Italian bikes are generally associated with glamour, race-track performance, expensive maintenance, and an occasionally unreliable nature. None of which suggests they would be much use in the hard-slogging world of adventure-sport, offroad-styled bikes. But, that hasn’t put Aprilia off, and once its RSV Mille sportbike had proved itself reliable and popular, the firm set about developing it into the Capo Nord adventure sportsbike in 2001. Using the well-proven V-twin engine from the RSV meant Aprilia had a ready-made foundation to work with, and with some re-tuning of the engine, the result was a smooth, torquey powertrain. This engine was installed in a tall, rugged chassis, with aluminium twin-spar frame, long-travel suspension, and triple disc brakes all round. The styling was not uncontroversial – Aprilia has always used unconventional, modernistic designs, and the Capo Nord’s enormous dual headlight fairing and angular lines wasn’t a hit with everyone. Nevertheless, it proved to be a strong performer on the road, with willing performance, decent practicality, and comfortable accommodation. Later updates gave the Capo Nord an ABS anti-lock brake option, and a more modern, smoother bodywork style.
Aprilia also offers a wide range of accessories for the Capo Nord (which is Italian for North Cape), including luggage, heated grips, and optional suspension kit, allowing owners to customise the bike to suit their needs.