Quick trivia question: What was the first motorcycle available in the United States with ride-by-wire throttle?
Don't feel bad. Hardly anyone ever talks about the Aprilia Shiver, and especially the 2007 version that brought ride-by-wire to the masses. Among the Superbike swaggering RSV4s, the thundering Tuonos (see what I did there?) and the burly Caponords, the two smallest members of the Aprilia motorcycle line in the U.S. market tend to be overlooked. So for 2017, Aprilia is giving them a boost.
By adding 11 millimeters of stroke to the 90-degree V-twin in the Shiver and the Dorsoduro, Aprilia turned the 750s into 900s (bore and stroke are now 92 mm by 67.4 mm). Aprilia says the result is 11 percent more torque and a flatter curve, with peak horsepower of 95 hitting at 8,750 rpm.
The engine hangs from a steel-tube trellis frame and Aprilia is proud of it, so they painted it red to be sure you'd notice.
In addition to the engine enlargement, the two Aprilias get a new engine management system with traction control that can be set to three levels and three riding modes (Sport, Touring, Rain). A new 41 mm Kayaba inverted fork provides rebound and preload adjustments up front. Lighter three-spoke wheels wear typical sport-sized tires, a 120/70ZR17 front and a 180/55ZR17 rear, giving you lots of choices in rubber. ABS is standard, naturally, since the Europeans require it.
The Shiver never did look like a bottom-of-the-line motorcycle, and the 2017 model will look even more upscale with its 4.3-inch color TFT screen borrowed from the more expensive entries in the Aprilia line. With the optional Aprilia Multimedia Platform, you can tie your smartphone into the dash, too.
Where the two bikes diverge is in their dimensions. The Shiver is a naked street bike with a 31.9-inch seat height while the Dorsoduro has a supermoto-on-steroids stance with a 34.2-inch seat, more than an inch of additional suspension travel and its beak front end.
New bodywork gives both bikes a fresh look for 2017, though the differences are not a radical departure. Aprilia hasn't yet told us MSRPs for the Shiver and Dorsoduro.