One last long run before winter …….

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Metz StrasbourgAfter 22 days away on the Capo I returned with a little more than I bargained for, not least a crick in the neck and a stinking cold! On the way up I met Gianluigi at the Italian/Swiss border and talked some serious Capo bling for an hour. Then rode through sunshine, drizzle, rain and freezing fog before reaching Oxford. On the way back we were treated to high winds a stunning moon-rise and some amazing early morning scenes with low-lying mist. All in all, a real slice of what Europe/UK has to offer bikers this late in the season!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Oberon keyless fuel capThe original fuel cap was replaced with the Oberon keyless unit a few days after reaching Oxford …. it took about 10 minutes in all. It looks good, works fine and I’m no longer worrying about getting into the tank! That’s the only work done on the Capo for the whole trip – 3,000 miles – key-in, ride off. No drama, no breakdowns. In fact the last two original Sagem coils are still sparking just fine after 110,503 miles!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid FPE Seals clutch master cylinderWith the panniers emptied, it was a great opportunity to restock on spares for the workshop – front wheel bearings and seals (used the last set 9 years ago!) a clutch pushrod bearing (16004), clutch diaphragm and  a couple of sets of clutch master cylinder seal kits from FPE Seals Ltd. Service parts stock is now replenished with extra oil/air filters, a spare pack of DPR9EIX-9 Iridium spark plugs, red rubber grease and more Scottoil as I seem to be going through a couple of litres a year! A HUGE bag of stainless screws, nuts and washers from Jason helped balance out the panniers (cheers matey!) and last but not least, the remaining electronic parts to finish off the BMW Brake Light System (clone!) that was started in spring.

But undoubtedly the highlight of the pannier contents is the Innovv K1 dual channel Full HD camera kit. This has been loaned for review by Jim smith at AMI (Abbey Motorcycle Instructors) who should be fitting a second kit to one of his Instructor bikes over winter. I’m really looking forward to fitting this kit and putting it through its paces. In fact I’ve already been running the system on the workbench and making a comparison of video quality compared to the GoPro Hero 3+ and power draw etc ……. full review coming soon, watch this space!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid INNOVV K1 full HD dual channel camera kit


Service time

With 36,195 miles now on the clock, the Capo was due its service. Another biggie …. the one with the valve check. Well after an uneventful days spannering, I’m happy that the whole thing went to plan. Nothing’s broken ….. no nasty surprises … just a straightforward service as per the Aprilia manual. Until now I’ve used the Agip oil as specified in the handbook, simply because it’s easily available here in Italy …. this time however, I’ll be running Castrol R4 10w50 fully-synthetic that I bought back from the UK.

As the bike is now 7 years old, I decided on replacing some of the seals and gaskets displaced during servicing – not because they leak, just getting old. These included both cam cover gaskets, the oil filter cap seal and both air box seals. Also on the list was a replacement magnetic drain bolt …. they seem to seize solid in place and take a real beating to get off. As you can see, after several services my old one had seen better days!

The valve check took a couple of hours taking it nice and steady. As it turns out the valves are all in spec at the moment and have hardly moved since the last service. Aprilia calls for the check at 9K mile intervals …. I think I can sleep easy leaving them alone for the next 12K miles as the Rotax engine is notorious for having stable valve clearances – and mine seem to agree. The Iridium sparkplugs came out to make hand-cranking the engine into TDC easier …. they looked fine and went straight back in. Iridium plugs might be expensive, but they do last well!

Although not called for … the fuel filter and fuel tank gasket were changed. Not too hard, but re-using the ‘click-clamps’ on the hoses is ‘challenging’ to say the least! I ended up using a modified set of tile-nippers. As far as I know you have a choice of alternative filters that can be used …. the Ducati item (42540101A) is a straightforward swap, while the  Ryco Z200 / Baldwin BF1049 filters can be persuaded to fit with a little modification (untested by the author).

If you’ve ever wondered what exactly is in that very expensive plastic cylinder …. then here you go.

Last item on the engine to-do list was  balancing the throttle bodies …. and they turned out to still be nicely in sync – fantastic! So as the sun set behind the barn, I left the old girl burbling away happily while I took the dogs for a walk.

Tomorrow, a last quick check to make sure everything is oil-tight and that’s that for another few thousand miles.


Genuine Oil filter (long) – AP0956745
Oil filter ‘O’ ring – AP0650500 (size 62mm O/D, 2.5mm cross section – (£3.90+VAT for 2 from
Magnetic drain plug – AP0241782
Genuine air filter -AP8104169
Air box seal -AP8120615 (comes as a single length you trim to fit)
Genuine FIAAM FT5452 fuel filter – AP8102971
Fuel tank seal – AP8144478
Valve cover seal (x2) – AP0650345