packs a mean punch, too. But for the first time this really is an Aprilia for the masses, it's devilishly simple and un-intimidating to ride (so it's definitely not a Tuono, then) and it's cheap, too. When it hits the showrooms in June it's going to cost less than six-grand - around the £5800 or £5900 region, although no official prices have yet been released. (No word yet on the Shiver's U.S. release date or asking price, but at the current exchange rate the British MSRP translates in $11,500).

Full production starts very soon, but Aprilia were so keen that we ride what is likely to be the most popular Aprilia motorcycle ever, they invited us to Italy to try out the only two pre-production Shivers in existence. In fact they took us to Alfa Romeo's secret test facility buried among the rice fields near Milan and onto a closed section of Armco-lined, one-way 'road' to put Aprilia's newest creation to the test.

Our friends describe the Aprilia Shiver as  simple and stress-free to ride  but the 750 Twin can get up and go.
Our friends describe the Aprilia Shiver as "simple and stress-free to ride" but the 750 Twin can get up and go.
The Shiver has a lot to live up to. In recent times the quality and reliability of Aprilia's motorcycles has gone through the roof. Just look at the Swiss-watch precision in which the little two-stroke RS125 is made; the rabid, foaming at the mouth performance oozing from the Tuono, and the handling brilliance that blesses the RSV superbike.

Thankfully the Shiver doesn't disappoint. Normally on an Aprilia it's the sheer speed and lunacy of the thing that impresses, but on the Shiver it's the calm, comfortable controlled way in which it goes about its business. Climb aboard and you're immediately hit with a sense of well-built solidity. The sculptured plastic tank cover is physically very big, the bars high and wide and the chunky seat is lovely and plush.

With its rubber-topped pegs, a comfortable, natural riding position, compliant suspension and the V-Twin motor gently burbling beneath you, the Shiver is simple and stress-free to ride. Its relaxed demeanor has a flavor of the new breed of Moto Guzzi's laid-back roadsters, like the Breva - which shouldn't come as much of a surprise since Guzzi and Aprilia are both the same company now, controlled by Piaggio. But the most impressive thing about the Shiver's low-speed road manners is the beautifully smooth throttle control - or the 'ride-by-wire' system to be precise. Just like Rossi's factory M1 or Bayliss's works 999 there's no physical link between your right wrist and the butterflies inside the fuel-injection throttle bodies. From the twistgrip there's a set of normal steel throttle cables, which disappear into a black box . From there it's up to the bike's ECU to decide how far to electronically open the throttle butterflies. Each of the two V-Twin throttle bodies is operated separately for optimum performance, too.

Controlling the power delivery from the Aprilia Shiver s V-Twin motor in a new  ride-by-wire  fuel injection system.
Controlling the power delivery from the Aprilia Shiver's V-Twin motor in a new 'ride-by-wire' fuel injection system.
The advantages of this system are huge. It improves the throttle response, provides crisper acceleration, eliminates some engine braking, helps get the bike through tough noise and pollution emission controls and lets the Aprilia engineers 'tune' the engine in any way they want. If they wanted to, they could make this engine feel like a Harley pitting all of its grunt at low revs or a racebike shoving the power up at high revs or something in between, which is about where the Shiver is. Even cruise control can be controlled by ride-by-wire in the future.

The system was perfected by Aprilia electronics engineer, Andrea Ricci, who knows a thing or two about the black art of electronic rider aids having worked with Ducati's World and AMA Superbike effort for four years. Aprilia were at pains to tell us that the ride-by-wire system still had to be polished some more for the full production bikes, but to be honest the power delivery and throttle response is so good, it's already better than the best from Japan.

So at town speeds the Aprilia is smooth, comfortable and easy to control. The V-twin motor is docile at low revs and there's little sense of the Shiver's 189-kg (417-lb) weight once rolling; it's nimble and agile, a bit like a supermoto. There's plenty of legroom for taller riders but the seat is low enough to appeal to shorties too.

But the Shiver wouldn't be an Aprilia if it didn't have a cheeky side, and winding up the wick will reward with wheelies in the first two gears, while the engine note turns from burble to full-on roar the further you and the bike's computer jam open the throttle butterflies.

The Aprilia Shiver 750 is an agile ride  with its 417-lb weight not holding back its handling capabilities.
The Aprilia Shiver 750 is an agile ride, with its 417-lb weight not holding back its handling capabilities.
The real meat in the power is between 6000 rpm and 9000 rpm, although the 95 hp, 90-degree V-Twin will rev on to 10,000 rpm before a very soft rev-limiter gently chimes in, which is another little trick operated by the ride-by-wire system. Up in the higher gears (there's an LCD gear position indicator, which really should come standard on all bikes) the force of acceleration disappears quite quickly, although it's always hard to really judge with a twin-cylinder machine as they never feel as fast as a screaming four.

On an A to B run through some country lanes I'm pretty sure the Shiver would keep with the slightly more powerful (by 5 hp) Honda Hornet, thanks to its usable power delivery and predictable and agile handling - not to mention superb radial Brembo brakes, but in a straight-line dash the revvier Honda might have the legs - there's not going to be much in it though.

So will the Shiver be the middleweight to go for? Well, it's well-built, stylish, comfy, roomy, easy to ride, fun and practical. It's going to cost about the same as the Monster S2R1000, which as good as it is, is still a 15-year-old design and is starting to feel its age - so it should have the Ducati licked.

Whether it'll upstage its Japanese rivals is another question. At less than six-grand you've never been able to get so much fresh, trendy Aprilia for you money. Aprilia did have problems with parts supply last year, but that was more to do with the fact they shifted their parts factory to a different location right in the middle of the summer busy period than anything else. Aprilia's are as bullet-proof as anything from Japan and are as well built as a Honda.

MCN predicts the new Shiver will be more than a match for its fellow Italian rival the Ducati S2R  but its popular Japanese competitors may be a different story.
MCN predicts the new Shiver will be more than a match for its fellow Italian rival the Ducati S2R, but its popular Japanese competitors may be a different story.
Some will still take the 'conventional' route and stay with their Hornets/Fazers and Z750s, but if you want to stand out from the crowd the Shiver could just be the one.

Box out: Interview with engineers

It's not often you meet all the people who made a bike all at the same time, but we were lucky enough to meet the entire Shiver crew. Here's what Mariano Fioravenzo (Chief Engineer, Motorcycles), Pieotro Soati (Chief Engineer, Shiver), Andrea Ricci (Chief Engineer, Electronics), Alberto Cappella (Designer), Marcello Fiaccavento (Engine Development) and Francesco Polimeni (Marketing) all had to say:

"When we develop our plans we always look at what opportunities there are in the marketplace. This project is new for Aprilia because we got the chance to enter a segment that is the biggest in Europe. The Shiver has helped us let people know that Aprilia don't just make race track bikes. We've got the chance with this new engine to have the chance to keep the young customers we have from scooters and 125cc, and keep them in our family.

"The design is 100% an Aprilia. It's not a Tuono of course; it's another kind of bike. It is something very different although there are lots of sporting references in the bike to satisfy our customers. We think this is right answer for what people expect from Aprilia. We think the bike will be bough by young guys between 35 and 45 years old who appreciate Aprilia and its technology like the ride-by-wire innovation, the engine and the chassis.
Aprilia produces everything from scooters to superbikes  but will the mid-sized Shiver 750 be a hit for Italian marque
Aprilia produces everything from scooters to superbikes, but will the mid-sized Shiver 750 be a hit for the Italian marque?

"It's difficult to say why we called it the Shiver. It's like why do you call your child it's name, you just feel it, that's the point.

"The ride-by-wire is the biggest improvement with this bike. It's a system derived from the car world, so it's tried and tested. We've had to develop it to suit the demands of a bike as it's exposed to the weather, there's extra vibration and less space. For bikes it's derived from racing but there are also lots of advantages for this type of everyday bike too, especially for emissions.

"We developed the system on the track for the safety of our test riders, but the rest of the bike, like suspension, engine and handling was done on the road using a normal throttle system.

"The final design of the Shiver was signed off in January 2006 and we have been developing the bike since then."

Let us know what you think about the Aprilia Shiver 750 here in the MCUSA Forum. Click Here

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Kevin -Can not wait till the 1100 comes out...  August 24, 2010 07:26 PM
Man, this bike is getting some great reviews. For some time now, I keep going back and forth between the Duc and the Shiver. I just can not make up my mind. This was actually a good thing because there are now multiple rumors about a Shiver 1200. Now this is the bike I will wait for and most likely purchase - sorry Duc :(
ui -teño unha!!!!!!!!!  July 30, 2010 05:02 AM
TJL -The Skinny on the Shiver  April 9, 2010 12:54 AM
I have owned a 2009 Shiver now for 6 months. I normally ride a couple of Benellis, and have a Ducati as well. The shiver feels close to as powerful as the 1100 Ducati, and is much smoother below 4K RPM. The motor is very powerful above 6K. The frame feels stiffer and more substantial than the Duc. The mileage is typical for an Italian bike....terrible. The bike looks great, and always gets a lot of attention. The fit and finish are very good, and better than the Duc. While the Benelli eats it up in every category, it is still a superb bike and at half the price of a Benelli. Where this bike falls down is in the suspension department. It needs an adjustable stiffer fork, and a stiffer rear shock. With that, it would be so easy to tune the ride to make the bike superb. As it is now, you can't find alternative suspension options, and thus, you will never get the most out of the bike. I also wish the fork angle was a bit steeper for a more neutral feel. The seat is not bad, but on my 2009 is a little wide. They have improved that for 2010. The quality of the components and the impeccable design make Japanese bikes look like a cheap bicycle. So far the bike has performed flawlessly with no problems, leaks, or issues.
tony the pony -buy one now  March 14, 2010 01:30 AM
Having owned everything from an nc30 to a ktm625 this is now the complete all rounder good for distance and great for the blast around the hills. Its quick agile and above all looks great. For the money you cant come close to getting anything better.
Matt -Shiver 750 - "Mona"  November 9, 2009 02:52 PM
I've got one & I love it!!! It's more than comfotable either on my own or with my quite tall leggy girlfriend on the back. It's awesome for quick snorts or long tours. The wind can have an effect at high speeds but show me a naked that isn't effected by this! It sounds great but there are 3rd party pipes if the tone isn't to your liking. It has truely beautiful looks, a real head turner anywhere she goes... and it is a 'she'. I call mine 'Mona'... as in 'Mona Lisa' coz she's an Italian work of art!!!
She may not be for everyone or every occasion, but there is no bike that can fit that bill. That's why there is more than one brand & one model to choose from. It's about choosing what's right for you!
All up, I couldn't be happier with my 'Mona'. If it's out on the roads or just sitting on her carpeted space in the garage, she always put's the biggest smile on my face. Best buying decision I've ever made hands down. :o)
CRO Rider -Shiver  June 3, 2009 05:24 AM
It looks like we have migets online
Mike the Canadian -Bought one... Love it!  May 25, 2009 03:45 PM
I've owned everything from GSXR's to my last bike a VFR800. After deciding I wanted a naked bike, the Aprilia was my favorite hands down. Compared to my VFR, you definately feel the road more and even with the tinted flyscreen I added, the wind is definately there. But does that take the smile off my face? Nope. Comparing this to a full fairing race bike or a sport tourer is ridiculous. Might as well compare a minivan, a Corvette, and an Audi convertable. In my current stage of life, I'll take the convertible....
Allan the Saskatchetonian -Hmmm?? Got me thinkin'.  May 6, 2009 03:22 PM
my present ride,1500 classic, is o.k. but lacks real rip. previous was an SV 1000. Liked the rip hated the riding position. This scooter sounds like a real fun way to blast away the summer!!!!!
CRO Rider -What you need?  April 29, 2009 01:37 PM
The bike is superb for that kind of money,big,strong and excelent riding machine.What you need is the biggest question,naked,touring or sport?Girls like sport,be a girl.You need a musculature to ride Shiver.
Dave -Aprilia Shiver  April 16, 2009 09:08 AM
Had mine a couple of weeks and love it! Great riding position, comfortable up to 85 mph, superb brakes, sounds fantastic, looks to die for... Ok, I sympathise with Paul the detractor but I've had a full fairing on a Ducati and hated it when I wasn't touring (95% of the time), there's no space under the seat either. All bikes are a compromise - I liked my BMW R1150R but it was too heavy, but stable in high winds. For me, right now, this is the bike for me!
brian -no puedo esperar!  March 24, 2009 07:37 AM
I'm gettin that fo sho! The bike's getting raving reviews, and more importantly, it's dead sexy!
Paul -Shiver - yep, I shiver!  February 13, 2009 11:59 PM
Its RUBBISH basically. Its only good for one thing - short fast runs with only the rider aboard. Negatives abound; No fairing = no long distance comfort. High pipes = no tailpiece to store stuff High pipes = high seat for the pillion so they up prone into the wind. High pipes = hot seat on hot days High pipes = harder to fit luggage racks etc = hard if possible at all to tour on it. Non adjustable seat (unlike some BMWs) = ok seat/peg height for a few riders/bad for most. Aprilia = bad for replacement parts. Overall = ok for commuting and a fast fang but there are probably 15 new bikes that would do such things as well or better and tour etc in more comfort etc too. My recommendation = buy something else.
Fabio Raele de Carvalho -Fabio  January 31, 2009 02:55 PM
Meu nome é Fabio Raele de Carvalho e sou do Brasil. E-mail faca@uol.com.br Essa moto é Necked mais linda que já vi e é um sonho impossível tê-la no Brasil por um séries de razões. Abraços
Dan The Canadian -Very Nice......  January 31, 2009 01:08 PM
I'm wondering if I should change my 05 VFR???????????
Young Decided -hottest bike yet  December 11, 2008 02:49 AM
The shiver is the best looking naked bike i've ever seen! I'm just only 17 but as soon as i have my bike license the shiver is the one and only for me. Test reports make me look forward to this awesome two-wheeler even more. The guys from aprilia have outdone themselves...