When it comes to building naked bikes. Aprilia have had more success than most. Five years ago, their Tuona single-handedly lifted the expectations of unfaired machines out of the gutter and onto the racetrack. It's the Godfather of naked sportbikes.
Despite its huge impact and sales success, the original naked sportbike has always had a bit of a problem. Basically, the bars are so upswept and on such huge risers that they force the rider to sit up, making it difficult to load the front in the same way that you can on either a KTM Super Duke or a Triumph Speed Triple.
Thankfully, the Aprilia Shiver 750 should have no such trouble, as it's new from the ground up.
Honda and Suzuki take note; this is what a naked bike should look like. The attention to detail is up there with the open class nekkeds. You get radial brakes, forged and anodized yokes and wheels, and an instrument cluster with more computing power than the moon rocket which dumped Armstrong on the moon. It may be more expensive than most of the Japanese offerings, but it looks 10 times better.
Aprilia have taken on board criticism of their original naked, and the riding position for the Aprilia Shiver 750 is brilliant. It's a very comfortable relationship between butt, feet, and hands, but at the same time focused and purposeful.
Of all naked bikes, it's my favorite bike to ride. Not only do you get all the information you could ever need from the neat clocks, but you also get the best soundtrack of the bunch thanks to the 750cc V-twin.
Standard road bikes are very rarely this loud or evocative. Only the Ducati 1098 can rival it. Fortunately, the Aprilia Shiver can also walk the walk. You immediately feel the more focused nature of this bike when you compare it to the Japanese offerings. The steering isn't the quickest, but it's surprisingly neutral for Aprilia and very fluid.
Like the Zed, the trade off for a slightly slower rate of turn is good stability. I covered a fair few kilometers on this bike at committed pace and didn't experience a single wag from the bars.
There's no issue loading up the front either. Compared to the Japanese offerings in this class, the Aprilia Shiver feels a lot closer to the ideal naked sportbike. About the only noticeable niggle is a touch too much dive from the forks when grabbing a big handful of the seriously powerful radial brakes.
The Aprilia Shiver 750 isn't the fastest bike, but short gearing and masses of torque compared to the oriental four-cylinder machines make it feel very lively.