Aprilia SRV 850 (2012 - present): Refreshing the enthusiasm for the Gilera GP 800.

This scooter is based on the Gilera GP 800. That review is posted here

     Engine: The liquid cooled, V2 90į, 839 c.c. engine, delivers 76 bhp/ 7750 rpm and 7.8 kgm / 5750 rpm (56.35 lbs ft) torque, claimed figures. According to the manufacturer, the 95% of the maximum torque is available from just 3500 rpm. While the transmission is automatic CVT, the engine is placed at the front, while the final drive is chain.        
     The engine has got the daunting task to propel the heavy scooter. If it were any other engine of the market, it would be striving to accomplish the goal, although the power of this engine is unprecedented for a scooter. On normal use the acceleration provided is excellent, the throttle response is slightly smoother than the Gilera GP 800. 
     Full throttle acceleration is very-very powerful, on low friction factor roads there are only a few tires available that could maintain traction up to the speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). ‘he scooter accelerates quite easily up to the speed of 160 km/h (99 mph), satisfactorily at 180 km/h (112 mph). Actually the power provided easily surpasses the expectations of the rider, any given instant. The top speed is 210 km/h (130.5 mph), indicated figure. 
      This big engine derives from the GP 800 although it was first introduced in Aprilia Mana 850. Quite reasonably the disadvantage of a big engine is present, especially if rider takes advantage of engine performance: fuel consumption is increased, even for big street bikes standards. An indicative average fuel consumption figure is 6.1 l/100 km, (46.3 mpg Imperial). 
      Riding position: The height of the saddle is average (780 mm-30.71 in). The width of the saddle is increased, hence average stature riders or even higher will step a confident foot on the road. This is essential due to the weight of the scooter. 
      Rider is placed in and over the scooter. Riding position is neutral, the handlebar is wider and more to the front than it is normally expected. The pillion is seated just higher than the rider, pillionĘs knees form a natural angle, the handlegrips are practical. However because the tail is very wide, pillionĘs legs are spread open. Due to the anatomy of the body, only female pillions will find this position neutral! 
      The dimensions of the scooter are large, except from the height which is normal. The width of the scooter is great only at the legshield area and especially at feet-height. 
     The weight of the scooter is great though, fortunately it will be obvious only if rider has to push the bike. The weight of the scooter is 249 kg (549 lbs) dry, which is indicatively very close to that of a Bmw K1300S. 
      On the road: A 41 mm fork is equipped to the front and a horizontal shock at the rear, thatĘs the reason that the shock cannot be easily distinguished by the rider. The spring preload at the rear may be adjusted in seven increments. The suspensions are stiff. Suspension travel is long, 122 mm at the front and 130 mm at the rear. It should be noted that the engine is not attached to the swingarm, which also improves comfort. 
      The tires fitted on the scooter tested which are also factory installed, are Pirelli Diablo Scooter with dimensions 120/70-16 at the front and 160/60-15 at the rear. They are considered to be a good choice for the specific scooter. They are relatively hard and they feature a powerful sidewall. 
      On town rides on normal traffic conditions, the big scooter is adequate. Specifically the SRV 850 is surprisingly nimble, as soon as riding speed exceeds 20 km/h (12.4 mph). On slower pace, the scooter is comparatively clumsy. 
      On downtown rides, the weight of the scooter becomes a handicap when manoeuvring around cars. The increased bulk of the SRV 850 is the second issue for the rider. The central tunnel does not favour commuting. 
     Filtering is relatively good, the height of the handlebar is the same with taller car mirrors. The height of the scooterĘs mirrors is about the same with SUVsĘ mirrors. 
      Steering lock is good. The comfort of the Aprilia over street imperfections is superb, given the scootersĘ standards. Its one of the very few scooters around, which provide comfort equivalent to that of a motorcycle. Well, almost. 
     Its obvious that the SRV 850 is not the most suitable scooter for downtown use. It may be ridden through the centre of the town occasionally, almost like a touring bike would do. Thus while on normal town traffic there are no major compromises asked to the rider, on downtown rides its not really usable. It feels like a committed touring bike then, not really addressing to many riders. 
      On B-roads the agility of the SRV 850 is a nice surprise to the rider. Specifically the agility is combined with superb stability, indicatively the wheelbase is 1585 mm, (62.4 in) long. The Aprilia has been transformed now to a very friendly and utterly confident scooter. 
      At the fast pace, riding confidence is enhanced even more by the robustness of the scooter. On decent roads the SRV 850 becomes a very fast scooter that will puzzle quite a few bikes trying to confront it. The speed obtained between the bends is really great. Feedback to the rider gets decreased close to the limit, riding confidence is still increased though. 
      On low friction factor roads, feedback to the rider becomes average relatively early as the speed is building up, hence rider will not enjoy fast pace riding despite the stability of the robust scooter. 

      On the highway stability is excellent for the scootersĘ standards, even close to the top speed. The screen deflects the air just above the riderĘs diaphragm. Thus a touring pace of up to 150 km/h (93 mph) is the maximum, air resistance becomes a disadvantage then. 
     Rider has to buy the taller by 30 cm (11.8 in) optional screen which costs around 125 Euros, ($164-£102). Because this scooter derives from the Gilera GP 800 (2008-present) which was standard equipped with an electric adjustable screen, one may be wondering why this was not directly transplanted to the SRV, since the Gilera is capable of travelling with 20 km/h (12.4 mph) higher speed. 
      Two 300 mm rotors are equipped at the front together with two-piston callipers and steel brake lines. A 280 mm rotor is equipped at the rear together with a two piston calliper and a rubber brake line. Brakes provide good initial bite, relatively good feedback at the front and average at the rear. Stopping power is good. Thus they are quite good, despite that the scooter tested was not equipped with an ABS. On high friction tarmac roads they are superb, although the front end diving is considerable then. 
     Model history/versions/optional/reliability/build quality: The Aprilia SRV 850 derives from GileraĘs GP 800 (2008-present). Compared to the Gilera, suspensions are stiffer, handling is improved, although the electric adjustable screen would be also an advantage for the Aprilia. The latter is a handicap due to the engine capacity-touring potential and mega-scooterĘs competition nowadays. The engine is the same yet improved, providing slightly more power and torque, while being more linear. 
     There are two versions available, the standard and the ABS-TCP which except from the ABS features a traction control which may be deactivated. The traction control may be adjusted in two modes, sport and normal which is more intrusive. Due to the superb engine power, traction control is welcomed on low friction factor roads. 
      Despite the large rear 15 inch wheel, the storage space under the seat will accommodate a medium full-face helmet. It would be better if there were small storage spaces at the legshield as well. A centre stand is provided which is tricky to use, not really due to the extensive weight of the scooter. The daunting part is the foot applying the force that gets very close to the silencers, making things difficult to the rider. A handbrake is also featured, which makes parking easier on downhill or uphill roads. Except from the optional screen mentioned above, a top box and an Arrow titanium-carbon silencer are optional equipment. 
      There are no specific reliability issues, build quality is very good, the finish is superb. 

      Comments: The traction control switch is positioned at the place of the screen controlling switch of the Gilera. The upper triple clamp looks genuinely sporty from the riding position. The double silencers at the left hand side of the scooter and the anti-slip seat cover also amplify the sporty scooter character. 
     The styling at the front and the name of the scooter refer directly to the flagship of the company, the RSV4. 
     ‘he engine capacity of the SRV 850 is the greatest so far, this engine is the most powerful up to now on the market. However despite the excellent performance, this results to a uni-dimensional character and the extensive scooterĘs weight of course. 
      In other words itĘs the fastest scooter out there, stability is top class, there are some scooter advantages which may be identified, although at the end of the day the disadvantages of the mega-scooter family are also there, which are about the same with big touring bikes. Therefore in case of everyday downtown rides, a small scooter will be necessary, soon. This is oxymoron, although it helps future owners to their choice! 
      This is the second scooter by Aprilia that is a version of a Gilera scooter, following the SR Max 300 which was derived from GileraĘs Nexus 300. In the case of the SRV 850 the differences with the GP 800 are small, introducing some advantages and disadvantages at the same time, while in the case of the SR Max 300 scooter the change of the riding position results to a different riding sensation. 
Price: 9960 Euros 

Price ABS-TCP: 10470 Euros 

 + Performance 

 + Stability - handling 

 - Weight - downtown rides 

 - Low, non  adjustable, electric screen


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