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Review of the 2005 Aprilia Sportcity 200:
As good as it gets!
Author: Noale, 2006-06-29|
Hello there, I own a SportCity 200 for sometime now and I would like to inform prospective buyers and tip fresh owners about the bike.
Please note that I live in Greece where a dry road grips more like a wet European road (and thankfully, it doesn¡¦t rain much here).
My only concern before buying the Aprilia was that it was too good to be true. Better styling (subjective), better specs (objective), better ¡¥stable¡¦ and, most importantly, a price that made it all look kind of suspicious. The conclusion after a few thousand kilometers is simply that Aprilia managed to successfully blend all the above in a high quality, exciting package. The most impressive thing about it is the overall built quality which is better then some 600cc bikes that I used to own. No tremors, no squeaks, solid as a rock and everything in the right place. In terms of fun and practicality the bike is simply what its name implies. More specifically, the engine-suspension-brake package works as good as it looks. Check out that front disk-fork assembly and you¡¥ll see what I mean. The engine is good low and in cooperation with the excellent transmission provides flying starts accompanied by occasional entertaining wheel spin. It provides smooth and even acceleration which can be frighteningly intense for urban use when you push it especially from mid-range rpm. The brakes are excellent on descent tarmac with a slight tendency of the rear one to lock when used on slippery surfaces. In contrast to their top level performance I found the feeling of the brakes and their adjustment improper for the bad roads of my country and my taste. More specifically, they lack initial grunt and 80% of the stopping power appears near the locking limit. This means more lever distance and more anxiety especially in the city. After a few miles I realized that I can take 9 out of 10 medium-tight turns better by banking the bike before the entrance of the turn, throwing the front towards the apex and keeping a steady-slow accelerating pace until the exit of the turn. Any short straight or opening in the traffic is covered instantly with a cool, subtle roar. The stability while braking, accelerating or moving in a straight line with speeds from 1 to 120 km/hr is stupendous. |
In terms of practicality, the initially cramped-looking space under the seat can surprisingly fit a basic jet type helmet (and I mean really basic, no visor and no other type will do) and a folded chain lock. You also have a locking glove box with power outlet to charge your phone in front of your knees and a folding briefcase hook. I also have a 35lt case on the back which you should consider a must, as it is not going to ruin the looks of the bike because it matches perfectly with the wide rear side. While moving in the city traffic the bike is very agile and feels as light as a 50cc moped so always keep an eye on the speedometer because 50cc mopeds do not weigh 145kg nor can move around traffic with 80km/hƒº. Also note that when moving between still vehicles the mirrors will always MISS a normal car¡¦s mirror and always HIT a truck¡¦s or van¡¦s mirror. The mirrors are also wider then the rest of the bike and as result a constant source of irritation (I did some custom bending work on them and problem solved). Other than that you will arrive fast and stress free every single time. The bike is equally generous for the passenger too with plenty of space and sturdy grips, just watch it when she/he climbs up. The best place to enjoy the bike is a twisty country road where you can experiment while having loads of fun. It¡¦s a riot on such roads and, honestly, if you are not going to ride outside the city limits buy yourself a smaller capacity city scooter with 10 inch wheels instead. The only important disadvantage is the fuel tank capacity which is ok for city use but insufficient for fun outside the city or small trips. Ignore the 9,2l capacity indicated by some sites, the total capacity is 8,6 liters including the reserve. I get a standard autonomy of 180km with every 8lt of gas with the fuel reserve light on for more than 30km (so don¡¦t panic when it lights up). A 10lt fuel tank would give a range of more than 230km. You will also need to get used to the way that the digital fuel indicator works. When you fill up the bike the ¡§full¡¨ (six lines) indication stays on for about 60 kilometers and then there is a rapid fall. Three lines after 100 kilometers, two after 120 and finally the fuel warning lights up after about 140-150 kilometers which means that you have at least 30 more before you run out. So the best tactic is to wait for the tank to empty (170-185 kms) and then fill it up again. With conservative driving it can be even more economical but it is really hard to drive conservatively on this bike. It provokes you for fast driving and it is nearly impossible not to be throttle happy. Get it and you will not want to stop riding it, smile guaranteed. Personally, I never changed the preload spring settings because of the bad Greek roads as the standard suspension setting is rather soft despite the excellent road holding it provides.
To buy or not to buy¿
My opinion: Excellent value, amazing built quality, exciting and easy to ride in the city and on twisty country roads. Safe, stable and sturdy, if you know what you want from your next motorbike, the SportCity will never disappoint you for your choice.
Short trips: 7/10
Long trips: impossible is nothing¡K
Low fuel tank capacity
Under saddle space
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