2009 Aprilia Dorsoduro 750 ABS from Croatia


You know you want one!


Faulty starter relay - the bike would not start. Repaired under warranty.

Squeaky rear brake when warm. Cannot be fixed.

Some rear end plastic kept falling off. Repaired under warranty.

General Comments:

This is my first motorcycle, before it I drove a 50cc Peugeot scooter :-)

I'll write up a little story about owning the bike, take it as "how a motorcycle rookie experiences something new called... motorcycles" :-)

I tried a few other bikes before this one (not owned them! I always want to try before I buy to see if that is for me). And first up was an Yamaha R1 a few years back, very fast on the straights and looks damn sexy but... That's about it :-/ I just didn't see myself having fun at speeds 200+ km/h where the bike really accelerates (it is HUGELY slow if not revved, not for me :-) ), when I cannot hear anything and feel like someone is beating me with a large trout.

Next up was a Kawasaki Z750 last year, I felt like I wanted something for touring, economical and not very expensive. It is economical, excellent looking, good value for money but the drive was... Well it was plain, boring, it did not consume me as I expected.

Then my friend came by and gave me his KTM 660 SMC for a ride... Oh my dear God... Yes it was loud (very good!!), uncomfortable, not as fast as the bikes I previously tried but it was sooooo much fun to drive it, throttle response, the huuuuuge amount of thrust through the whole rev range, sick 1 cyl sound, bicycle-a-like driveability, unorthodox non-conformist "FU-world" looks... That was the final straw, I was hooked on supermoto for life I think :-)

The Dorsoduro ABS. I cannot praise it enough, everything you can imagine this bike has. Fun, fast, safe (ABS), economical (6.5l/100km city hard driving), value for money (under 10k EUR, KTM's are more expensive but they have that little edge on the fun factor I'll go through later), it has the addictive V2 growl, sexy looks, etc. etc.

As always with me and my vehicles, there were quite some complications with the dealer until I convinced them that an Dorsoduro with an ABS option exists and is available for purchase. To sum it up, I bought the bike on my own without almost any help from the dealer, I just gave them the money :-)

The ride... FUN FUN FUN :-D Although it is pretty heavy for a supermoto bike (206kg) it still handles beautifully, maybe not as nimble as the lightweight KTM's but it's darn way faster and stable!

I tuned the suspension as best as I could and now it handles "like on rails", although it is a pretty rough drive over potholes, unlike the factory setup that was way too soft (quirky front end in corners, a lot of nose dive under braking/acceleration).

The ABS. I don't know why every bike on the road and sale today doesn't have ABS. Some people laugh at me "pff, and you call yourself a true biker" but I don't mind. They don't really mean that, they just want to sound cool :-) Anyway, ABS saved me from serious crashes a number of times, and one time from a possibly fatal fall. Just the feeling that you can brake safely on every possible surface you can imagine makes your ride so much enjoyable, safer, mind relaxing... You name it, rain, glass-a-like road surface, you just pull the brake levers, and wait for the bike to stop, if you want YOU CAN STEER IT WHILE THE ABS IS WORKING. This saved me from rear ending a car that stopped in front of me (letting go another driver form a side street), ABS kicks in, you lean and steer away from the car and guess what, my front wheels end up at the back seats of the car I just missed. Without ABS I would probably rear the car, or fall on the road and then rear end the car. ABS IS A MUST ON A MOTORCYCLE, DON'T EVER LET ANYONE TELL YOU ANYTHING AGAINST IT. IF IT IS A 2000 EUR OPTION, PAY IT NO MATTER WHAT THE PRICE!!! I cannot express the ABS importance enough!!

As with all bikes, the roads where you can unleash the beast both inside you and the bike are limited because of poor road quality, but that few kilometers you can squeeze out at personal maximum potential just renew you from all that negative aspects of owning a motorcycle, the ride is simply addictive and returns enormous amounts of smiles on your face :-D.

The bad points are almost none:

- The onboard computer average fuel consumption is ridiculously inaccurate. When the BC says 4.1l/100km the actual consumption is 4.7l/100km (0.6l difference), and get this, when it says 4.8l/100km it is actually 6.6l/100km (1.8l difference)!!

- Fuel tank is impossible to fill without fuel spilling and spraying all over the bike. It's not your usual "big hole" tank, the geometry of it is complicated and if you're not careful (slow refueling) you get a mess.

- Fuel tank is exactly 11 liters, unlike the advertised 12 liters (yes, that one liter means on a small tank!)

- I miss the outside temperature option, I've seen other Aprilias have it (Shiver) but not this one :-/

I probably forgot to mention a lot of stuff, maybe I'll write them in the replies as I remember them, but one point stands, this is a true modern day supermoto that is probably on the verge of something new in these bland days of R's, CBR's etc. etc. You know you want one!

P.S. there is a vid of my bike in action on YouTube, you'll notice it by being the longest Dorsoduro ABS video ;-)

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2009

22nd Aug 2009, 07:11

Hehe, just as I wrote the review I noticed my horn fell off :-)

The horn holder broke apart due to metal fatigue, and it left the horn hanging on its wires over the hot exhaust.

I wanted to fix it my way (and did in the end) but went to the dealer instead just to see how they will react. Other than the immediate question "It happened from an impact?" implying I'm to blame, everything went OK, they fixed it quickly and without further questions but... But I see they don't take their customers seriously.

The horn was now pointing to the left side of the bike instead of the front, on the same thin piece of sheet metal and could not be screwed on tough enough so the horn could almost freely rotate.

A lousy job indeed.

I disassembled everything, took a 40x40 L profile, drilled two holes in it, cut to 23mm width (same as standard) and assembled everything back together. Result = perfect. I don't see that breaking apart any time soon :-)