Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 : First Ride
Winter season is a great time to get on a motorcycle and head for a ride. The temperatures are bearable, there is no sign of rain and the soft sunlight makes for very pleasant scenery all around you. And it doesn’t get any better than the editor handing you keys to the Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 – a big, bad 1200cc power-packed supermotard machine that has come straight from the Italian shores. These are the days that you look up in the sky, pass a soft smile while repeating ‘Thank You’ inside your head. It’s the calm before the storm. A storm encompassing psychosis spawning from 130 horses let loose to play on a snaking road that goes disappearing into the vast horizon.
Backing it is a grunty 1,197cc 90-degree liquid-cooled Vee-twin motor that makes an empowering sound to wake up the dead as the needle on the tachometre whizzes past the 8,000rpm mark. It was a surreal experience each time I whacked opened the throttle on the Dorsoduro 1200 a bit recklessly and felt the acceleration jolt me hard into the saddle all the while struggling to grab the handlebars. Although, there weren’t many straights on the chosen twisty road where I could keep the throttle pinned to stop to find out how longer I could play stupid. And thank god for that.
While most supermotards that I have ridden before have been lightweight and somewhat easy to get used to in rather short period of time, the Dorsoduro 1200 scared the wits out of me for most part of my first spin astride it within the city. It was only later that I straddled it on the open country roads and onto the curvy b-roads outside of the city limits is when I got a bit used to its hooligan character and the rather lanky stance of the 1200. With a saddle height of 870mm, the Dorsoduro 1200 is not exactly comfortable for stubby riders but more suited to 6-foot tall physiques.
So my 5’5-inch frame had a tough time getting accustomed to the tall riding position and I tip-toed most part of my ride in the stop and go traffic conditions within the city and through the countless traffic lights. But once out of the city to play on the winding roads, the Dorsoduro’s agility and precision trumped its vulgar display of horsepower. Utterly well-mannered and sure-footed, the Dorsoduro 1200 held the line with precision attacking corners one after another at blitzkrieg speeds without letting out a single hiccup.