Posted On 29 Apr 2024
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This entry is part 2 of 30 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#29


I climbed aboard this new Aprilia on the dirt out near Hill End, and was almost instantly a Rally convert.

Aprilia truly is serious about entering the adventure touring market with this bike. You might be familiar with the “standard” Caponord Strada, which is a road biased, Adventure Sport motorcycle, fitted with sticky sports tyres and a 17 inch front wheel, or the up-specced Touring version. Both good and useful bikes.

The Caponord Rally, however, beats both of them on the dirt with a larger spoked front wheel, adventure tyres and more protection.

We rode out to Mudgee and back from Aprilia Australia HQ in Sydney for the launch, on a mixture of dirt, two lane blacktop and freeway.

The base Caponord Strada and the Touring version came along for the ride, which provided a convenient opportunity for comparisons.

The main changes that make up the “Rally” version are the 19 inch front wheel, tubeless spoked wheels front and rear, adventure touring tyres,crash bars, fog lights, aluminium covered panniers, hand guards, bash plate, larger screen and cruise control. All of these features combine to make the Rally an excellent all round adventure touring motorcycle.

Handling is better on the Rally than the smaller front wheeled Strada and Touring. The Rally’s larger front wheel makes things more relaxed and when it came to the dirty stuff you have significantly more stability overall and more comfort. This could have something to do with the ADD (Aprilia Dynamic Damping) dynamic semi-active suspension system as well. The settings have been slightly changed on the Rally, along with an offset change to the geometry.

If you’re not familiar with (this type of) ADD, it is a system which measures the energy transmitted by bumps on the road surface to the bike and adjusts the hydraulic fork calibration and shock absorber in real time to minimise accelerations on the frame and consequently optimise comfort. To achieve maximum performance at any fork and shock absorber operating “THE CAPONORD RALLY IS A FUN AND RELAXING BIKE TO RIDE IN ALL CONDITIONS.” frequency, ADD uses a patented “comfort oriented” algorithm which combines the principles of the well known skyhook and acceleration driven damping algorithms.

You can adjust ADD to five different settings – 1 (one rider), 2 (rider and luggage), 3 (rider and pillion), 4 (rider, pillion and luggage) and Auto.

I loved the Auto setting for the overall comfort it gave in all conditions.

Some riders preferred to have a bit more firmness in the rear shock, but Auto meant that I didn’t have to worry about the bike – just let it do its thing, giving me a comfortable setting no matter where I was riding – straight line, sporty, dirt and high and low speed.

The other advantage of ADD in the Auto setting is that you can get amazingly short braking distances.

The system employs all of the algorithms in a split second and adjusts to the increased force on the front forks, giving better traction to the front tyre.


Braking offers the latest generation of stoppers from Brembo and switchable ABS.

The engine is the well-known vee twin cylinder powerplant that has been around for some time now. It is a progressive and responsive unit that works well with the pre-programmed riding maps – Touring, Sport and Rain.

A large 24 litre fuel tank is fitted to the Rally and even at a swift pace, you’d be looking at a better than 300km range.

The larger adjustable screen on the Rally offers much better protection over the sportier one fitted to the Strada and Touring. It made long distance highway runs more comfy.

Some of the shorter riders on the launch didn’t like it all the way up, but up to half way, it suited them perfectly.

Cruise control comes standard on the Rally, although it is a bit fiddly to use. There is no up or down speed adjustment; you need to use the throttle not only to set the required speed but also to change it, holding your finger on the button. It’s okay to use when riding by yourself, but in a group where you might need an occasional one or two kilometre speed variation at a time, it makes things fiddly. Really, this is my only complaint about this bike.

The standard panniers have an interesting and effective feature – a split lid. You can open the lid as normal, or you can open a one-third portion at the top. This is convenient once you have the pannier loaded and need to access something like a camera or wet weather gear which you’ve packed at the top.

Stuart is wearing a Shoei Hornet ADV helmet, Dragon NFXs goggles, Held Carese II jacket, Held Sambia gloves, Held Torno II pants and Sidi Way Mega Rain boots.

A great new feature for the Rally and all late model Aprilias is the Aprilia Multimedia Platform, which connects your smartphone to your bike.

In 2012 the Piaggio Group was the first manufacturer in the world to create a system which allowed the vehicle to be connected to a smartphone (and consequently to the web), thereby adding a tool capable of providing a huge amount of extra information compared to the factory instrumentation. The link between the vehicle and the Internet is called A-MP, Aprilia Multimedia Platform, making travel safer and more convenient.

Effectively it’s a virtual dashboard, trip computer and advanced navigator.

Once the free app has been downloaded, the Bluetooth pairing of the smartphone to the vehicle allows the various options to be viewed and easily modified to the rider’s preference: speedometer, rev counter, but also instantaneous engine power and torque, lean angle, longitudinal acceleration, instant and average fuel consumption, average speed and battery voltage are just some of the features that can be accessed.

You also get a fully functional GPS, using Google Maps from your smartphone. A-MP stores all the travel information and allows it to be studied later in depth on your computer or directly on the smartphone’s display. It also contains the operating and service manual for your vehicle. One of the Rallys had A-MP fitted and it was fun and easy to use, especially because you did not need an actual GPS device, and just using the smartphone made things easy.

Accessories are well thought out.

You can get rider and pillion Sport-gel seats, heated grips, matching top box,tank bags, carbon front guard, gripper footpegs, a larger side stand plate, a sports muffler and lots more. Aprilia has come into the serious adventure touring market with a winner. The Caponord Rally is a fun and relaxing bike to ride in all conditions. The colour is the hardest choice to make – Giallo Dune (Gold) and Grigio Safari (Titanium). Our Facebook page has the choice split down the middle, but that won’t help me!


PRICE: $24,000 (ride away)
WARRANTY: Two years,unlimited distance
SERVICING INTERVALS: Every 10,000km or 12 months
ENGINE: Liquid-cooled V-twin cylinder,4-stroke, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
BORE x STROKE: 106 x 67.8mm
POWER: 92kW @ 8000rpm
TORQUE: 115Nm @ 6800rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed, wet multi-plate clutch, chain final drive
SUSPENSION: Front, 43mm inverted fork, electronically adjustable, travel 167mm. Rear, monoshock, electronically adjustable, travel 150mm.
DIMENSIONS: Seat height 840mm,weight 238kg (dry), fuel capacity 24 litres, wheelbase 1575mm
TYRES: Front, 120/70/R19. Rear, 170/60/R17
FRAME: Tubular steel
BRAKES: Front, twin 320mm discs with radial mount four-piston switchable ABS calipers. Rear, 240mm disc, single-piston switchable ABS caliper.
COLOURS: Giallo Dune and Grigio Safari


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Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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