I seem to recall that the scooter market in the EU took a dump about that time too. Something about regulations and taxation
In any event, Aprilia was much kinder to Guzzi than Piaggio has been. 6 speeds, sorted F.I. better suspension and electrics.
Yeah, there was something about that going on at the time. As I remember anyway, that was when the EU raised taxes on 2 stroke products. Aprilia at the time, produced predominantly 2 stroke scooters as wells as the RS125 and RS250 for the street.
I don't think it would have been a huge deal for Aprilia had they not dedicated so much capital to acquire MotoGuzzi. They'd already acquired Laverda just before that. Because of those acquisitions they were unable to weather the change in economic climate.
A good move though, as the "Shiver" is almost a non-entity in the motorcycling world - very rare for an Italian bike. Too heavy, not enough power, and pricey. Not a good recipe. The 900 is better than the 750, but too little, too late I fear. The 660 will ignite interest, as Aprilia's features and pricing have been heading toward the stratosphere.
I gave the Shiver a passing thought...but to me, they're too similar to a Monster...and I'd rather have a Monster. Sure, I know a few guys who bought a Shiver. I know they didn't ride the wheels off of them, the way the Monster owners I know rode theirs.
Personally, I don't like the divisions of bike "genre" that have appeared since Piaggio acquired the entire Aprilia portfolio of brands. MotoGuzzi has become only a retro style brand and Aprilia only the performance brand. Laverda has been left out of the equation. There are other brands that Aprilia acquired also that have remained buried since Piaggio took over. I understand brand positioning...but damn, the MGS01 was pretty spectacular. Too bad it was sold as track day bike only.
Aprilia has always been at the upper end of the pricing spectrum, that isn't new. When my Mille R debuted in 2000, it was priced over $18K. Similar in price to a Ducati 996 S, it's direct competition.
Going back further, I can remember seeing the RS125 Reggiani replica at Aylesbury Kawasaki in the early 90s. Keep in mind, this is a 125cc two stroke. When I asked what it was being sold for, I was told £3995.
In the early 90s, the exchange rate for the US Dollar to a pound Sterling, was $1.50 to £1. That works out to nearly $6K for a 125cc bike. IIRC, a CBR600 F3 was right around the same price in the early 90s.
Maybe that offers a tiny bit of perspective, maybe not. I just know, Aprilia was always just that little bit too much for me when I was younger. Ducati too. Now, maybe that's less of an issue on the used market for me, but the new bike market? Forget it. Still just a bit too much for me to buy new.......Ducati too........sean