View Full Version : Aprilia Mana

08-17-2008, 07:26 PM
I had a chance to test ride the Aprilia Mana last week and have been thinking about that ride. It was really a blast! If youu haven't heard of the Mana, it is an 850cc naked back that uses a CVT transmission (no clutch!). The bike handled really well and I had absolutely no problems adjusting to the tranny. I have an '80 CM400A which is similar in concept, but the Mana just worked soooo much better.

What impresssed me the most? The whole package and how well it all worked together! I believe the Mana would be a very nice bike for commuting around town and would prove an acceptable touring rig if you outfitted it with the optional hard bags and screen.

Anyway, just felt like I had to share!


08-25-2008, 08:30 PM
Anyone have any idea on what might be expected from a maintence & uptime standpoint on the Mana? What is the take on Aprilia in general as well as their scooters?

08-25-2008, 08:54 PM
What impresssed me the most? The whole package and how well it all worked together! I believe the Mana would be a very nice bike for commuting around town and would prove an acceptable touring rig if you outfitted it with the optional hard bags and screen.

Anyway, just felt like I had to share!


It's interesting, I got off work early Friday and went to run some errands and happened upon a Ducati dealership:doh:

I asked about the Shiver and Mana and they had 3 Shivers, but no Mana and had no better info on the Mana then the magazine I was reading. I figured if anyone could pull this bike off, it was Aprilia. Sounds like a neat bike, but the maintenance thing seems a little scary, although my Camry Hybrid has a CVT with no maintenance on the scheduled ever?


08-25-2008, 09:21 PM
Here is some info I wrote about the MANA back in mid-June, after a visit to AF1.

Maint-wise valve adjustments recommended at 18K miles, (screw adjusters ) CVT belt recommended replacement is 12,500 miles although I suspect that is "conservative" and they will last much longer. The belt is about $60 and and about 1 - 1.5 hours labor to replace. Engine oil should stay very clean since there is no transmission or clutch particals to contaminate it.

I rode over to AF1 today and rode the MANA 850 for over 100 miles and rode the Shiver 750 for about 10 miles.
I know many of you already know much about this machine but I will lay out some of the basic info in "my lingo".
The MANA is a really neat bike, innovative and appears to be initially flawless. Power is very good, with the CVT the engine staying in the
torque curve well, very good acceleration both from stops and highway roll on's.
Vibration is minimal, in the bars and some very slight vibration in the pegs, which you seem to ignore after a few miles on the road.
There are three "drive modes" : Touring, Sport and Rain. You change all of these "on the fly" with a thumb button on the right handlebar control.
In touring you are basically an automatic like a scooter, with seamless ratio changes when accelerating. In Sport you can manually shift the 7 speed trans by foot shifter or "paddles" on the left handlebar control. Once again there are absolutley no clicks,clunks etc when shifting, totally smooth and seamless. I had no need to try the "Rain" mode but I assume it electronically decreases engine torque to reduce wheelspin in slick conditions, which would be quickly renamed to "dirt road" mode if I owned the bike. The is NO clutch lever! ( and that takes a little getting used to ! )
After riding the bike in SPORT mode for about 10 miles I thought WHY ? It performs just as well in TOURING and you dont even have to give a thought about shifting. There is some engine braking in all modes, not as much as you might be used to but it's there, maybe reduced by 60%, the bike does not "freewheel when the throttle is rolled off. Front radial brakes and good rear brake haul the bike down quickly.
Heat from the engine and radiators was minimal, with 99-102 ambient temps showing on the bikes digital guage on the dash, the heat on my legs was much less than my Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 I rode over on.
The engine and exhaust are very quiet, with the typical low Italian V twin rumble.
The bike features a storage compartment where the fuel tank usually sits, large enough to stow my full coverage helmet.The tool kit is also located in this storage area. The compartment can be opened with a switch on the left handlebar control while riding ( Kodak moments? )
The fuel tank is located under the passenger seat, you flip up the passenger seat for filler access with a key from the rear of the bike.
Handling is firm and sporty, handlebars are 1 1/8" fat bars, seating is upright and comfortable, seat is firm and not much room to "scoot around" due to the step in the passenger seat . Mileage was about 45 mpg, using 2.4 gallons in about 105 miles.
This is no "less" a man's bike because of the CVT transmission,and I would not hesitate to recommend this bike to anyone, especially with a MSRP under 10K and tons of potential for performance gains. This bike is geared towards commuting and in town traffic but I can tell that it will hang with most sportbikes ( and their riders) in the twisties easily, and will probably have a nice advantage on sketchy or slick pavement.
I would assume the chain and sprockets would last much longer on this type of bike ( provided adjustment and maintenance were adequate )
since there is minimal "snatching/jerking" passed on throughout the drivetrain.
Also it gets plenty of attention, just flip the storage compartment open and watch the people walk over and ask questions !
Aprilia got it right, hopefully they will continue to develope this bike and find some way to get the public interested in the value and function it has.
Entry level or long time riders will be equally at home with it.
Would I buy one? Sure, I am thinking about it !
Thanks to Ed and Micah at AF1 for the chance to spend a long ride on this bike, stop by AF1 and check it out !

MANA Forum: http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=68

08-27-2008, 12:32 PM
As I am given to understand, the transmission is a stepless CVT. The seven "speeds" are created artificially by holding the CVT at fixed ratios. The bike should (like the Burgman 650 with a similar set-up) accelerate faster in full auto mode. The discrete gears can be useful in a few situations (engine brakeing down a hill, etc.)

And here's this from the nothing new under the sun (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1956-simplex-automatic.htm) department.


08-27-2008, 12:40 PM