Aprilia SL 1000 Falco
Text: Chris Myers • Photography: Christian Neuhauser
It’s a moment that all of us here at RoadRUNNER hope never happens. Any day now, our friends at Aprilia USA will be ringing us up, making the dreaded call to let us know they want their Falco back. It will be tough to part with it, but we know that this brazen bird of prey is destined to hunt elsewhere.
The SL 1000 Falco has been a favorite here for the past year. No matter what we’ve thrown its way, the Falco has seen to it that we arrive home smiling. Around town or around a couple of thousand miles, the trusty Aprilia keeps coming back for more.
The Falco is a sport-touring machine in the purest sense of the term. Surprising all-day comfort is mixed with pinpoint handling and a fire breather of an engine. Optional soft luggage and the tank bag offered by Aprilia easily allow for several days on the road The Falco may not be the most ideal mount for two-up touring, but for an extended one-person romp through the mountains, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better ride.
If the trip to your favorite mountain playground requires a stint on the super slab, worry not. Somehow the designers have managed to create a sport-inspired riding style that punishes neither wrists nor back. The level of overall comfort offered by the Falco is really amazing.
This is a bike that begs to be ridden.
Chassis and Brakes
Simply put, the brakes and chassis have performed flawlessly. The Brembo front brakes feature 320mm discs with four differential 34 and 30mm calipers. They offer both subtle feel and brutal stopping power when needed. When used in conjunction with the 220mm twin-piston rear, reeling the Falco in for the next turn becomes a mere afterthought.
The brakes can be a little touchy, but once you get the feel for them, you’ll certainly appreciate all they have to offer.
The chassis as well is a thing of beauty. It is difficult to imagine that there could be a more stable motorcycle out there. No matter what type of road you’re on or the condition it may happen to be in, the Falco devours it with ease. The 43mm Showa inverted fork is fully adjustable and offers a great feel for the road. Let the front wheel communicate with you through those forks.
After a while, you’ll easily be able to tell what you can get away with. The Sachs monoshock in the rear is adjustable for preload and rebound dampening and does a fine job of keeping the rear end of the machine in line. But don’t expect a plush ride on the Falco, it is after all, a sport-touring machine.
You will feel rough roads and those annoying highway joints, but the feedback given in serious riding mode is well worth the tradeoff.
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For the complete article of the riding impression(s) and technical specifications, please purchase the January/February 2005 back issue.
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