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Aprilia actually started life as a bicycle factory in Noale, Italy, just after the World War 2. It wasn’t until 1968 when a 50cc engine appeared, and that led to the first Aprilia mopeds. The Aprilia Scarabeo motocross bike followed, and the firm expanded throughout the 1970s and 1980s with a larger range of small capacity and off-road bikes, some of which used Austrian Rotax engines.
In 1995, Aprilia launched the two stroke RS125 and RS250, which have been lusted after by teenagers ever since, and were propelled into the spotlight by GP champions including Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi, Jorge Lorenzo and one Valentino Rossi. They did enter the MotoGP championship with the RS3 Cube, which never lived up to the advanced technology it used.
Instead the launch of the RSV Mille in 1998 saw success with a capable sportsbike on the road, and in the World Superbike championship. Reasonable performances from 2000-2002 for the RSVR Mille have been followed by the 2008 RSV4, and the World Superbike championship in 2010 for Max Biaggi. In the same year, Aprilia became the most successful brand in Grand Prix racing, as a 125cc victory for Nicolas Terol in the Cezh Republic was their 276th win in GP racing.