The Aprilia Shiver 750GT is a beautiful looking bike. 95bhp on a fly-by-wire throttle and weighing little more than a Suzuki SV650, deep joy. The 850 Aprilia Mana, slightly less power than the Shiver but running through an automatic gearbox -CVT- Continuously Variable Transmission to be precise. I've never ridden a bike with an automatic gearbox, at least not one where my feet sit somewhere behind my arse. I was really looking forward to the whole experience. Perhaps I'd even become a convert? Unfortunately, I never got to find out if the Aprilia's beauty ran any deeper than their shiny paintwork. The week ahead was all nicely mapped out, the lovely Aprilia's awaited my attention in Peterborough and the Met Office were even promising me some decent weather. But, there was a problem. Aprilia's PR Company didn't like the cut of my insurance policy. That news came as something of a surprise, Harley, KTM, Honda, Ducati, Triumph and BMW all seem to think that the policy's just fine. Apparently Aprilia didn't like the clause in policy that excludes 'Racing'. 'Racing?' Me? I think they confuse me with others. Anyway, it's too late in the day to make alternative arrangements and there's no use in crying over lost V-Twins.
With my riding juices rising in anticipation of the Italians, there was nothing left to do but to ride the Tiger. And ride it I did. With the new front tyre, it's a totally different beast. It's fun again, it makes me smile. For no other reason than the fact that the road took me there, I ended up riding in London. A busman's holiday if ever there was. Nothing of any great consequence happened, I just rode and enjoyed. I like riding the Tiger but there's nothing quite like the experience that you have when riding a brand new bike, especially when somebody else is paying for any of your indiscretions. Thankfully, my Aprilia disappointment was short lived. They've lined up something even more appealing for me to ride. It's a bike that I've salivated over for quite some time and it's a bike that's certainly worthy of my drool. Hopefully this time my insurance policy will pass muster. It's got to happen soon. I feel like my Birthday's just been cancelled but they've given my an extra Christmas in way of compensation. Bring it on, I'm ready.