Aprilia launched the Shiver in 2008 but you probably wouldn’t have ventured to Italy on that bike, the Aprilia being the properly naked machine it is. The GT, however, has a skimpy bikini of a top fairing that changes the Shiver from a get-to-work bike into a proper tourer. You can also buy soft panniers for it but, since these stick out futher than Whitham’s ears and fail to be waterproof, it’d be more sensible to buy some aftermarket cases.
So why choose the £6499 Aprilia over cheaper offerings such as the Suzuki Gladius and Kawasaki ER-6f? To be different of course. The Ducati Monster 696 is another leftfield choice but if you’re intending to go long distances the Monster wouldn’t be our first choice. It may be small but the GT’s fairing transforms the bike by directing most of the wind past your torso. A pity then that Aprilia fitted a tiny tank (16 litres), limiting the bike’s effective range to 120 miles – a disappointment for a 750cc middleweight in a fairly mild state of tune.
On the move the motor sounds bigger than it is. Early Shivers had a somewhat jerky throttle response from low revs but Aprilia’s geeks have tweaked the fly-by-wire system and the motor is now perfectly behaved. The heavily over-square engine will rev to 10,000rpm but there’s little point hammering around up there because there’s plenty of torque in the midrange. As on the first Shiver there’s the option of choosing between Sport, Touring and Rain modes via a bar-mounted button, but most riders will leave the bike in Sport, which is fine for all conditions unless you’re really hamfisted with the gas in the wet.
The Shiver GT feels quite a bit bigger than its main rivals, which is good news for long distance comfort since there’s room on the bike to wriggle around. The handling is sharp and predictable and Aprilia-branded, Brembo brakes work fine. For an extra £300 ABS is available, which makes good sense, especially if you’ve put a cross in the pannier box and haven’t therefore cranked the GT’s price dangerously close to seven grand.
Sharp edges all over bike and randomly placed vents don’t add up to a particularly sexy or stylish bike, but it’s a lot more enjoyable to ride than to look at. The RSV4 Factory may be bike of the moment but the middleweight 600-750cc market is massive and potentially a much larger source of income for the company. The Shiver GT is a good start. A bigger tank and perhaps a styling tweak here and there and the bike will find buyers.
Aprilia Shiver 750 GT Specifications
Price £6699 (ABS £300 extra) Top speed 140mph
Engine 750cc, 8-valve, liquid-cooled V-twin
Power 95bhp at 9000rpm Torque 60lb.ft at 7000rpm
Bore & stoke 92mm x 56.4mm Compression ratio 11:1
Front suspension 43mm upside-down forks, no adjustment
Rear suspension Monoshock, preload and rebound adjustment
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs, four-piston calipers
Rear brake 2-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Wet weight 189kg (claimed) Seat height 810mm Fuel capacity 16 litres
Colour options Red, black and silver