Aprilia Caponord 1200 (2013-2017): Review & Buying Guide

2013 Aprilia Caponord Review Used Price Spec_01


Price: £3500-£6999 | Power: 128bhp | Weight: 214kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 3/5


Released in 2013, the Caponord 1200 should have been a strong seller for Aprilia. Armed with a sporty chassis and 17in wheels, this V-twin adventure bike featured a reasonable amount of tech and a low price tag as well as an established fanbase from the older Caponord 1000 model. But all did not go to plan and despite a more rugged Rally model being released in 2015, the Caponord’s sales were slow and in 2017 it was discontinued. If you are prepared to step away from the more established adventure bike models, the Caponord represents excellent value in the used market however it is a bit of a chance as Aprilia’s reputation for reliability isn’t great and there is always an underlying reason behind why a bike fails to stay on sale for very long...



  • Strong V-twin engine
  • Versatile nature
  • Tempting used price
  • It’s very tall
  • Dealer back-up can be questionable
  • Needs a taller screen
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Aprilia Caponord 1200 (2013-2017) Price

As is so often the way with Aprilia models, the Caponord 1200’s price may have been fairly reasonable in 2013 at £10,590 (or £12,290 with the Travel Pack fitted) but dealers soon discounted them and that harmed residual values. Nowadays you can get a very well used Capo (over 40,000 miles) for as little as £3500 but realistically you are better off paying between £5000 and £6000 for an example that is showing around 20,000 miles. Most have the Travel Pack fitted and also the majority come with a top box as well, probably fitted by the dealer to entice a sale.



Engine and Performance

Using the same engine as the Dorsoduro 1200, the Caponord’s 90-degree V-twin makes a healthy 128bhp with 85ftlb of torque. Thanks to a ride-by-wire throttle you get three power modes (Sport, Touring and Rain) with most owners saying Sport is a bit too aggressive and Touring is best to stick in for the majority of the time (there have been a few ECU software updates, ensure they have been installed as they make the throttle response less jerky).

On the go the V-twin is a good engine with more than enough spice to be fun yet also an easy-going and lazy nature. Some find it a bit snatchy at low speed but it soon smooths off when the pace increases, so ideally avoid busy city streets! The three-stage traction control is acceptable if not outstanding but you can’t change its level while on the go, which is a bit annoying. Overall it is a solid performer and a fairly typical V-twin in its character.

When buying used, a few owners have found that the Caponord likes to drink oil, which is odd on a modern motorcycle, it’s generally not too drastic but worth keeping an eye on. Also a few owners alter the Capo’s gearing to give it some extra spice. Most stick with taking one tooth off the front sprocket (stock gearing is 16/43) but others add two teeth to the rear. The speedo’s reading is unaffected either way. There is lots of talk online about the motor being noisy but in terms of actual reliability, it seems fairly robust aside from the occasional reg/rec going down and exhaust valve sticking. That said, as it is quite complex, always take one on a decent test ride to see if any electrical fault warnings are illuminated on the dash – which itself is known to start to develop issues and lose characters.



Aprilia Caponord 1200 (2013-2017) Handling & Suspension

Based around the sportier Dorsoduro 1200’s chassis, the Caponord is quite an agile adventure bike and thanks to its 17in wheels (the Rally model has a 19in front) holds the road impressively well. Fairly light handling and fun to ride, the Caponord manages to retain the Dorsoduro’s agility but inject a whole heap more practicality through a proper fairing, plastic handguards, squishy seat and panniers. Very similar feeling to Ducati’s Multistrada model (before its recent upgrade to a 19in front wheel) the Caponord won’t leave you feeling disappointed when you reach an Alpine pass and your mates are all on sports tourers. Especially if you get one with the Travel Pack fitted.

Aprilia’s semi-active suspension system (ADD) works well and its skyhook principles ensure a smooth and level ride. Pleasingly, the shock’s preload can be adjusted electronically to one of four pre-defined settings (rider, rider and luggage, rider and pillion, fully loaded with a ride, pillion and luggage) and can also automatically compensate.

When buying used, as with all semi-active systems, ensure that all of ADD’s functions are working. The Sachs shock isn’t technically rebuildable, which means a big bill should it fail as you will need to either replace the unit for a new one, buy a second hand unit or chance one of firms that claim to be able to rebuild it.


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Comfort & Economy

A very comfortable bike, the Caponord can certainly be used to cover big distances, something that is backed up by many of the used bikes for sale showing fairly high mileages. The adjustable screen, although a touch short, is a neat feature that is often overlooked and the suspension is pleasingly supple, especially with the ADD semi-active function fitted. If you want to go touring, or just smash out some big miles, the Caponord is a good option, helped by its sizable 24-litre tank and taller sixth gear than the Dorsoduro, making it good for over 280 miles between fill-ups. The only slight fly in the ointment is the seat’s lack of adjustability (it is also quite high at 840mm) but that’s a fairly small irritant. If you want better vision at night, there is a mod you can do that involves a bit of electrical tweaking to alter which lights come one and when, check out online forums for precise instructions.


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Aprilia Caponord 1200 (2013-2017) Equipment

As standard the Caponord gets three power maps (Sport, Touring and Rain) as well as ABS (disengagable), three stage traction control (ATC), an adjustable screen and hand guards. That’s not a bad spec but it’s a shame the seat height of 840mm isn’t adjustable. If you manage to locate a bike with the Travel Pack fitted (which was a £1700 extra) you gain semi-active suspension in the form of Aprilia Dynamic Damping (ADD) as well as cruise control, electronically adjustable preload on the shock, panniers and a centre stand – all of which is extremely good value for money. Ideally, buy a bike with the Travel Pack fitted as only the panniers and centre stand can be retro-fitted to a stock Caponord 1200.

A lot of owners fit crash protection to the Caponord alongside a taller screen, top box and often heated grips (Aprilia’s own will link to the dash to display their heat level). A few bikes have aftermarket pipes but these are rare.



Aprilia Caponord 1200 (2013-2017) Rivals

There are lots of adventure bikes out there for sale, but here are a few of the Capo’s closest rivals.


Suzuki V-Strom 1000 (2014-2019) | Approx Price: £5000-£8000

Power/Torque: 99bhp/76lb-ft | Weight: 228kg


Honda Africa Twin (2016-2018) | Approx Price: £6000-£8000

Power/Torque: 95bhp/72lb-ft | Weight: 232kg


Kawasaki Versys 1000 (2012-2015) | Approx Price: £3500-£6000

Power/Torque: 118bhp/76lb-ft | Weight: 239kg


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Aprilia Caponord 1200 (2013-2017) Verdict

The Caponord 1200 isn’t a bad adventure bike but by the same token it isn’t an outstanding one, something that is apparent by the fact it only lasted a very short four years before being dropped from the firm’s model range. If you want something a bit different, it represents great value for money (especially if you get the Travel Pack) but as a used buy there is always a slight worry over Aprilia models. And especially ones that were quickly discontinued!


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Aprilia Caponord 1200 (2013-2017) – Technical Specification

Original price


Current price range




Bore x Stroke

106mm x 67.8mm

Engine layout

90-degree V-twin

Engine details

Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8v


128bhp (95.5kW) @ 8500rpm


85lb-ft (115Nm) @ 6500rpm

Top speed

140mph (est)


6-speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption


Tank size

24 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

280 miles

Reserve capacity

55 miles

Rider aids

Three power modes (S,T,R), 3-level traction control, ABS. Optional cruise control and semi-active suspension.


Tubular steel

Front suspension

43mm Sachs inverted forks.

Front suspension adjustment

Fully-adjustable. Optional semi-active.

Rear suspension

Sachs monoshock

Rear suspension adjustment

Fully-adjustable. Optional semi-active.

Front brake

2 x 320mm discs, Brembo four-piston radial calipers. ABS

Rear brake

240mm disc, single-piston caliper.

Front tyre


Rear tyre



27°/ 125mm

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2240mm x n/a x 1456mm



Ground clearance


Seat height


Kerb weight

214Kg Dry (228kg with Travel Pack)


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