Aprilia SL1000 Falco (1999 - 2006) review

Not a bad bike if you are looking for something a bit different that isn’t Japanese

Ben Cope's picture
By Visordown on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 - 12:06

Details
Manufacturer:
Aprilia
Category:
Sports Tourers
Price:
£ 7415
Overall
3
Fairly comfortable, strong engine and a break from the norm.
The sidestand is too long, meaning it may fall over in a strong wind, top-heavy at low speed.

The Falco is one of those classic forgotten about bikes. Which is a shame as it isn’t actually that bad and has a fair sized fan base in the UK.

The motor is a de-tuned RSV-R lump housed in a fairly sporty chassis which gives it good handling at speed and it has a decent sized half-fairing for weather protection. At low speed the Falco has a top-heavy feeling and tends to flop into corners, which is a fairly typical complaint of the old-style RSV-Rs, and the clutch is a bit heavy.

Unfortunately, this bike didn’t prove very popular across Europe, so Aprilia has dropped it from the range.The Falco is one of those classic forgotten about bikes. Which is a shame as it isn’t actually that bad and has a fair sized fan base in the UK.

The motor is a de-tuned RSV-R lump housed in a fairly sporty chassis which gives it good handling at speed and it has a decent sized half-fairing for weather protection. At low speed the Falco has a top-heavy feeling and tends to flop into corners, which is a fairly typical complaint of the old-style RSV-Rs, and the clutch is a bit heavy.

Unfortunately, this bike didn’t prove very popular across Europe, so Aprilia has dropped it from the range.

The Falco is one of those classic forgotten about bikes. Which is a shame as it isn’t actually that bad and has a fair sized fan base in the UK.

The motor is a de-tuned RSV-R lump housed in a fairly sporty chassis which gives it good handling at speed and it has a decent sized half-fairing for weather protection. At low speed the Falco has a top-heavy feeling and tends to flop into corners, which is a fairly typical complaint of the old-style RSV-Rs, and the clutch is a bit heavy.

The Aprilia Falco has been around since 1999. To build a Falco you simply take the excellent 60-degree vee-twin from the Mille race-replica, de-tune it to around 115 claimed bhp, stick it in a half-trellis half-beam frame and then give it that half-faired utilitarian look...

Comfort is a confusing word on the Falco. You've got a wide pair of clip ons, which hold a heavy clutch. The seating position itself seems identical to the Mille, which is a race-replica, not what you expect on something marketed as a more useful machine, but if you're after a sportier take on this twin theme, then perhaps the Falco has it.

In the cockpit you have the Aprilia Mille dash layout. You need a degree in rocket science, or at least the manual to make this thing work properly. We had neither. You have five buttons, A, B, C, D and in the middle R. By pressing all of these in a random order I managed to get the flashy shift-light to come on at 10,000rpm and not 6,000 which had been annoying us all day. But then, soon as you switched the ignition off, you had to re-set the shift light all over again. Add to this the fact that the things refused to switch into mph mode from km/hr mode and we were all a little frustrated. These clocks looked so funky and useful when they first came out on the Mille in '99, but now they're just too bloody clever for their own goo. On all the Milles and Falcos I've ridden I've had trouble with them in some way or another. A dodgy shift light here, or engine management light on there...

Overall the Falco is a good bike. Good engine, fair handling, nice looking (if you like that kind of thing) and good brakes. Unfortunately, this bike didn’t prove very popular across Europe, so Aprilia has dropped it from the range.

Length (mm) 2050
Width (mm) 736
Height (mm) 1210
Seats 0
Seat Height (mm) 815
Suspension Front Showa 43 mm upside-down fork.120 mm wheel travel.
Suspension Rear Aluminium alloy swing-arm. APS (Aprilia Progressive System) linkage.Wheel travel 130 mm
Adjustability Front External adjustment system for rebound and compression and spring preload
Adjustability Rear Sachs hydraulic monoshock with adjustment for preload and rebound dampening
Wheels Front 3.50 x 17
Wheels Rear 6.00 x 17
Wheels Made Of Brembo aluminium alloy, 5 spoke.
Tyres Front 120/70 ZR 17
Tyres Rear 180/55 ZR 17
Brakes Front Brembo double floating disk in stainless steel, Ø
Brakes Rear Stainless steel disk, Ø 220 mm. Calliper with two
Tank Capacity (litres) 21
Wheelbase (mm) 1415
Trail (mm) 100
Chassis Sloping parallel Double Twin Beam frame in aluminium-magnesium alloy.Removable aluminium alloy saddle mount frame
Length (mm) 2050
Width (mm) 736
Height (mm) 1210
Seats 0
Seat Height (mm) 815
Suspension Front Showa 43 mm upside-down fork.120 mm wheel travel.
Suspension Rear Aluminium alloy swing-arm. APS (Aprilia Progressive System) linkage.Wheel travel 130 mm
Adjustability Front External adjustment system for rebound and compression and spring preload
Adjustability Rear Sachs hydraulic monoshock with adjustment for preload and rebound dampening
Wheels Front 3.50 x 17
Wheels Rear 6.00 x 17
Wheels Made Of Brembo aluminium alloy, 5 spoke.
Tyres Front 120/70 ZR 17
Tyres Rear 180/55 ZR 17
Brakes Front Brembo double floating disk in stainless steel, Ø
Brakes Rear Stainless steel disk, Ø 220 mm. Calliper with two
Tank Capacity (litres) 21
Wheelbase (mm) 1415
Trail (mm) 100
Chassis Sloping parallel Double Twin Beam frame in aluminium-magnesium alloy.Removable aluminium alloy saddle mount frame
Cubic Capacity (cc) 998
Torque (ft/lb) 71
Torque Peak (rpm) 7000
Bore (mm) 97
Stroke (mm) 67.5
Valve Gear DOHC
Compression Ratio 10.8
Ignition Digital electronic with Twin Spark
Valves Per Cylinder 4
Cooling Liquid cooling with three-way pressurised cicuit.
Fuel Delivery Intergrated electronic ignition management system
Stroke Type Four Stroke
Drive Chain
Cubic Capacity (cc) 998
Torque (ft/lb) 71
Torque Peak (rpm) 7000
Bore (mm) 97
Stroke (mm) 67.5
Valve Gear DOHC
Compression Ratio 10.8
Ignition Digital electronic with Twin Spark
Valves Per Cylinder 4
Cooling Liquid cooling with three-way pressurised cicuit.
Fuel Delivery Intergrated electronic ignition management system
Stroke Type Four Stroke
Drive Chain

Score Breakdown
Overall
3

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