The Aprilia Shiver was the first ever production motorcycle with ride-by-wire throttle when it first landed in 2007. Eight years and a range of electronic and cosmetic changes later, for some peculiar reason, it remains one of the most under-rated bikes in its class on Kiwi roads. For a sporty but useful 95hp bike with multiple maps, stonking brakes and a decent seat, at $13,995+ORC for the base model or $15k for the ABS-equipped job, it really ought to be as common as muck.

A cursory glance around the more obvious competition, the Shiver make most of the others pretty average, as it matches most in pretty much any aspect. A couple have it in the top-end but are very much in its shadow when not caressing the redline. Even then, although it flattens out up top, it doesn’t exactly get blown away. Being a sit-up style, and lacking elemental protection, maybe it’s because it doesn’t simply slide into the adventure group or look sensible enough to placate the touring class. The naked class have always had attitude to burn, so the shyness New Zealanders have shown to the Shiver remains a mystery that is not repeated elsewhere. Even the nether-region heating exhaust is only an issue in traffic on a hot day, although it looks like a lot of weight could be annexed by dropping the massive stainless steel lump that occupies the entire tail section…

Right then, what is an Aprilia Shiver and what are its endearing traits? Windy roads or urban jungles. Short and sweet, that is what it does and does well. If I just lost your attention, it was always going to be the case with the Shiver, so I thought I’d give you an early heads-up. You sit more into the latest model, thanks to a more sculpted (and lower) and sumptuous seat that despite being shaved thinner, is actually more comfortable as well as looking less like a motard’s plank. The throttle is smoother, as in the mapping is better but still not perfect in the sport mode. In rain mode it feels limp, to be brutally honest but the touring option is almost flawless. Personally, despite the slightly abrupt and snatchy response at low revs, I spent most of the time in sport, just because I enjoy the slight bit of mongrel that remains. I can cope with the minimal effort of the nice light clutch action and that’s all you need to ‘tame’ the Shiver when riding through town or briefly delayed by traffic in the more entertaining map.


Despite being almost half hidden from the right side, fooling some into actually believing me when I said “nah, it’s a single, believe it or not” the narrow-angle V-twin is a fun lump, almost aggressive off the bottom and storming into a mid-range that entertains the inner child coming out of bends, over crests and hooking second as you power out of intersections and make a turn. That massive silencer slows the heavy breathing up top a little but 95hp isn’t a bad figure for a 750cc twin if you look around…

Once you head towards the fast open bends, it doesn’t feel quite as rock solid as it might with a more forward biased riding position and lower profile, so you do have to pay Paul after robbing Peter for the around town stance. I also blame that incinerator under the plastic tail section for making that slightly loose sensation more noticeable when you hit a few good bumps if you’re well cranked over. Nothing untoward; just a little sensitive under pressure on multiple fronts. On a positive note about the exhaust, the Aprilia Shiver does sound nice and sharp; crisp and pretty fruity but not too noisy.

The new seat is an improvement for sure. Pillion accommodation isn’t bad either but the combination of adding a pillion to a bike that isn’t adverse to the odd wheelie anyway is something you may wish to discuss with said pillion prior to heading up your favourite gorge or uphill twisty section unless you have saint-like qualities. Must be the handlebars…

Build quality on the Aprilia Shiver and the general finish doesn’t look cheap, neither does the styling, sound or performance. Value for your dollar (and it’s a ‘proper’ dollar at the moment, hence the pricing) is hard to quibble about, its price giving itself a head start on the likes of the Triumph Street Triple options, the standard one or the better suspended R or even Ducati’s dearer Monster 821. It does run straight into Yamaha’s MT-09 purely on price though, so you’d be balancing the ledger with the Aprilia having better suspension and brakes but the larger Yamaha triple having the edge in power.

Maybe lacking in recognition to the others, it is most definitely worth chucking into the mix if you’re stalking a mid-weight naked.


APRILIA Shiver Specs

Price: $13,995+ORC ($14,995 ABS)

Engine type: Longitudinal two cylinder 90° V, liquid-cooled, DOHC controlled by a mixed gear/chain system, four valves per cylinder

Bore and stroke: 92 x 56.4mm

Engine capacity: 749.9cc

Compression ratio: 11:1

Max power (claimed): 71kW (95hp) @9000rpm at the shaft

Max torque: 81Nm@7000rpm

Fuel system: Ride-by-wire integrated engine management

Gearbox: Six-speed

Clutch: Multi-disc in oil batch, hydraulic actuation

Chassis: Modular steel trellis connected with high resistance bolts to aluminium side plates. Modular rear frame

Trail/ rake: 109mm/25.7°

Front suspension: 43mm USD forks 120mm wheel travel

Rear suspension: Hydraulic shock absorber with adjustable rebound and preload. 130 mm wheel travel

Brakes, front: Dual320mm wavy discs, radial calipers with four pistons

Brakes, rear: 240mm wavy disc, single piston caliper

Tyres: Tubeless radial; front: 120/70 ZR 17 rear: 180/55 ZR 17

Seat height: 800mm

Wheelbase: 1440mm

Fuel capacity: 15litres