Aprilia Shiver 900 Review
The Shiver's Italian genes should make it a high-strung, high-maintenence machine. But in reality, it couldn't possibly be friendlier. The only downer is the price.
What is it?
Why I would buy the Aprilia Shiver 900
Italian design, smooth engine and exclusivity
Why I would avoid the Aprilia Shiver 900
The Shiver 900 is the naked offering from Aprilia for the street. If you like your big bike under the radar but still one that you can sit and look at for long hours, this is the one for you. Of course, it will have at least some of the negatives of an Italian machine… or does it?
How does it ride?
The Shiver 900 starts up with a soft note, and surprisingly absent are the usual clattery vibrations of a V-twin at idle. Even when it revs through the range, it is smooth. This is complemented by the creamy torque of the 896cc twin, and the throttle response is calibrated to be as docile as a sleepy Labrador retriever in the regular riding mode. However, whack it open in Sport mode and it turns into an attack dog, wanting to hoick the front wheel at any except the lowest revs – this is when you realize it is a 92bhp, 90Nm machine. The reach to the Shiver’s handlebars is not very much, and that engine makes for a very narrow bike. Along with the friendly throttle response and the impression it gives of being a physically smaller machine, rider confidence is always high when astride the Shiver. It also behaves like a smaller capacity machine, being very manoeuverable at city speeds. However, it still retains big-bike handling at speed, making it very usable in most situations. The chassis is a trellis frame not unlike the KTM Dukes we’re so familiar with, and it has simple three-level traction control and ABS levels that can be accessed via buttons on the handlebar. The brakes are up to the job that the engine provides them, hauling the Shiver back to rest with great feel and progression. We’d have loved for it to have some more goodies like a two-way quickshifter but that would have driven the price to completely unreasonable levels.
Anything else I should know?
It is a CBU, meaning the price is unreasonable whichever way you look at it. Of course, you get an Aprilia, which means a lot to the enthusiast, but when you look at the price of the competition like the Triumph Street Triple RS and the Ducati Monster 821…
However, just a little bit of that is mitigated by lovely design touches like a carbonfibre front fender, and the baffles at the exhaust ends that look like the underseat exhausts are closed. There's also a tasteful '54 world titles' badge on the tank. Elements like these aren't common, and make the Shiver feel special.
Why should I buy one?
Because it is an Aprilia, with all its racing heritage. The engine’s smoothness and torque are also a big draw. Of course, with a Shiver 900 you’ll have one of the rarest motorcycles in the country, so if exclusivity and practicality (no, we haven’t missed the irony there) are both high on your priority list, you need look no further.
Where does it fit in?
At an ex-showroom price of nearly Rs 13 lakh, it has to punch way above its weight – in the same price bracket as the Honda Africa Twin. Competition like the Triumph Street Triple RS retail at Rs 10.55 lakh, and the Ducati Monster 821 will set you back by Rs 10.36 lakh, all prices ex-showroom.
HJC FG-15 A comfortable, affordable street helmet from HJC, the FG series is light, yet stays stable at speed, and in crosswinds. Price: ₹ 13,500 (FG-17)
Alpinestars T-GP R Air A textile jacket that is a good middle ground between the protection of a textile jacket with the cooling of a mesh jacket thanks to the well-designed airflow, the T-GP Plus is one of the better jackets for an Indian summer. Price: ₹ 16,500 (T-GP Plus Air)
Alpinestars SMX-6 boots A full-length road-going boot, the SMX-6 has perforations all along the front of the boot, giving it great ventilation. It is comfortable enough to wear all day long. Price: ₹ 21,500
Photos - Kapil Angane
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