Aprilia Shiver 750 | First Ride

A Tamer Tuono

By Eric Putter, Photography by Putter Power Media

When is a naked bike not naked? Ironically, the second-generation Shiver 750 is better dressed than its threadbare predecessor. Different paint and a bikini fairing are the key distinguishing factors between the latest Shiver and the original, introduced in 2008 as an entry-level sportbike and a more affordable alternative to the 1000cc Tuono. For 2011, the Shiver was refined with numerous hard-part updates and livened up with a striking graphic treatment.

Ergonomic upgrades were aimed at making the bike’s riding position a bit racier, with the handlebar moved forward and the footpegs shifted rearward. The seat is also thinner and 2 inches narrower, allowing easier movement on the bike and letting shorter riders get both boots down at a standstill. Carrying on the performance theme, the Shiver trades its 6-inch-wide rear wheel for a more appropriate 5.5-inch hoop that bends the 180mm-wide rear tire into a more responsive profile. Wave rotors, lighter tubular passenger-peg brackets and updated fuel mapping complete the technical mods.

Heading up the stylistic changes are a new headlight and minimalist fairing. Instead of the 2009 model’s drab gray frame, the latest Shiver’s steel-trellis portion now sports a layer of saucy red paint while the aluminum side plates are black. The rosso theme of the frame is artfully carried to the fuel tank’s side panels, mini-fairing and front fender.

From the saddle, the new ergonomic package feels tighter yet not uncomfortable. Aside from its firm seat, the bike would be reasonably tolerable for 300-mile days. The bikini fairing and short windscreen don’t offer much protection, but do help keep some windblast at bay.

Carried over from the previous version is a fun, revvy, 90-degree V-twin manufactured by parent company Piaggio (unlike the Tuono’s Rotax-made mill). Also returning to the party are the engine’s three power modes: Sport, Touring and Rain, which can be selected at rest or on the go, as long as the throttle is closed. Despite recent EFI adjustments, the Shiver still hunts and pecks for happy fueling in Sport mode. In Touring mode the behavior is less of a problem but still evident. More work is needed to smooth things out. Engine vibration below 5000 rpm could also be mellowed.

The Shiver’s two-piece frame is held up by a non-adjustable fork and link-less shock with preload and rebound adjustability. The letdown here is they’re both undersprung and overdamped, making for a jarring ride over irregular pavement. Even so, the bike steers well and feels stable. Complementing the capable chassis is a peppy engine and powerful radial-mount front brake calipers that offer strong, smooth and progressive deceleration.

All in all, the 2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 is a thoroughly competent, entry-level naked bike that’s long on fun and short on flaws. Even if it isn’t really naked.

Tech Spec

Price $9499
Engine type l-c 90-deg. V-twin
Valve train DOHC, 8v
Displacement 750cc
Transmission 92.0 x 56.4mm
Claimed horsepower 95 bhp @ 9000 rpm
Claimed torque 60 lb.-ft. @ 7000 rpm
Frame Tubular-steel trellis with aluminum swingarm
Front suspension Showa 43mm inverted fork
Rear suspension Sachs shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping
Front brake Dual four-piston calipers, 320mm discs
Rear brake Single-piston caliper, 245mm disc
Front tire 120/70ZR-17 Continental ContiSport Attack
Rear tire 180/55ZR-17 Continental ContiSport Attack
Seat height 31.5 in.
Wheelbase 56.7 in.
Fuel capacity 4.2 gal.
Claimed curb weight 442 lbs.
Contact www.apriliausa.com
Verdict 4.5 stars out of 5.

Ducati’s Monster better check its mirrors!

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