By John Burns
Twenty years ago we didn’t need no stinkin’ TFT displays or active suspension or adaptive cruise control, cause we had paper maps and Walkmans, our butts were tough from all the beatings, and our wrists were well-developed from all the, ah, riding. And we liked it that way. Twenty years ago, Minime and the “MO Staff” escaped to Yosemite for a nice ride aboard a pair of Italians stallions. Why doesn’t Aprilia make a modern Futura? Why?
Two Italian Hearts in the Heart of Gold Country
Once again, we try to answer one of life’s greatest questions: Can we have everything we want? And, as if that’s not a large enough feat, can we get it all in one neat package, please? Oh, and while we’re being picky, make sure it’s Italian, too.
Thanks, Jeeves. As Russell Baker once opined, “people seem to enjoy things more when they know a lot of other people have been left out of the pleasure.” And so it goes with sport-touring bikes. A good one can do everything well, crossing state lines with ease or annoying your buddy on his race replica, up and down your favorite roads.
He’ll just look at you, then the bike, and scratch his head wondering how any one bike can do both things so competently. As is usually the case with all-’rounders though, good things become okay things, making room for bad things to also become okay things.
What frequently ends up happening is that a manufacturer tries to sell a bike that doesn’t handle like a sport bike, and won’t travel like a touring bike. It’s heavier, slower, wider, uglier and just plain not as much fun as the bikes it draws from. But, hey, you could do a little bit of everything on them if you …read more