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Aprilia RSV1000 R Sports Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Ultra-exotic, extremely high performance V-twin motorcycle that rocks on the race track but is a handful on the road. The Aprilia RSV1000R is not for the inexperienced. This updated bike appeared in November 2004 and is the base of the RSV1000R range – in previous years the ‘R’ was a tricked up model and the ‘Mille’ was the entry level machine. Now the Aprilia RSV1000R is the standard motorcycle, and the Aprilia RSV1000R Factory is the tricked-up motorcycle.

 

Watch the Aprilia RSV1000R take on the Ducati 1098 and Honda's SP-2 in our V-twin sports bike group test

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Aprilia RSV1000R has a v-twin engine with a compact 70 degree angle between the cylinders and a dry sump to ensure constant lubrication. Low down torque is plentiful, midrange is muscular and the motorcycle's top end rush’s exhilarating – if not quite a match for the four cylinder Japanese rival motorcycles. Intoxicating traction and noise from the Aprilia RSV1000R.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Aprilia RSV1000R motorcycle is tall, slender and quite a handful. Works best with a rider who can show it who’s boss. Hard suspension’s a pain on bumpy roads but divine on the track or good road surfaces. The Aprilia RSV1000R is more comfy above the speed limit than below it. Slightly heavier than Japanese rival motorcycles but carries it well.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Aprilia RSV1000R's comfort is not great. The narrow, tall riding position suits some bikers better than others but wrists hurt at slow speed and numb bumb can set in after a hundred miles on the Aprilia RSV1000R motorcycle. Pillion accommodation is poor. Clocks quite comprehensive. Official extras for the motorcycle include an alarm and a range of Aprilia approved exhausts made by Akrapovic. Compare and buy parts for the Aprilia RSV R in the MCN Shop.

Aprilia RSV1000R & Factory (2004-2010)

Detail Value
New price £9,299
Dealer used prices
£4,060 (2005) - £6,240 (2008)
Private used prices
£3,650 (2005) - £5,620 (2008)
  View full used price info
Engine size 998 cc
Power 143 bhp
Top speed 172 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 4
Value rating is 5 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The motorcycles are generally well designed and built but there are niggles. The UK dealer network is neither as comprehensive nor as experienced as you’d find for most other motorcycle brands. If there’s an established Aprilia agent near you, you should be fine, if not, you may have to travel. Spares slow to arrive for the Aprilia RSV1000R motorcycle.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The cheapest 1000cc V-twin super sport motorcycle undercuts the Ducati 999. Japanese rival motorcycles are cheaper than the Aprilia RSV1000R though and all can be bought at a discount. Be wary of unregistered older motorcycles being flogged on as the latest model. Find an Aprilia RSV1000R for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

2004: new-look Aprilia RSV1000R motorcycle range launched.

Other Versions

2004: Aprilia RSV1000R Factory launched. More expensive version of the base Aprilia RSV1000R with Ohlins shock and steering damper, light forged wheels, gold frame, carbon and more.

Specifications

Top speed 172 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11 secs
Max power 143 bhp
Max torque 76 ft-lb
Weight 180 kg
Seat height 810 mm
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Average fuel consumption 36 mpg
Tank range 140 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 998 cc
Engine specification 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

See all Aprilia RSV1000 R motorcycles for sale

Aprilia
RSV1000 R

14589 miles

£4,995

Aprilia
RSV1000 R

19721 miles

£2,495

Aprilia
RSV1000 R

22538 miles

£4,300

Aprilia
RSV1000 R

7463 miles

£2,500

Aprilia
RSV1000 R

9000 miles

£4,750

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(19 reviews)

  • First Big V Twin

    Albrimer

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    As a big boy's toy to scratch around fast twisty roads, this is quite simply awesome. I bought my 05 RSV Factory after my Daytona 955i came to grief in 2012. It had a geniuine 6800 miles on it, with only 2 previous owners (the last owner had it only 3 months because he really wanted a gixer). My initial impression was of a sweet handling, highly flickable bike with an incredibly versatile engine. Good low down grunt, but almost free revving as the revs grow. And, what a sound - especially after replacing the restrictive standard cans with some carbon fibre aftermarket ones. So, for recreational fun, this has never disappointed - and I don't think it will. It keeps me smiling everytime I go out on it. Typically, though, it isn't without its foibles - after all, it is Italian. The rear brake is rubbish - it is just as well it doesn't get a lot of use. Even, after getting a good brake after eithe reverse bleeding or tuning the caliper upside down, it doesn't last. When I get the time and inclination, I think a different master cylinder will be the order of the day. Thankfully, the front brake is stunningly good. The clutch slave cylinder also leaked, which resulted in me fitting an aftermarket part. It made a good difference in clutch feel, although reverse bleeding was again the trick to the set. This and the brake are a result of bad design and engineering. My final note, is that for long journeys expect to be very uncomfortable. At slow speeds it is heavy on the wrists. It grts a bit easier at higher speeds when the air on the chest helps take some of the load off the wrists. That said, over longer distances you can certainly expect to feel the over tank positioning to hit your lower back. Heavyish rucksacks only add tonthe pain - I won't make that mistake again. Right, the overall verdict. I bought it primarily as a big boy's toy, at which it excels. Indeed, it excels so much, that I no intention of changing it - not yet anyway.

    13 July 2014

  • RSV1000R 2010

    JayZen

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    I bought my Aprilia new in 2010. I had to search for one of the last new ones available which comes in a satin white and black and fitted with Ohlins etc. This meant having to look around the country until I found one in Birmingham. The bike itself is fantastic but owning it has'nt been without problems. Firstly the company I bought it off gave me the worst service I have ever experienced in my life and didn't prepare the bike properly. Amongst other things this meant that the single seat unit fell off into traffic on the ride home as it wasn't assembled properly (the lock still being in place on the bike and the plastics crushed in the road). Then within the first year the tank de-laminated (a known problem with this finish). I also had a clutch problem and needed a new rear swingarm bush within the first year (again a recognised problem I believe) but thanks to my local Aprilia dealer (On Yer Bike at Aylesbury) I got all of these problems rectified under warranty. This sounds like a reason or two NOT to buy an Aprilia and I have to say as a company Aprilia and Aprilia UK are NOT good to deal with BUT......The bike is SOOOooo good to ride that I can't be arsed to worry about all of that. I have had the bike for 3 years and done 23k miles. It still looks like new and rides like new. I have Arrow cans and up rated air filter fitted so it sounds fantastic and pulls like a train. I am 6ft and find the size of the bike just right, with plenty of room to move about. I have ridden all over the UK and throughout Spain on it and never felt particularly uncomfortable. Two up it is pretty uncomfortable when riding through traffic etc, like any sports bike really. My wife is a great pillion and this helps limit that effect but I would'nt recommend it for long trips two up. Having said that she loves the Aprilia and never shy's away from the opportunity to join me. The engine has been faultless and the bike has never not started or broken down on me. The handling is sublime, particularly on fast smooth sweeping roads where its racing pedigree definitely shows. The faster you ride it the better the experience gets. I wanted a bike without electronic rider aids...old school...learn how to maximise the potential over time and improve your own riding abilities as you go! The Aprilia offers this experience in bucket loads. It is full of character as well as ability and feels like a completely different experience to your standard inline four electronically controlled bike these days. I won't sell mine....we will just grow old disgracefully together.

    15 February 2014

  • RSV1000R 2010

    JayZen

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought my Aprilia new in 2010. I had to search for one of the last new ones available which comes in a satin white and black and fitted with Ohlins etc. This meant having to look around the country until I found one in Birmingham. The bike itself is fantastic but owning it has'nt been without problems. Firstly the company I bought it off gave me the worst service I have ever experienced in my life and didn't prepare the bike properly. Amongst other things this meant that the single seat unit fell off into traffic on the ride home as it wasn't assembled properly (the lock still being in place on the bike and the plastics crushed in the road). Then within the first year the tank de-laminated (a known problem with this finish). I also had a clutch problem and needed a new rear swingarm bush within the first year (again a recognised problem I believe) but thanks to my local Aprilia dealer (On Yer Bike at Aylesbury) I got all of these problems rectified under warranty. This sounds like a reason or two NOT to buy an Aprilia and I have to say as a company Aprilia and Aprilia UK are NOT good to deal with BUT......The bike is SOOOooo good to ride that I can't be arsed to worry about all of that. I have had the bike for 3 years and done 23k miles. It still looks like new and rides like new. I have Arrow cans and up rated air filter fitted so it sounds fantastic and pulls like a train. I am 6ft and find the size of the bike just right, with plenty of room to move about. I have ridden all over the UK and throughout Spain on it and never felt particularly uncomfortable. Two up it is pretty uncomfortable when riding through traffic etc, like any sports bike really. My wife is a great pillion and this helps limit that effect but I would'nt recommend it for long trips two up. Having said that she loves the Aprilia and never shy's away from the opportunity to join me. The engine has been faultless and the bike has never not started or broken down on me. The handling is sublime, particularly on fast smooth sweeping roads where its racing pedigree definitely shows. The faster you ride it the better the experience gets. I wanted a bike without electronic rider aids...old school...learn how to maximise the potential over time and improve your own riding abilities as you go! The Aprilia offers this experience in bucket loads. It is full of character as well as ability and feels like a completely different experience to your standard inline four electronically controlled bike these days. I won't sell mine....we will just grow old disgracefully together.

    15 February 2014

  • 7 years on

    norris

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    Think this is my third review on here. The RSV (05 model). So now coming up to 7 years of ownership. Bought it with 1200 miles at 4 months old. Now just on 66.000 miles about, (clocks reset when alternator failed). So what's it been like. Reliability? Never failed to start, even when the alternator packed in the bike goes into limp mode, and got me the 40 miles home before the battery died. Second hand alternator (£60) a weekend and back on the road. Had the front forks refurbed at 50.000 and set up (£100). The engine has been bulletproof, still on original clutch, it doesn't use any oil or smoke, the gearbox has a lovely slick feeling with only the annoying neutral still awkward to get. Wheel bearings original and no wear, brake discs ditto (lots of engine braking). Finish? Lasted really well, the tanks a thick plastic so obviously won't rust, ad the bike has kept its finish really well. Unlike most of the newer sports bikes, the RSV has shown itself to be reasonably comfortable on longish rides (300+ miles) especially as I usually have a pillion. They're a long bike, so the pillion isn't squashed up to the rider. Overall? Never owned a bike longer than 3 years before, (R1'S, GSXR's, CBR'S,ZX's)which shows how much I've enjoyed the RSV. Problem now is what to do with it. Buy another and keep this for spares or just keep running it.

    02 June 2013

  • Awesome

    IsraelsRSV

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Short review: I had an 04 rsv-r. They have their good points and bad. More good then bad though. But here's the good points first: This bike ridden right is uncatchable. race cans mean best sounding bike ever. It has so much torque you really need sticky tyres. It is so involving! Its like riding a mental animal. Will wheelie over 100mph. and is the best handling bike in the world. according to me and mcn. Thee most fun thing you will ride but to mental for the road, will end up band or dead. fun though. Bad points: Check the inside of the swing arm before you buy because they crack. side stands are weak. Speedos blank out and start agene from 0000. so it may be higher miles than says on the clocks. not really fast top end speed but you'll beat everything to 150mph so what more do you need really? I'd have another any day but my wife won't let me, she thought I was too mental on it.

    06 May 2013

  • The return

    tman39a

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Engine

    Had an 04' Factory a few years back and changed to a K7 GSXR1000 which is a great bike but way too easy to go stupidly quick on...sold it and bought an 05' Factory..OK its slower but so much more involving and makes you ride the bike..perfect Sunday bike and the sound is just intoxicating...its not everyones cup of tea but it suits me. Quick enough at the speeds that matter and always gets noticed compared to jap il4's. There is just something about the way Aprilia design their bikes that suits me....this is my 5th and all of them have made me smile...closest to these would be KTM's which are just fun and addictive. If you want a jack of all trades comfy bike look at this last...if you want style and a touch of class at a sensible price you could do worse.

    12 February 2011

  • Aprilia 04 Factory

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Ill keep this short. If like me your coming from the newer inline fours especially a 04 R1 don’t do it you will regret it! Even though it’s got Ohlins and OZ and that swing arm etc, which was one of the selling points for me, it is no better chassis wise then my old R1, road or tarck and if you ask me the Aprilia best feature is its chassis. (I’d say the R1 is superior even without the trick bits, let alone a properly set up R1). In fact I’d call the RSV wooden! (Yes I do know what I’m talking about. I’m always at the very front of the fast groups, on track days and I also do about 20000miles a year on the road).The engine is gutless (regardless of what gear you’re in, or where you are in the rev range) regardless of what you do to it (mine made 130 rwhp). The back brake is shit, it needs a cover, and constant bleeding with 5.1 or you have to buy new rear sets and hang the master cylinder on the pegs like a normal bike! The mileage resets if the battery runs flat. Although reliable and built well for an Italian bike, it ain’t that reliable and there’s a definite difference in build quality between the two. Fuel economy is not great in comparison to the R1 either. I also found that the seat is too wide and digs into the top of my inner thighs when my feet are down making the bike feel taller then it really is. Did I mention it’s a bit of a porker! However, it is a bloody good looking bike and the kit you get for the money is exceptional value and with a set of cans it sounds awesome! I am however significantly quicker on the R1, whether I’m on track in the fast group, on just out for some fast road riding. I bought it as I had fond memories of my old SP1 and thought it would be a step on from that. I was wrong buy the SP1 instead. Maybe I’ve been unfair? Maybe I’m just not a twin man? But I wasn’t impressed!

    25 March 2010

  • Italian Stallion!

    Feakster

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I love it to death, but it's completely raped my wallet to keep it on the road. I've now bought the bike twice over in repair costs from things just randomly breaking on it. My local garage assure me that it's a one off & that I've been "unlucky", but sadly I feel my confidence in the Aprilia brand has been dented too much to ever buy another one. I've heard KTM are worse, but I fancy a change for my next bike when the time finally comes. Maybe I'm a masochist at heart. Aside from my troubles, the handling is utterly sublime, brakes... powerful (I'm never owning a bike without brembos again!) & engine... torquey. Having never ridden a V-twin before, the engine breaking took a bit of getting used to. Now I never need to touch the break lever unless undertaking 'spirited' riding. The engine sounds awesome. Especially with the full akrapovic system ;P. Having said that, I wish it had a bit more power. When things finally stop breaking on it I'll hopefully be able to stockpile enough money for the 1060cc rebore, racing cams & some headwork. The guy at my local dyno's had 155BHP at the rear wheel on the last one he gave the above treatment to! I'll just have to keep saving & dreaming til then.

    21 March 2010

  • 2006 factory

    stever6

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    had mine from new and not one mechanical problem. It is ridden hard here as the cops are not as prominent as back in the UK, many track days around Kyalami and so far 24,000 very happy km's.It is nknown locally as the "snottin snortin rhino of a bike" as the pipes have been gutted and it make an unbelievable crisp rummble. do all the basic service stuff myself as we have same problem of shortage of dealers etc. clutch and brake master cylinders need bleeding regular to keep in top form...typical italian bike. i could never replace it with anything else. i am looking at a triumph rocket three to totally move away from superbikes in my old age (45). regards to 'blighty' from Botswana!

    28 October 2009

  • 3 Years on

    norris

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Still got the Aprilia after 3 years, and the only bike I'd consider changing it for would be either a Duc 1098 or KTM RC8, both of which are now out of my price range (thank you Mr Brown) So, I've now clocked 25,000 miles in 3 years. What's gone wrong? In all honesty, very little, the wet summer last year saw off the speedo sensor (mounted near the rear caliper so gets soaked) but picked a second hand one up for £16. The Ohlins fronk fork oil seals started leaking at 21,000..Er, that's it..The well known cr*p rear brake is still cr*p, but at least it now works after investing £5 for a genuine Aprilia heat shield which is standard fitment on the 07 on models. If anything, the engine is nicer now than it was when new, it feels nicely run in and the gearbox is very slick. Neutral is another well known foible, but it becomes second nature to snick into neutral as you pull up. The finish is holding up really well, (far better than the Suzukis & Kawasakis I've owned in the past)despite it being used all year, as long as the roads not covered in snow and ice.. So, despite early worries regarding the Italians reputation re reliability, the Aprilia has been superb, and with the prices now reasonable I'd definately buy another, though not the terrible garish new factory colour scheme..

    21 August 2009

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sutty780

sutty780says

rsv

hi rsvmatt, thanks for advice going to try out rsv factory on saturday, but going to keep blackbird for touring best of both worlds!!

27 October 2009 18:03

RSVMatt

RSVMattsays

rsv1000 Factory

Hi sutty780,

I had a Blackbird for a couple of years before swapping for a 2005 RSV Factory last winter having tried a few other bikes (Duke 999, MV 750 and R1). Would definitely recommend, MV was beautiful but unless you can get a 1000 I would say the 750 is going to feel slow and tiny after the bird. RSV is comfortable, fast, handles amazingly, feels plush and well put together, is a v twin, looks stunning and is involving to own and ride, practical (even has luggage tie points) . Downsides (for me) are a crap rear brake, indicator switch in the wrong place, pillion seat is rubbish (my wife has toured Europe on the back of a ZX6R and hates the RSV!), eats tires (I commute on it) and decent dealers are few and far between. But if you want a bike that does everything from track days to (short!) touring and which compared to a bird is a bike you can love then go for it.

21 October 2009 14:13

sutty780

sutty780says

rsv1000 factory

thinking of swaping my blackbird for something sporty can't decide between rsv factory or mv agusta f4 750 definately want exotic, definately italian please help

10 October 2009 20:40

hartp

hartpsays

2006Factory Model - had for 3 years

This is just a bike on its own, always starts, I just feel the bike gives me confidence, all my mates have got R1s and GsXr100 but when I went to BSB at croft last year everyone was looking at my bike, and boy didn"t I let them know it.

I live in scotland where the roads are bendy, there bikes may be quicker on the straight but the Rsv1000 loves the bends, One of my mates told me he just couldn"t get by me. I didn"t even know he was trying.

I was going to invest in the RSV4 until I saw the price tag £14,495, Think Aprilia are stupid making RSV1000 obsolite,  

 

08 March 2009 11:01

mike ems

mike emssays

swaped 999 for RSV

I swaped my 03 999 for my 54 plate rsv glad i did the power delivery is unbelivable with a full arrows system on it, it sounds fantastic the bike is so planted you can drag loads of break into the corners without it tyining to stand its self back up. all though the 999 was lighter and better in the corners it was gut less pulling out compared to the aprilia. i thought ducati was the be all end all of bikes now i realise you are just paying for a name. if my machine is anything to go by aprilia might just kick a**e in wsb.

26 July 2007 16:34

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