As the E.U. implemented Euro 5 emissions standards at the beginning of 2021, Aprilia was forced to discontinued its long-running Shiver model. Introduced in 2007 as the Shiver 750, the naked bike earned a liquid-cooled, 896cc, 90-degree V-twin in order to meet Euro 4 regulations in 2017. By the end of 2020, however, Aprilia moved on from the aging platform, focusing on the new 660 parallel-twin-based bikes instead.
With Aprilia giving the Shiver the cold shoulder, we assumed that we would never see the naked bike back in action ever again. Right on cue, the Chinese brand Zongshen proved those assumptions wrong when it revealed the Shiver-derived Cyclone RA9 Concept at this year’s Chongqing International Motor Expo (CIMA).
As the premium brand under Zongshen, Cyclone has benefitted from the Chinese corporation’s various European partnerships. The Shiver/RA9 connection comes by way of Zongshen’s production alliance with Aprilia’s parent company Piaggio. Under the agreement, some Aprilia’s destined for Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania are produced at Zongshen’s Guangdong factory.
Like many China-based production deals, Zongshen gets to leverage Piaggio’s research and development in return. That exchange leads to concepts like the Cyclone RA9. Featuring the same trellis frame and 90-degree V-twin as its extinct European counterpart, the RA9 actually improves on the Shiver formula. Bumping the displacement to 987cc, Cyclone extracts 113 horsepower out of the powerplant compared to the Shiver’s 95 horsepower.
The Chinese firm also does away with the conventional swingarm in favor of a single-sided unit with a propellor-like rear wheel. As a result, the RA9 sheds seven pounds off the Shiver’s 481-pound wet weight. Of course, weight comparisons between concepts and production models are unfair, but it certainly bodes well for the Cyclone’s roadworthiness.
Aside from the chassis and engine, Cyclone blended the Shiver’s silhouette with MV Agusta’s aggressive design language for a very Euro-inspired naked bike. With Euro 5 emissions driving much of the motorcycle industry outside of China, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever see the Cyclone RA9 on North American roadways. However, it’s encouraging to see the Shiver gain a new lease on life as the Cyclone RA9 in China.