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Old September 10th, 2016, 07:50 AM   #1
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2016
From: Michigan
Posts: 2

Considering a Caponord

I'm a 65yo living in Michigan. Lifelong rider whose main interest is in touring, especially next year after retirement. I have owned 2 Kawi ZR 1200's over 12 years and 90K miles. An old fashioned carborated no frills 'sports touring' bike which is stupid fast.

I am looking for a more upright position with better wind protection and more luggage capability and don't need stupid fast. I've set a $10k price limit. I don't want the giant heavy FJRs or Concours. I should want a BMW RT but I cannot stand the boxer engines characteristics. I had a Guzzi V7 sport long ago and Norge 8 valves are at the top of my list.

The Caponord is interesting because it's lighter, is higher performance and they are cheap because of the spotty dealer situation. Where their rarity reinforces itself one might say. The high tech stuff is cool but the main area of my concern. I have not had a bike to a dealer in 35 years. I do all my work myself but with all Japanese bikes, mainly Kawi's, they have not needed much. Apparently there is no choice but a dealer for addressing anything in the electronic systems including firmware update issues etc. Is that right?

Then my biggest fear would be total failure of the processing units or the harness. I see in the forum one guy may have fried they system by jump starting it. Already that's checked off as a no can do but has anyone gone 20K+ miles with no issues?

Apparently the exhaust valves are failing regularly. I simply cannot stand the idea of such a failure 2000 miles and 3 weeks away from home, limping around. Thoughts?

I'd really prefer this to the Guzzi in every way save MPG but that's not a huge deal with cheap gas. I really want to get one but need to be sold.
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Old September 10th, 2016, 08:15 AM   #2
Joined: Nov 2014
From: Darlington
Posts: 50

Take a browse over to the AF1 forum, you will find much more information there and most questions you will ask are already answered.
Not many bikes are easy to tinker with these days and will only get worse with the emissions regs.etc. The Capo is damn good fun though.
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Old September 11th, 2016, 01:34 AM   #3
Senior Member
Joined: Mar 2015
From: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 267

I Ride: 2017 KTM 1290 SDGT & 2005 Honda CBR1100XX

G'day Rapier from Australia!

I have a Travel Pack model and have 32,450kms (over 20k US miles) and it has been 100% reliable - because I don't mess with stuff I am not proficient with and yes, the dealer must do the dirty service work.......all you can do is change the oil and filter and maybe put some grease in wheel bearings etc.....such is the price of high tech electrickery and ABS systems and Can-Bus wiring harnesses, fancy sensors and bits that you haven't see on a ZR12......

It's a great bike but some owners have either had trouble or caused it (or been let down by disinterested dealer networks).

You sound like you need a Vstrom or an Africa Twin.....they are owner serviceble like any Jap bike. I have ridden the latest Vstrom and can vouch for them. Fitted with Givi racks and an airhawk seat you will go anywhere and can do all the services as you are used to. Euro bikes are errr somewhat hard to get along with initially, then once you get in their 'groove' you are fine.

I love my Caponord but it is a big sacrifice to trust someone else to do the service work properly.........luckily mine has had good back-up (so far).......don't know what I'll do if the head mechanic ever leaves my dealership! (like you, I am used to doing all my services and tune-ups on my Honda Blackbird.......).

Make sure you test ride thoughtfully before buying.....otherwise you risk becoming yet another forum complainer if you fall out of love with the new bike....

Ps Not meaning to deter you from a Caponord - I am happy with mine.....but it isn't as simple to do the major service work like valve clearance check as to get to them you have to drain the coolant and be prepared to replace buggered cam cover gaskets($100 approx)....so it is a big commitment to do what we can do on a Jap multi with just basic tools.......but of course the reward is a great ride and top comfort!

Last edited by BrisbaNord; September 12th, 2016 at 11:23 PM.
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