The chassis feels just as racy as the engine. Ohlins forks and rear shock feel stiff when you hop aboard but are plush once on the move, soaking up the bumps in style and offer lots of support and composure for hard cornering. You get lots of feel through the chassis, nicely balanced steering and more grip than you’ll know what to do with on the road thanks to its standard fitment Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa SP tyres. Monobloc Brembos are race-spec and offer masses of stopping power and feel.
The Aprilia’s 65° V4 motor produces a claimed 180bhp@12,500rpm and 85ftlb@10,000rpm. It has a single block crankcase with integrated cylinder liners, titanium inlet valves and balance shaft. The six-speed cassette gearbox is removable, handy for racing and a slipper clutch comes as standard. Being a V4, the engine is incredibly small and has allowed Aprilia to make a tiny bike around it. There’s a good spread of linear power up to 10,000rpm and then it goes berserk up to 14,000rpm. This feels every inch a race engine and to get the very best out of it a dry, sunny racetrack is required. The engine note is similar to the deep, metallic boom of the RSV twin, it’s very loud in gear, but quiet in neutral, which is how it might have got through noise regulations.
It’s too soon to say how reliable the Aprilia RSV4 will be, but if it’s anything like Aprilia’s of old, there will be little to worry about. Build quality and reliability is up there with the best, and to say Aprilia is an Italian version of Honda isn’t stretching it at all. Aprilia now benefits from the huge cash reserves that new owners, Piaggio, have brought to the Noale-based company since 2005, so each new model goes through vigorous research and development. We have had issues with poor fuelling at low revs on one of our test bikes, but Aprilia say this was due to some rogue dirt and water in the fuel tank.
Just looking at the sexy metal, the race developed V4 engine, top-grade chassis parts and fancy electronics you get for your money, fifteen grand doesn’t sound that expensive, especially when you compare it to the £1500 dearer Ducati 1198S. The fact that the RSV4 is a ridiculously brilliant motorcycle, just seals the deal. Find an Aprilia RSV4 for sale.
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The RSV4 is packed with toys, gadgets and trickery. There’s an evolution of Aprilia’s ride-by-wire system, which first appeared on their MotoGP racer and the Shiver road bike. The system allows a three-way engine map (track, sport and road) offering varying levels of power delivery from soft to extreme. The RSV4 also gets electronically controlled variable-length inlet trumpets, an exhaust power-valve and a new Magnetti Marelli ECU to control all the electronic systems. You also get Ohlins forks, shock and steering damper, a carbon fibre mudguard and hugger, forged aluminium wheels, Brembo monobloc radial brakes and sticky Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa SP tyres. Compare and buy parts for the Aprilia RSV4 in the MCN Shop.