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 Hey Pete Roper

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Steak
L'Innominato
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PostSubject: Hey Pete Roper   Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:13 pm

A buddy of mine just purchased a 2014 Aprilia Mana 850 GT ABS (from Vespa Thousand Oaks - Oca content...)

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Any tips, tricks, or must dos on this clever bike? I know you've had nothing but praise for it over the years, and that factored into my recommendation that he give it strong consideration for purchase.

Now I'm going to have to ride down to SoCal and run him through the canyons for a few days.  afro 

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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:32 pm

I spent some time on a 2011 and it was pretty neat, not the Rocket ship off the line that the Suzuki Bergman 650 is affraid ...but if ya want to piss off a sport bike squid drag race him at a light Rolling Eyes about the third light is where the comedy ensues,

Getting used to that parking brake was uber weird though, at least they put it where you whack yourself on it so you remember it
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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:15 pm

I love my Manas, I have two. Very early on when they were first sold here in '08 I realized that this would be a perfect 'Modern' adjunct to my much loved V-1000 I Convert. I shelled out and realized immediately I'd made the right decision. In fact I discovered that it is such a great little tourer I eschewed my Guzzis for my trip across the US in 2011 and bought a GT with the full fairing like the one pictured above.

Needless to say all the rough, tuff, he-men hate the Mana. Its an automatic so obviously it can't be. Bike for a 'Real Man'. It is also sub 1000cc, another blot on its man-card. The great thing is that the sort of tools who worry about such shit are the losers and I laff all the way to the end of the road.

The Mana is fugal, it is robust, it is as close to 'Maintenance Free' as any modern vehicle you can get. Its also a sublime lightweight tourer and in hindsight Jude and I would probably of enjoyed our trans-continental jaunt in the USA last summer MORE if we'd taken the Mana rather than the Cali 1400!

Things to be aware of? Although the suspension of the GT is better than that of the 'Plain Jane' NA model it is still not brilliant. Unlike the NA all the GT's have ABS which while a lovely thing and riding my GT changed my mind completely about its benefits on a bike BUT it means that if you want to upgrade the forks you are limited to working with the 'Cheap and Cheerfuls' it comes with or finding a take-off set of Sachs of an RSV-4! The NA was much easier, I just got a set of forks and brakes off a late model TV-2 and they slip right in. Having ABS you need the mount for the sensor pick up. Having said that my GT handles acceptably and can hold a line in corners, something my NA never did in Stock trim. With the GT the back shock is still fairly drac but at least it has preload adjustment by knob rather than collar. That helps. My NA has a Hyperpro fully adjustable on the back though and combined with the forks allows me to eat dweebs on 600 'Supersports' for breakfast on the Clyde Mountain, even when luggaged up! Very Happy.

As far as reliability is concerned the only warning I would give is if you get the warning triangle come on and the word 'Gear' appear at the bottom of the dash it is because the front variator hub has most likely not been greased adequately at the factory. This causes a host of problems, (Visit the Mana specific site on the AF-1 board.) there are lots of listed examples.

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It seems most prevalent on MY2009 bikes but......?

Really though they are practically bulletproof, super smooth almost to the point of being anodyne and for a not very powerful bike can be an astonishing amount of fun. My GT will shortly be leaving Los Angeles to take up residence in its new home in New Zealand. As I say its a great little lightweight tourer that handles both tar and dirt with aplomb, (I did the Mokey Dugway on the GT and got a speeding ticket for 85MPH on the freeway in Ohio in 2011!)

Why they aren't a zillion times more popular I can't make out? It is the perfect compliment to my GRiSO which Jude won't travel on because its a torture rack for a pillion. If only I could justify buying a Tuono V-4 my motorcycling Nirvanha would of been reached but if I had one of those I'd be dead or in gaol in a week!

Nah, the GT is a great bike. As I say with everything spend money on brakes and suspension and enjoy the engine for what it is. Mine stays in 'Touring' mode 95% of the time but 'Sport' and 'Sport Gear' are both fun to play with. 'Rain' mode never gets used on the Roper Manas.

There are aftermarket pipes available but the CVT makes them sound 'Flat' unless you're in 'Sport gear, while some owners claim magnificent improvements in performance, (Oh look, there goes another squadron of pigs! Looks like they're headed to the same place the people with 120 RWHP Grisos are headed to!) I really like both the quiet and the comfort of the Mana, especially the GT. I've done an 800 mile day on my GT and got off feeling human. Few bikes you can say that for.

If you want luggage the factory racks are good and you can get Givi bags the same as the much more expensive Aprilia badged ones. My GT also has a cheap Chinese top-box from hell. Few bikes have the carrying capacity of a Mana.

Enjoy.

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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:48 am

Have Mana will travel.

Cane fields above Cairns in Far North Queensland.

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Charters Towers FNQ.

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Tasmania, (We'll be there this weekend. Not on the bike but for Jude's sixtieth birthday!)

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Blue Ridge Parkway

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Somewhere in Tennessee

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Somewhere west of Mexican Hat.

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And no Mana but because its one of my favourite places on the planet. Monument Valley at dawn. Same trip.

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Steak
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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:25 pm

Thanks a million Pete for that thoughtful and entertaining response. I will share it with my pal.

He is only just getting in to motorcycling, thankfully was not that middle aged guy who wants to be a Harley pirate. And while he was initially enamoured with the GRiSO (who can blame him) and the Cali 1400, he ultimately listened to reason. I strongly encouraged him to cut teeth on a lightweight maneuverer with plenty of fun power. He test-rode a V7 Stone, which he liked but didn't fall for, so I told him to look at Mana GT or a Shiver. His girlfriend rides a 1200 GS and thankfully that test ride put him off the big bike until he racks up some mileage. Of course she was pushing him towards a F 800 GS of the Bavarian Money Waster bent. "Sure, it's a nice bike," says I, "but Germans aren't exactly known for 'cool.'"  Cool 

Fortunately, after going back for a look at the Aprilia's, he listened to reason. I think he made a great choice in the Mana. He's got plenty of means and room in his garage. There's ample time for a litre bike after a year or so, and while he could always trade in the Mana, I bet him that he probably wouldn't. He made a good choice.

- SD

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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:02 pm

The more I commute into the city on a bike, the more sense the Mana makes to me. Very cool bike!
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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:08 pm

The Mana is a friendly fuzzy puppy kind of thing, kind of like the dl650...The "tour Mode" is ok on the mana and does not feel really odd. The rain Mode however makes the thing respond like a cv carb bike from the early eighties with a hole in the diaphram. It is kind of odd to me any way to be able to open the throttle for what feels like forever and have nothing I mean nothing happen, The Shiver is the same in "rain". (I would say leave in sport) but I am still getting used to the ride by wire thing.

I am actually really excited, I have a test ride booked on the new Caponord 1200 mid march Thumbs Up, if it is Multistrata1200s performance +, with aprillias (read euro Honda reliability)...oh my (how did I get here, oh ya aprillia) 

Think the only reason the Mana isn't more popular is that it is just kind of bland (in a good way), It is the first bike I ask to "borrow" if I need to go out when I am at the MG/ Aprillia dealer in Ga.

I think your friend made a very UJM kind of choice, it is a lot like the strom in that way... kind of swiss army bike, with a weird E-Brake.

The Shiver is a wonderful naked middleweight btw (very very under rated!!), If ya get a chance try one out...just a little warm in the rear in hot weather (thanks to that uber cool under seat dual exhaust, and CAT) thanks guys Rolling Eyes .

Man did he dodged a Bazooka round not buying that F 800gs, (do ya want the list... sorry)

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Steak
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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:55 pm

Look at this dude, went full retard with RSV4 mods on his Mana GT!  That's got to be at least $5K in there...  Someone needs to teach him how to pronounce Lay-O Veen-Chay...

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And here's Jay Leno's take on the NA version, and marketing-wise, he's got my buddy nailed...  Very Happy 

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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:35 pm

Thumbs Up 

Hey Steve, that is good news.

This is such perfect bike for a beginner.

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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:08 pm

I can't see the 'Full retard' Mana GT pic isn't coming up but I'll bet its Paul Solk's bike. Paul has a fused spine and a host of other injuries that prevent him riding a 'Conventional' bike any more, hence the Super-Mana. Hey, if I was into track days and going super fast and all I could ride was a Mana I'd be off down the same path!

Pete
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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:17 pm

"Full Retard" as in a no-holds-barred way...  RSV4/Hyperpro suspension, OZ wheels, Leo Vince exhaust, various carbon fiber bits.  the guy spared no expense!

It's a YouTube video by the way, and you're correct. It was posted by a PSolk. That's one souped up Mana!

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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:54 pm

Steak wrote:
"Full Retard" as in a no-holds-barred way...  RSV4/Hyperpro suspension, OZ wheels, Leo Vince exhaust, various carbon fiber bits.  the guy spared no expense!

It's a YouTube video by the way, and you're correct.  It was posted by a PSolk.  That's one souped up Mana!

PSolk???
from the apriliaforum????
He's a good egg. He's a 49er fan too.

DM
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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:14 am

The only real down side to the bike is the 8-12kmi belt replacement, you need the computer to re-teach the shift. This means a a 5-700$ bill in the equation for every belt change.

If the re-teach was added to guzzidiag there would be a LOT OF HAPPY MANA OWNERS....the belt change is do-able at home if you have a good shop and better yet are a machinist, I just made a set of tools for a lad to do the job. (we are lucky to have a indy with an axone that will teach for a small gratuity) :-)

now the water pump issue is another story....some affilicted some not....The best fix seems to be to sell the bike and buy another without the problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:24 pm

Most of the bikes that have had the 'weepy' water pump issue have cured themselves after a period of riding it seems but I've not had direct experience of it so I can't give a definitive answer on that.

Pete
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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:22 pm

Only mentioned the weeper, because I ran across one of them last weekend that was a 2011 that had the slow leak (it had 17kish miles on it and had weeped since the guy bought it 2nd owner). I had thought the issue was over by 2011. I still would buy one, given the chance.
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Pete Roper
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PostSubject: Re: Hey Pete Roper   Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:29 pm

Yeah, I thought they'd got it sorted by then. Dunno the cause? Possibly a bad set of ceramic seals or poor installation. As I said though they often cure themselves, (Shrug.)

Pete
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