Aprilia, the Italian motorcycle and scooter maker, started out making small-displacement bikes before producing the 998cc RSV Mille in 1998. In 2007 it introduced the SL 750 Shiver, a naked sport bike, which the company continued to produce through 2012. The 2009 model was a carryover of the original 2007 design. The company positioned it as middleweight bike that would be equally adept at speeding along twisting canyon roads or negotiating city streets on the daily commute.
The engine—a 749.9cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke V-twin set at a 90-degree angle, with dual overhead cams and electronic fuel injection—is paired with a six-speed transmission with overdrive and a chain final drive. Aprilia used Rotax engines, made by the Austrian manufacturer, in many of its 2009 machines, but the V-twin in the Shiver was designed and built in-house. The standard front suspension is an inverted fork with 4.7 inches of travel, and the rear is a twin-sided swing arm with an adjustable spring preload shock and rebound damping. The radial brakes—a 12.6-inch dual hydraulic disc in front and an 8.7-inch disc in back—offer plenty of stopping power; in fact, some riders warn that the brakes require careful modulation.
Aprilia introduced a new technology with this bike, a triple-mapping feature that lets riders choose one of three power modes. Using the ignition switch, riders can toggle from rain mode (which cuts down on the bike’s power) to sport (making the throttle extremely sensitive) to touring (for smooth riding). The results please some riders and annoy others. It does not have standard steering damping, and because its handling is so responsive, some riders may wish to install it.
The bike came with no accessories, so anyone planning to use it for touring would need to find an aftermarket alternative. On the other hand, if a rider wants a bike that will go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds, the Shiver will do that for him or her.
The instrument panel features a clock, analog tachometer, digital speedometer, odometer, temperature gauge, fuel reserve, oil pressure, engine temperature warning light, and even a digital ambient temperature readout.
The SL 750 Shiver is designed by Italians, so it has a distinctive style, with the exhaust cans tucked up under the tail. That exhaust system was developed by Alfa Romeo, and like the sports car, the motorcycle has a throaty thrum. In 2009, the bike was offered in three colors: blue, black, and orange.