Shiver 900

Aprilia gives new Shiver more cc and a stack of tasty torque

Motorcycle News (UK) - - News - By Jon Urry MCN GUEST TESTER

Aprilia’s big­ger & bet­ter

When de­vel­op­ing the new Shiver 900, Aprilia’s R&D team strapped a dat­a­log­ger to one of the firm’s V4 Tuonos and then logged how ‘av­er­age’ rid­ers rode the bike and how far they twisted the throt­tle – and the re­sults had a big im­pact on the Shiver.

The data re­vealed that most rid­ers sel­dom used more than 100bhp de­spite hav­ing ac­cess to over 170bhp from the V4 Tuono. What was far more im­por­tant than outright peak power on the naked was the in­stantly ac­ces­si­ble torque. And that’s why the new Shiver 900 makes the same 93.9bhp as the outgoing Shiver 750, but has 6.4ftlb more peak torque and a health­ier mid-range thanks to its longer stroke V-twin.

At a glance the new Shiver looks a lot like the old model, but there are a few sub­tle up­grades. Bar an 11mm in­crease in stroke and some slight in­ter­nal mods, the V-twin engine is pretty much the same – al­though it does have Euro4­com­ply­ing fuel maps, new in­jec­tors, new ex­haust end-cans and the in­tro­duc­tion of three-stage trac­tion con­trol. The lighter three-spoke wheels are new, the sus­pen­sion has been tweaked with 41mm Kayaba forks, a few vents have ap­peared in the fair­ing to give it a fresh look and the Tuono’s colour dash now takes pride of place.

When you think of an Ital­ian V-twin you may as­sume it will be a bit lumpy in its de­liv­ery, how­ever the Shiver’s twin is any­thing but. It is re­ally smooth and feels far more like a Suzuki SV650’S mo­tor than a Du­cati Mon­ster 821 in its char­ac­ter, which is a good thing. There is con­stant torque right through the rev range and it re­sponds nicely with a pleas­ant throt­tle pick-up and lovely light clutch ac­tion.

The han­dling re­flects this easy-go­ing out­look on life, too. Of­ten, Ital­ian bikes are set way too firm and jolt you around in the name of outright han­dling prow­ess. Again, not the Shiver. Af­ter I had added a bit of spring preload to the rear to get rid of a slight ten­dency to run wide, the Shiver re­vealed it­self as in­spir­ing and fun. It’s not su­per-ag­ile, but it is as­sured and when you add the safety nets of trac­tion con­trol as well as strong ra­dial Brem­bos, backed up with ABS, you can ride it pleas­ingly hard in to­tal con­fi­dence. So it’s a shame it re­tains one Ital­ian trait – a frus­trat­ingly limited turn­ing cir­cle.

Over­all, the Shiver 900 is a re­ally solid naked bike, but lack­ing a bit of sparkle com­pared to the com­pe­ti­tion. Where the likes of the sim­i­lar­lypriced Yamaha MT-09, Kawasaki Z900 and Tri­umph Street Triple R are real thrillers, the Shiver only op­er­ates on

‘There is easy, con­stant torque right through the Shiver’s rev range’

one easy-go­ing level. Aprilia’s own Dor­so­duro, which has the same mo­tor, adds an ex­tra bit of spice thanks to a one tooth smaller front sprocket and I reckon the Shiver would ben­e­fit from this mod­i­fi­ca­tion. The V-twin is so smooth it didn’t feel like it was revving too hard with this gear­ing, so there isn’t re­ally a down­side.

So where does that place Aprilia’s lat­est Shiver in the pre­mium naked bike mar­ket? The is­sue for the Shiver is twofold. Its price is right at a smidge over £8000, but the com­pe­ti­tion is just so im­pres­sive I fear it will get over­looked by many buy­ers.

How­ever, the Shiver is cer­tainly the best V-twin mid­dleweight and if you are a fan of the SV650 but wish Suzuki had the balls to give it a bit more grunt, try the Shiver out for size. It has all the lovely smooth­ness that makes the SV such a joy to ride but with more grunt and a mod­ern electronics pack­age back­ing it up.

High-spec build and a de­cent price but will the Shiver be left in the cold?

The dash is taken from the V4 Tuono and can be linked to a smart­phone with Aprilia’s op­tional ex­tra A-MP kit

750 own­ers used to com­plain the bike would suck ex­haust gas back over the rider, the new end caps stop that

Sharp looks pro­vide bit of a sci-fi feel

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