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Old 02-10-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
LAmeauteau OP
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Thumb Aprilia Caponord & Rally Raid

Picked up an '02 Capo from a friend recently.
It's been in my carport for a couple months, made a few needed electrical repairs, typical adjustments, and rode it to work yesterday in freezing weather (LA style, you know, 47F) rain, old tires & fuel, just go.
I had not forgotten how great these motorcycles are as I've spent many, many miles on Capo's and the full Aprilia line. But, I was reminded first hand of the incredible build quality and overall performance of these (adventure) machines.
New set of Distanzia's and a full service coming = Ready for anything.
Props once again to Aprilia, old school Aprilia, the real deal.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:24 PM   #2
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I took out my '03 Tuono yesterday (also low 40's and wet) for its first ride of the year. While on the ride it broke the 80,000 kilometer mark (nearly 50k miles).

Only thing it's needed is rubber, oil, fuel, and a well-tended battery. Paint is still excellent (and this is no garage queen) and the overall attention to detail still makes me smile. And I still grin like an idiot when I pin the throttle. :)

That Rotax shared between the RSV/Tuono, Caponord and Futura is one of the true great engines in motorcycling, definitely under-appreciated. It's also the "father" of both the LC8 and the V-Rod motor.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
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LAmeauteau: Congrats on getting back on one of the best bikes to come out of Europe!
Brown connectors? Fuel disconnects? We've also seen a couple of into-tank wiring harnesses failing in ethanol-rich fuels.
As you probably know, the Capo-specific AF1Racing forum has all the details.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:13 PM   #4
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Yup,AF1racing.com is all the info you'll need
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:33 PM   #5
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I agree

I also picked up an 02 Capo this past summer. It's a great bike and very comfortable but I am cautious of the Itialian electrical gear so I'm never far from the guys at AF1 and the Capo Forum on their site.

If you're not on it yet sign up. There is a huge knowledge base there and the guys there are always ready to offer help and advice.

Hope to see you there,

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:46 PM   #6
Croak
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Keep in mind that the "important" electronics on a Caponord are Sagem, a proven and very reliable ECU system that both Aprilia and Triumph used for years. As for "electrics" it's just a few connectors that are troublesome, and easily remedied.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croak View Post
Keep in mind that the "important" electronics on a Caponord are Sagem, a proven and very reliable ECU system that both Aprilia and Triumph used for years. As for "electrics" it's just a few connectors that are troublesome, and easily remedied.
Thanks for this post...I am still gauging my confidence with my '06 Capo. Hoping to make a few trips outside of Georgia this year. :)

(My Tiger stranded me twice and the tubed rims were a more complicated fix.)
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:28 PM   #8
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You'll like it and it will do you proud. I have one ('02) and a Multistrada and there are a couple of things (mainly weather protection) I like better about my ten year old Capo. The Rotax is a smooth, pleasant and robust power plant and will go the distance. The build of the Capo stands up as well, and the niggles are really quite few. Enjoy the ride!
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:07 AM   #9
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Didn't know Caponords were so reliable. Good to know!
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croak View Post
Keep in mind that the "important" electronics on a Caponord are Sagem, a proven and very reliable ECU system that both Aprilia and Triumph used for years. As for "electrics" it's just a few connectors that are troublesome, and easily remedied.
The coils are Sagem too - and they WILL fail, sooner or later; luckily they are easily replaced with very cheap and reliable automotive coils.

Quote:
Originally Posted by betitou View Post
Didn't know Caponords were so reliable. Good to know!
There are a few in the US with 100,000 miles and at least one in Europe with over 200,000 km - having to open the engine for more than routine maintenance is rare.
Once you've overcome the penny-pinching assembly-line short-cuts taken by the factory and added stuff that should have been standard (like a centre-stand), the Caponord is a very good all-roads all-rounder. It was one of the first bikes fitted with a slipper clutch, back in 2001 and ABS from about 2005.
For the money, you won't find a better comparable bike, IMHO.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:26 PM   #11
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I have had mine for 18 months and 11,000 hard miles. When I got it (for $2K with only 6000 miles on it) I put a set of RICOR intiminators in the forks, threw away the 25lb boat anchor OEM cans (Leo Vince's do the farting now), added a CatFish map, deleted the airbox snorkel/restrictor, took one tooth off the front sprocket and added a set of Heidenau K60's.

In my humble opinion - if Ape had shipped the Capo in this configuration, Duc would not be selling Multies and BMW would have buried the GS.

These bikes are the best kept secret of the Moto industry
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
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The coils are Sagem too - and they WILL fail, sooner or later; luckily they are easily replaced with very cheap and reliable automotive coils.


There are a few in the US with 100,000 miles and at least one in Europe with over 200,000 km - having to open the engine for more than routine maintenance is rare.
Once you've overcome the penny-pinching assembly-line short-cuts taken by the factory and added stuff that should have been standard (like a centre-stand), the Caponord is a very good all-roads all-rounder. It was one of the first bikes fitted with a slipper clutch, back in 2001 and ABS from about 2005.
For the money, you won't find a better comparable bike, IMHO.
I believe most US units came equipped with the center stand as standard. The '02 Capo (here in the States) was introduced at special pricing and commonly sold for under $11,000 equipped with the panniers and center stand. Of course, specs and other items changed over the years.

Otherwise, I agree completely as I frequently do with you, though my low mileage Capo is still running on it's original coils. I realize my bike is an oddball since I acquired it with only 236 miles on the clock. I did (actually dealer comped me!) the fuel connector swap and the brown connector and still have the Sagem coils in. A smooth running, exceptionally comfortable and competent machine, the important parts of this bike are done well. The fork springs are probably my biggest daily gripe. Way too soft, I really should replace them. Cheap lazy, and my wife says I have other faults as well!

We all know that the Rotax is a veritable beast of a motor, really one of the all time greats.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:24 AM   #13
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When I got it (for $2K with only 6000 miles on it)
EX-CUSE-ME?!?!?!
Aprilia Caponord, 6000 miles, for 2000 (I repeat: TWO THOUSAND) american dollars?!?!
You got to be kidding!!!!

Must be destroyed or something !?!
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:56 PM   #14
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EX-CUSE-ME?!?!?!
Aprilia Caponord, 6000 miles, for 2000 (I repeat: TWO THOUSAND) american dollars?!?!
You got to be kidding!!!!

Must be destroyed or something !?!
No it was absolutely pristine and came with a Givi Top box, Aprilia side cases and hand guards. It had a failed fuel connector but the owner was clueless when it came to mechanical repairs. His slack of savvy = my gain It took me 60 min and $60 to fix it.

Since I got a bargain, I did the research (on the AF1 forum) and did a ton of upgrades (Leo Vince cans, RICOR intiminators in the forks, eliminated the brown connectors, new metal fuel connectors, new plugs, oil change, Galfer HH pads, MOSFET Reg/Rec) in one 10hr session.

I rode it like that for a few '000 miles then did a Catfish remap, took off the airbox snorkel/restrictor, At 17,000 miles I put a set of Heidi K60's on it along with a new chain and 16T sprocket at 17,000 miles.

In my opinion, Capo's should have left the factory in this spec. It rips on the street and more than holds its own on the dirt.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:42 PM   #15
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That's awesome! You won't have another chance like that anymore, in my opinion...
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