The Aprilia Mana 850 is a mid-displacement sports motorcycle with a unique Gear System that allows automatic or semi-automatic control of the drive system for sports performance. In this way, it is very similar to a scooter. To many enthusiasts, two-wheelers that utilize this technology are the start of something evolutionary and exciting.
This particular 2009 Aprilia Mana 850 was purchased new in 2009 and shows a little over 20 miles on the odometer. It is, to say the least, a brand new motorcycle in every single way. The Passion Red paint is factory-flawless everywhere, accented by black and silver mechanical bits to create something that looks aggressive and integrated, as a proper sport bike should. The designers at Aprilia seemed to emphasize the mechanics of the bike, integrating things like the rear shock absorber, exhaust pipe, and air cleaner into external design elements that look very futuristic.
The Aprilia Mana 850 provides options that are familiar to most scooter riders, but not to most mid- or large-displacement motorcycle riders. These options do not detract, but rather enhance the rider experience. While many large scooters (400 to 650cc) really move and handle, bringing big smiles to the faces of their riders, there are still many differences between scooters and mid-displacement sport motorcycles and these differences tend to segment the user base as well.
However, change is on its way, and this 2009 Aprilia Mana 850 addresses the differences quite successfully. To my eye, the sharply styled Mana is probably just a taste of what we will see in the emerging hybrid class offerings, real and conceptual, that blur the distinction between traditional large scooters and mid-displacement motorcycles.
And did I mention this one is brand new?
Mechanically, this Mana 850 features a high-output V-twin motor and a well-mapped engine and transmission management system. The Mana really is a high-performance mid-displacement motorcycle, that much can be felt immediately. Specifically, it is powered by a 90-degree V-twin with four-valve-per-cylinder and a total capacity of 839cc making 76 horsepower at the crank. The transmission is a sequential unit with manual or automatic mode, selectable by user. There are seven ratios in manual mode, three engine mode mappings (Touring, Sport and Rain) in automatic mode. Gear changes can be accomplished by pedal or handlebar control, and the user can switch from automatic to sequential mode at any moment. Power is transmitted through a primary belt drive and secondary chain drive to the rear wheel. And the wheels themselves are trick-looking super-lightweight castings sporting 120/70/17 front and 6.00x17 rear Dunlop tires.
The Mana 850s drive system has two distinct modes. In Sequential Mode, the transmission is controlled by the rider. Shifts can be made by either shifting up and down through seven gear ratios by using the standard foot lever, or even faster by using the Up and Down buttons on the left handlebar control. However, in Auto-Drive mode, all the rider has to do is use the throttle and brakes, and the system automatically handles the rest. The CVT transmission optimizes engine output at all times. The bikes ability to gather speed, quickly and quietly, is deceptive, due in large part to this smooth CVT transmission.
A major clue as to how the Mana 850 is driven is most often missed, but to the discerning eye, the parking brake level, located on the left side, just behind the large round Sports Gear System cover, is quickly seen for what it is. When stopped, the rider simply pulls up the lever to activate the brake and releases it before starting the motorcycle.
The helmet/tool kit compartment is strategically located in front of the rider in the space sometimes reserved for a fuel tank. The compartment is quite large and was actually designed to hold a standard helmet. If not stuffed with a helmet, the compartment serves as secure luggage storage.
Out back, you'll find another trunk that can be opened electronically via the left handlebar switch. It can also be opened manually by inserting the key in the rear seat lock just below the taillight, flipping up the rear seat panel and accessing the recessed latch that opens the compartment. This bike also includes a third accessory travel trunk mounted up high on the rear of the bike that can be locked for security.
So where is the fuel tank? Well, the plastic tank resides discretely under the rider and passenger seats. Overall capacity is 4.10 gallons, including a reserve.
The seats themselves are comfortable enough for all-day rides and are in perfect condition. The handlebars are comfortable to grab and the bike offers a more upright riding position that tends to reduce fatigue. Everything is in excellent condition, from the grips to the windshield, and I'm thinking that some of the many buttons on the control panel have never even been pushed. You'll recall that this is a NEW bike!
Controls are intuitive and follow this bikes easy-to-use theme. The large LCD Display, along with the speedometer is used to display the primary information to the rider. Most of the now-standard status and monitoring functions are available while a secondary menu allows some very specific information to be monitored or parameters to be adjusted.
Documentation includes user's manuals, warranty booklet, and maintenance information.
If you've been looking for just the right bike to cruise on this summer, consider this Aprilia Mana 850. It's incredibly easy to ride, powerful and fast, with a ton of state-of-the-art features that should cost thousands more. This one is essentially a new bike in every single way except for the name on the bill of sale. If you're new to motorcycling, this could be an ideal first bike, and it would make an outstanding commuter vehicle on nice days (pulling down some impressive fuel mileage too!). There's a surprising amount of storage on board, so you will never have to worry about what to bring. This is a new bike for the price of a used one and the time to act on it is now. Call today!
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