Let me introduce you to the Cagiva Navigator. A motorcycle that few people will have ridden. It was only made in small quantities and some may never even have heard of it. These are some clips of a ride out into the Vale of Rutland on my Cagiva Navigator.
If you have ridden one let me know what you thought in the comments below.
The Most Powerful Adventure Motorcycle of it’s Day
For those of you that don’t know, the Cagiva Navigator is no ordinary motorcycle . When it was launched it was the most powerful adventure bike that had ever been built .
The story starts like all good Italian stories with a big argument . After sourcing engine’s from Ducati for many years and even owning The company outright at one point, the castiglioni brothers sold all of their shares in Ducati .This eventually led to Ducati refusing to sell engines to Cagiva. So a lot of their product range needed a rethink .
Massimo tamburini had designed a fantastic motorcycle in the Cagiva Gran Canyon, but Cagiva needed to find a new engine . They considered a large capacity triple for the bike, but too many changes would be needed. Suzuki stepped in, with their legendary TL1000 engine.
A Match Made In Heaven
This was a match made in heaven. The engine was far stronger and more powerful than the Ducati engine. It finally gave the TL1000 engine a frame that would handle it’s power.
In many ways it was ahead of its time. The adventure bike market was in its infancy and many people still saw adventure bikes as the slower boring option. This definitely wasn’t the case with the Cagiva Navigator.
The riding position is more supermoto than anything else and it really did have the power and torque to embarrass plenty of sports bikes.
A Real All Rounder of a Motorcycle
That comfortable riding position, a well designed chassis with bodywork that offered good protection from the weather, and the power of the TL1000 engine, meant it ate up the miles in a way many sports touring bikes could only hope for.
All of that, meant it was equally at home tearing down the autobahns loaded with luggage or scratching around with sports-bikes on a Sunday. It really was, and still is, a bike for all seasons and all reasons.
The trellis frame was built from box section steel and the engine used as a stressed member for increased rigidity, so there are no down-tubes to spoil the view of the engine. The twin fuel tanks were wrapped around the frame to give about 20 litres of fuel capacity too. So long haul touring was never a problem.
With such a tall hefty bike, even the TL1000 engine would struggle to reach the redline in top gear but the bike was more than capable of reaching 125mph and would cruise at over 100mph all day, still leaving enough extra power for overtaking when needed.
Made to Last
All the controls were positive and if anything a bit on the chunky side, but they were made to last. This wasn’t a toy to be thrown away.
All these things made it into a real riders bike. To get the most out of it you needed to push it, and oh does this bike like to be pushed.
There is no one feature that makes this bike special. What makes it special is the way all of its parts simply work together in unison to give you, the rider, the time of your life.
The bike here was owned by a friend of mine before me. I had chased it around the Yorkshire Dales and beyond many times. We even took it to Cadwell park. I knew how well it had been looked after so when it came up for sale I couldn’t resist it.
Few bikes are as exciting and usable. The package took careful handling off road, but on tight twisty tarmac it was a dream to ride. It is by no means a small bike, but you can see below how compact the bike is when compared to the KTM Super Adventure in the picture below.
If you do ever get the chance to ride one, grab it with both hands. You won’t regret it.