Austin has experienced something of a bursting of the skies this summer. While the rains are keeping rides shorter and less frequent, the excitement here at AF1 Racing hasn't been dampened. New machines from Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, and Vespa are more than enough to keep us going. Here's a little run down of what's new.
The Future is Now
Aprilia may be one of the most talked about manufacturers this year and this summer. Aprilia's Corse department is working hard towards more WSBK success with the Red Devils Roma team, or seeking improvements in Moto GP with Aprilia Gresini Racing. But that's not why people are talking. A New RSV4, a new Tuono, and another Caponord model – that's why people are talking. The RSV4 RF and RR are evolved packages of the venerable RSV4 putting into place much of the engineering learned from racing. Peak horsepower of 201, a tweaked chassis, improved aerodynamics, and blurred lines between Factory and base models. The RSV4 will continue it's history of being the superbike to own.
Where the RSV4 RF and RR have been further tuned for the track, the Tuono has been improved in only ways a machine not bound by homologation can – with displacement. An increased bore has brought the heart of the beast up to nearly 1100cc and with it a monstrous increase in midrange power. Peak horsepower is up to 175, but with nearly 20 more horsepower in the midrange, expect brutally linear acceleration. The Tuono returns with a Factory package featuring Öhlins suspension, steering damper, special livery, and an RSV4 tail. The gnarliest naked superbike just got gnarlier.
Where the new V4 bikes are potent, the Caponord 1200 Rally is adventurous. A whole host of changes have been made to the technical Caponord 1200 to create a true on and off road adventure tourer. Spoked wheels in new dimensions allow tires better suited for riding where the roads aren't. Aprilia has tweaked the aDD suspension for added off-road performance with new geometry – giving comfort and performance without compromise. The scout's motto of "be prepared" would also apply to the Caponord 1200 Rally with it's heavy duty side cases, added skid plate, engine guards, and additional LED for lights. Planning a summer adventure? This is the bike for you.
Cool off with Moto Guzzi
Moto Guzzi has again brought ultimate coolness with it's new Eldorado and V7 II. The Eldorado has a historic name with a modern ride based off the California 1400. Classic details and lines are enough to throw it back while keeping modern proportions. In addition to the new looks, a softer ride and more comfortable ergonomics are bound to leave a yearning desire to blaze down dusty roads. Believe us when we say you've got to see this bike in person!
The V7 has received an upgrade in the V7 II. Transparent technology in ABS and traction control now provide additional safety, but that's not why you're reading this. The V7 II adds an all new 6 speed gearbox for fine shifting and closer gearing, improving the "everything a motorcycle should be" character of the V7. An adjusted engine angle gives the bike a better profile while improving legroom for taller riders. If you haven't ridden a V7 yet, now is truly a time to experience one.
A twist of fun
Piaggio and Vespa didn't rest over the winter either. Piaggio has brought Europe's most popular scooter back to the US. The MP3 500 returns to much fanfare and with many improvements. Too many to really list at that. Make sure to read the MP3 500 page to have a real understanding as to why this bike is the ultimate urban transport.
Where there's smoke, there's fire and a BBQ right? Vespa's new Sprint sport in smoky matte titanium grey has plenty of fire to burn up downtown. A unique color combination with subtle striping and black wheels will look good parked (for free) anywhere in Austin. The Sprint Sport is the ultimate in cool small-frame scooter.
It's easy to see why we're all excited this summer. While the rain may be interfering, it's just time to plan that next ride – you'll enjoy it that much more. Make sure to visit us to see all the newest and hottest Italian bikes sure to be cruising Austin this summer.