In the interests of full disclosure, I’ll come clean with two things: I’m currently bike-less after having sold my 2004 BMW K1200RS, and my own riding skills don’t come close to matching those of the Dorsoduro rider in the video below. That wouldn’t keep me from trying, mind you, since tossing the big supermotard bike sideways into a corner, tire smoking, looks like a boatload of fun. It also looks like the easiest bike to loft the front wheel on since the KTM Duke, which was probably responsible for more insurance points per bike than any other ride in history. In other words, it’s not a good idea for me to head on down to my local Aprilia dealer and sign up for a test ride of the Dorso 1200, especially since I really liked its little brother, the Dorso 750.
Aprilia continues to be a brand in search of an identity in the U.S., and I’m not sure that sharing stores with Vespa, Piaggio and Moto Guzzi helps their case any. Aprilia builds good bikes, but many potential buyers (myself included) worry about the issues of dealer support and long term parts availability. Let’s face if: if the Japanese big three bike companies are struggling to stay afloat, I can’t imagine Aprilia is seeing any kind of sales growth. Let’s hope I’m wrong, and let’s hope that skyrocketing gasoline prices force commuters to look at two wheeled alternatives as a way of saving money. Not only would this help the motorcycle manufacturers, but it would also increase the population of clean, used bikes. I’m not a candidate for a new Dorsoduro 1200 at $11,999, but I’m likely to be interested in a clean, two or three year old copy for half that.