As a journalist, I try not to let my enthusiasm for a particular subject corrupt my impartiality, but when I heard Aprilia was finally bringing their Caponord 1200 to the United States, I admit I got a little excited. When I found out the North American press launch was to be held three blocks from my house in Prescott, Arizona, and I was invited, I nearly jumped out of my skin. Objectivity out the window, let me explain why I love this motorcycle as much as I do.
When viewing motorcycles through the lens of Expedition Portal, we often place off-road performance as the primary evaluative metric and look for things like a 21-inch front wheel, long suspension travel, and positive ground clearance. The Caponord has none of those things, but that doesn’t make it any less relevant. Although the adventure motorcycling segment is growing rapidly, only a small portion of those motorcycles actually venture off-road. This leaves the majority of adventure riders carving tarmac, often on machines not ideally suited to the task. The Caponord on the other hand is an unabashed road machine and if my brief term on it made one thing apparent, it is that ample adventure can be had even within the confines of painted lines.