Aprilia Caponord Rally 1200


Make Model.

Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally




Four stroke, longitudinal 90°V twin, DOHC with mixed gear/chain timing system, 4 valves per cylinder Twin Spark


1197 cc / 73.0 cu in
Bore x Stroke 106 x 67.8 mm
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio 12.0 ± 0.5 : 1
Lubrication Wet sump
Exhaust 2 into 1 exhaust system in 100% stainless steel with three-way catalytic converter and lambda probe


Integrated engine management system. Injection with triple map Ride by Wire throttle management: Sport (S), Touring (T), Rain (R)


Digital electronic, integrated with the injection, two spark plugs per cylinder  
Alternator 690 W/6000 rpm
Starting Electric
Max Power 125 hp / 91.9 kW @ 8500 rpm

Max Torque

114 Nm / 11.6 kgf-m / 84.6 lb/ft @ 6500 rpm
Clutch Multiple discs in oil bath, hydraulically operated


6 Speed 
Final Drive Chain.
Drive Ratio  17/42
Gear Ratio 1st 14:36 / 2nd 17/:32 / 3rd 20:30 / 4th 22:28 / 5th 23:26 / 6th 24:25
Frame Modular tubular steel frame fastened to aluminum side plates by high strength bolts. Removable steel rear

Front Suspension

Sachs Ø43 mm upside-down front fork with fully adjustable compression and rebound damping and spring preload.
Front Wheel Travel 167 mm / 6.5 in

Rear Suspension

Sachs hydraulic shock absorber with adjustable rebound and preload.
Rear Wheel Travel 150 mm / 5.9 in

Front Brakes

2x Ø320 mm stainless steel floating discs. Brembo four-piston radial callipers. Metal braided brake hoses.

Rear Brakes

Single Ø240 mm stainless steel disc. Single piston Brembo caliper. Metal braided brake hose. Continental two channel ABS system and Aprilia Traction Control (ATC).
Wheels Lightweight aluminium alloy with laced wire spokes

Front Tyre

120/70 -R19

Rear Tyre

170/60 -R17
Rake 26.1°
Trail 125 mm / 4.9 in
Dimensions Length  2245 mm / 88.3 in
Height  1440 mm / 56.6 in
Wheelbase 1564.6 mm  /  61.6 in
Seat height 840 mm / 33.0  in

Dry Weight

214 kg / 471.7 lbs

228kg / 502 lbs Travel Pack

Fuel Capacity 

24 Liters / 6.34 US gal
Fuel Reserve 5 Litres / 1.3 US gal
Review Cycle World



Aprilia introduces a new version of the super technological Caponord 1200 that breaks down the confines of paved roads to become even more transversal and suitable for any trip

Introducing the new Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally: more eclectic, more protective, more comfortable, super equipped. The high performance of the twin-cylinder is a perfect match for the exceptional chassis features typical of all Aprilia bikes as well as the technological contents such as ADD, the semi-active suspension system that automatically adapts calibration based on road surface and riding style.

After introducing the Caponord 1200, the perfect crossover for any type of road use, at the top of its category for technical content and chassis quality, Aprilia introduces a version capable of pushing beyond the confines of paved roads, where travel turns into adventure. Introducing the Caponord 1200 Rally, a splendid representative of the global bike, suited for fun and long range touring and not only on asphalt, as well as daily mobility, of course.

The concept of a single bike for any type of road broadens. The new spoked wheels - with 19 inches on the front - that the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally mounts, shod with versatile tyres suited for any terrain, make any destination reachable, no matter what type of road surface you need to tackle. Making the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally even more versatile is the sophisticated ADD semi-active suspension system (covered by four patents), capable of detecting the rider's riding style, the amount of cargo loaded and the road surface conditions to adapt the set up automatically and in real time. This is an exclusive patented by Aprilia and based on its extensive experience in the field of electronic solutions that the brand from Noale has gained by winning top level competitions like the Superbike championship where Aprilia has been crowned world champion five times in four years. The electronic control package for safety and riding comfort that comes standard on the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally is completed by traction control adjustable to 3 levels (that can also be disabled), Ride-by-wire multimap, cruise control and ABS (which can also be disabled).

The touring and adventure vocation of the new Aprilia flagship is emphasised by the spacious and rugged hard panniers that allow even a passenger to travel without making any sacrifices. The Rally is the "premium" version of the Caponord 1200 and it relies on standard equipment that is unparalleled in its segment, including the handguards, the oversized, height adjustable windshield, the ample side guards and the supplementary LED lights which complement the already powerful triple front headlight typical of the Aprilia style.

The 1197 twin-cylinder engine is at the top of its class for quality and full power output even at low rpms, the amount of torque output throughout the entire range of use and for its easily modified performance thanks to the triple mapping that the sophisticated electronic management allows, including (as with all new generation Aprilias) the electronic Ride-by-wire accelerator. More comfort, more protection and more riding pleasure are characteristics that imply uninterrupted travel, made possible by the excellent capacity of the 24 litre fuel tank, nestled in a sleek and easy to manage body, partially due to the overall weight of the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally, one of the lightest in its category.

The graphics are completely new, with brand new paintwork on the engine and frame that match three colour schemes for the superstructure: Giallo (Yellow) Dune, Verde (Green) Army and Grigio (Grey) Safari, all matte, with a wide variety of available accessories specifically designed and developed for this model - including the innovative AMP multimedia platform - that let you make your new Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally even more personal and complete.

The standard equipment on the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally truly includes everything:
" electronic Ride-by-wire accelerator with triple maps (Sport, Touring and Rain) that can be selected by the rider
" Two-channel ABS (can be disabled)
" ATC (Aprilia Traction Control) adjustable to three levels (can be switched off)
" ADD (Aprilia Dynamic Damping), a system capable of "reading" the road, recognising the rider's riding style and automatically adjusting the suspension set up
" ACC (Aprilia Cruise Control)
" pair of panniers
" adjustable oversized windshield
" hand guards
" side guards
" pair of supplementary LED lights
" spoked wheels with 120/70R19 (frt) and 170/60R17 (rear) tyres


In the European market, upright street-legal motorcycles with an off-road look are commonly called street-enduros. Although we at Cycle World typically don’t use that term, it does make some sense. It categorizes this increasingly popular type of motorcycle as a streetbike first, then as a machine that can also be ridden in the dirt, albeit sometimes only minimally. It’s also a term that applies perfectly to the current Aprilia Caponord, which made its debut in 2013 with upright ergonomics and an ADV look but street-friendly 17-in. cast wheels front and rear.

This June, though, the new 2015 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally arrives in the US. It’s the ADV Caponord. As such, it’s fitted with tubeless wire-spoked wheels (17-in. rear, 19-in. front, in widths suitable for dirt-oriented tires) and abundant standard adventure hardware that includes tubular crash guards, large 33-liter side cases, an engine skid plate, auxiliary LED lights, and a taller manually adjustable windscreen. Aprilia has also fine-tuned the traction control and ABS to work more effectively in the dirt.

I recently rode this new Caponord 1200 Rally at the bike’s global press introduction, on Sardinia. There, I spent the better part of day riding this $15,695 ADV machine, mostly on the island’s grippy tarmac but also on a couple of easy dirt sections.

Quick take: I’m impressed. The Caponord 1200 Rally is fun, totally at home on Sardinia’s twisting tarmac. The chassis is outstanding (as we already know from Editor-in-Chief Mark Hoyer’s test of the Aprilia Caponord 1200 ABS Travel Pack), and the 1,197cc four-cam 90-degree V-twin puts out plenty of power, aided by a new Helmholtz resonator in the exhaust that is said to improve the low-end and midrange power of this liquid-cooled twin-spark powerplant without altering the peak values.

Could I feel this change while riding the bike? Not really. The 1200 Rally just felt plenty strong, able to pull hard without protest from low rpm and occasionally even loft its front wheel when I was hard on the throttle and upshifting with the precise six-speed gearbox.

Because of the larger new front wheel, Aprilia engineers had to alter the front geometry to keep the handling dynamics as close as possible to those of the standard Caponord. They’ve succeeded; the 1200 Rally feels just as sporty as a standard Caponord, bending into corners with a natural ease and good clearance while staying composed under power on the way out. Grip from the stock Metzeler Tourance Next tires—size 120/70-19 front, 170/60-17 rear—is excellent. In actual numbers, Aprilia, via changing the offset of the triple clamps, has increased steering rake to 27.4 degrees (from 26.1) and shortened trail to 4.6 inches (from 4.9). And all it takes is a quick look at the bottom of the inverted fork to see how Aprilia has moved the axle forward a small bit and reduced trail.

2015 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally cornering action

As on the standard Caponord, the new 1200 Rally has a three-mode ride-by-wire throttle, with Touring, Sport, and Rain settings, the last cutting engine output to 100 horsepower (from a claimed 125) for added safety in wet conditions. I spent most of the day in Touring because Sport felt too sensitive, too abrupt, for the smooth type of touring riding I enjoy.

Similarly, the 1200 Rally’s traction control has three selectable levels, each with an increasing degree of intervention. Map 1, though, has been changed to help the Rally in the dirt. In that mode, a new double threshold of intervention allows a certain amount of wheelspin for added control on terra firma. As with the ABS (a two-channel system from Continental also tuned to work more effectively in the dirt), the traction control can be completely shut off by the rider.

Besides the Caponord Rally’s excellent chassis and stout motor, what impressed me most about the bike is its electronically controlled suspension, a “set and forget” system that features automatic damping control and four electronically adjustable rear preload settings. As recommended by Aprilia, I rode with the preload in the full automatic mode, letting the bike handle all the adjustments, and it did so with aplomb. As on the standard Caponord, a pressure sensor on the top of the left fork tube and a potentiometer on the swingarm calculate the speed of the suspension stroke front and rear, then call for constant stream of adjustments that provide proper damping for all occasions. These adjustments are completely transparent, evident only in the remarkable composure of the bike as it glides through dips at intersections or is flicked through your favorite left/right chicane on the way to work. Interestingly, Aprilia’s engineers say the ADD (Aprilia Dynamic Damping) didn’t need to be tweaked in any way for the Caponord 1200 Rally, which they cite as further proof of the system’s effectiveness.

2015 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally front section close-up

On the winding coastal and mountain roads, the 1200 Rally felt great, aided by its wide handlebar and an upright and roomy riding position that placed my thighs right below the slanted ridge in the Caponord’s generous 6.3-gallon fuel tank. The well-padded seat was comfortable and grippy, and the big new windscreen, in its raised position, directed air up and over my Arai XD4 helmet, never lifting the bill even at highway speeds.

As stated, the chassis movements of this latest Aprilia were well controlled, and there was very little dive when braking hard for corners. And while the 1200 Rally is not exactly a featherweight, its claimed dry weight of 525 lb. is significantly lighter than that of most traditional touring machines. For the record, the new Rally is 54 lb. heavier than a standard Caponord and 22 lb. up on the Travel Pack model.

And weight, as well know, is your enemy in the dirt. On the short (maybe five miles) stretch of hard-packed dirt that we tried on Sardinia, the Rally felt fine. I could stand on the footpegs as needed, but as a taller rider I’d remove the thick rubber insulators from the pegs so I could reach the handlebar more easily while standing.

riding the 2015 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally on dirt roads

So, how will the Caponord 1200 Rally compare with, say, the BMW R1200GS Adventure or KTM 1190 Adventure R on the dirt? Tough to say. Although I suspect the considerably more expensive BMW and KTM will have an edge off road, it should be noted that the Aprilia is 57 lb. lighter than the R1200GS and weighs about the same as the 1190 Adventure R.

A comparison test is in order, for sure. For one thing, we’d like to see if the Caponord 1200 Rally’s semi-active Sachs suspension works well enough with the dirt-appropriate wheels and other hardware to propel this latest Aprilia out of the “street-enduro” ranks and into the true ADV category.

Also, we’d be remiss not to mention that the 2015 Caponord 1200 Rally has a few other arrows in its quiver. The standard hard bags are roomy and durable, even though their plastic construction is disguised by protective aluminum panels. And in addition to available off-road footpegs, there’s an accessory top case that will hold two full-face helmets. Last, the big Italian is offered with a trick interface that links your iPhone or Android device with the bike and transforms your phone into a virtual dashboard for the bike. Besides map data, your phone can display engine power output, bike lean angle, all kinds of fun data, even how far you are from the famous North Cape in Norway that gave the bike its name.

It’s just fun little way for Aprilia to remind us that the new Caponord 1200 Rally is a long-distance adventure-tourer that can cover vast distances in good comfort. And with its sweet chassis, excellent power, and seamless electronics, the big Italian will shine in that duty. It will also take you down a dirt path, for example, to reach a lookout point for that stunningly beautiful glacial blue lake in the Canadian Rockies. But if you’re planning a multi-day trek on the dirt of Death Valley or Baja California, we’ll just have to wait and see how this new Caponord 1200 Rally performs with a set of DOT knobbies (Continental TKC80s or Kenda Big Blocks, for example) before we can answer that one. We’ll get back to you.

Source Cycle World