2011 Aprilia Shiver 750 | Doin' Time

Staffers' Rides

WRIST: Eric Putter
MSRP (2011): $9499
MILES: 4289
MPG: 45
MODS: Aprilia soft luggage, AF1/Evotech tail tidy kit, R&G; Racing sliders and swingarm spools

Our long-term Aprilia Shiver 750 continues to rack up miles on a wide variety of missions: city commuting, sport-touring and even a couple of track days. Venue-appropriate mods and additions have made the ride even better.

For crash-worthiness, Twisted Throttle (_www.twistedthrottle.com_) provided a full complement of lightweight R&G; Racing protection. We mounted axle sliders ($102), bar-end sliders ($43), frame sliders ($124) and swingarm spools ($42). All told, the parts added 4.2 lbs., but that's the price of protection. Unfortunately, the swingarm sliders don't provide enough clearance for the spools to be used with a rear stand, so they'll have to come off for chain maintenance and tire changes.

For the most part the Shiver has been trouble-free, but during its second day at the racetrack, with just 2300 miles on the odo-meter, its transmission got stuck in fifth and sixth gears. Adding insult to injury, limping the bike home 180 miles through traffic burned up the clutch. A thorough investigation by New Haven Powersports in Connecticut (_www.nhpowersports.com_) uncovered a broken shift-cam lever on the downshift side. Just $30.99 in parts and about $125 in labor cured it. After some Internet research, this appears to be a one-off problem. We're chalking it up to a metal casting flaw in the cam.

Intense track-day sessions taxed the Shiver’s undersprung, overdamped suspension, the bike proving spongy in corners and jarring over rough pavement. It is track-capable at a moderate pace, but we can’t wait to upgrade its suspension so it will follow the pavement better and steer sharper.

At the racetrack, the Aprilia’s stock Continental ContiSportAttack tires handled high-speed use in hot weather commendably well. Although they don’t stick as well as full-on track-day tires, these skins provided plenty of traction and are so far holding up extremely well.

The only other problems that have cropped up so far are a handful of electronic gremlins. The Shiver’s dash-mounted gear indicator takes time to catch up with gearshifts, as is documented on the various owners’ forums. Also, the bike suffers from a pessimistic gas gauge that flickers intermittently before glowing steadily a little more than halfway through each 4-gallon tankful.

To improve aesthetics and save some weight, an Evotech license-plate bracket from Aprilia specialty shop AF1 ($99.99; _www.af1racing.com_) was mounted. A full pound lighter than the unwieldy stock unit, this tail tidy fits well and looks great, but its instructions could be a bit more detailed.

The final addition for this installment was a set of Aprilia soft luggage bags for sport-touring. The 14-liter tankbag (_www.apriliausa.com_; $151) is held on with a custom tank cover ($194). It has a small compartment up top and a larger main section, but lacks a map pocket. The passenger seat-mounted, 14-liter tail bag ($200) that affixes firmly to the grab rail is quite useful.

We’re making great progress dialing-in our Shiver, and are looking forward to making suspension mods, unearthing more power and lightening it up. Stay tuned.

It's odd that the mounting system for the Aprilia tankbag costs more than the bag itself, but the setup keeps the bag very stable. If only there were a map pocket...
I crash-tested a set of these R&G; axle sliders on a Kawasaki ZX-6R and they worked great, so installing them on the Aprilia Shiver 750 was a no-brainer.