When I began my research of documentation on the Aprila Pegaso 600, I was really surprised to see how the 650cc versions had made forget the very first Pegasus. It is true that the Pegaso has been powered by the liquid cooled 650cc rotax since 1993 (14 years of loyal service, that marks). Nevertheless, the 600, presented in 1989 and marketed until 1994, was, let us not forget, the first large Aprilia cube to escape the green tradition of the Noale brand..
Until now, Aprilia had given us very good trails, but still very typical off-road or rally. The 600 Pegaso was therefore the brand’s first attempt on the road, while keeping its trail genes. The target is clearly identified: The Honda NX 650 Dominator.
The general line immediately makes one think of the Honda. The entire tank / fork crown fairing is visibly inspired and the volumes are quite close. The line is however a little more fluid and the colors (midnight blue and metallic burgundy) more classy. The clearly stated objective was to offer a more road, more urban, more luxurious (at least in the presentation) alternative of the dominatrix Dominator.
For that it offers itself a new front axle with an inverted fork and a wheel with reduced dimensions, launching without knowing it the fashion of the front wheel of 19 inches (which will be generalized thereafter on almost all the road trails). And if this front axle is not flawless (fork a little too flexible and turning radius a little small), it gives the trail an identity of its own in addition to a beautiful liveliness..
The rest of the cycle part is fairly standard; The frame is in square section steel tube and the swing arm associated with an APS type mono shock absorber.
The engine is, as very often with Aprilia, entrusted to Rotax. This 562cc single cylinder is still air cooled but has all the arguments of a modern engine: Single ACT, 4 valves, electric and lick start. The result is very pleasant. The torquey and lively engine is one of the best single cylinders on the market. It combines the reach of a Yamaha XTZ660 Ténéré and the character of a Honda 650 Dominator. It benefits from a perfectly stepped 5-speed gearbox, smooth and precise even if the neutral point is sometimes a little difficult to find. Small weak point all the same: the engine has a slight tendency to vibrate around 5,000 rpm, which is a little detrimental to driving pleasure..
In the saddle, the bike shows great agility from the first kilometers. It’s very healthy on the angle, but if the front brake is powerful and has good bite, it hurts the inverted fork a bit too soft. This flexibility is a plus when driving in the sun but a small handicap when the pilot attacks.
On the comfort side, the saddle is fairly well padded and the windshield embryo is effective up to 120-130 km / h no more. This is absolutely not redundant for an urban / road trail with very relative performance (161 km / h peak). Against part of this attraction for the road, the Pegaso must, in any terrain, be limited to motorable paths; its deflections and its 19-inch wheel do not give it great crossing capacities.
This bike was a success from the start. Aprilia was able to take the best of its green motorcycles to offer a new direction for its range. The Pegaso had dog and performed very well against its competitors. It was however a little expensive (36800FF in 1990) against the Japanese. She lived during her last 2 years with her replacement, the second Pegaso 650, proof that she had found her audience..
Tanthallas – Photos: Builder & Fréféric GOUEFFON
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The technical aspect
Aprilia Pegaso 600 1993
- Tank: 13 liters
- Dry weight: 147 kg
- Train before
- secondary by chain
- Rear axle
(94 x 81 mm mm)
at 7 rpm
at 6 rpm