APRILIA RSV4 FACTORY (2009-on) Review

Published: 23 April 2009

"You won't even scratch the surface of what it's capable of on the road in terms of power and handling"

Aprilia RSV4

"You won't even scratch the surface of what it's capable of on the road in terms of power and handling"

  • At a glance
  • 998cc  -  180 bhp
  • 32 mpg  -  118 miles range
  • Medium seat height (810mm)
  • £16,932

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

At last, we’ve finally been able to ride the RSV4 in the dry after its sopping wet launch in Spring 2009! As we said before, Aprilia built the RSV4 as a race bike first, road bike second. You won’t even scratch the surface of what it’s capable of on the road in terms of power and handling.

Video: 415-mile road test on the Aprilia RSV4

It has more grip and poise than you know what to do with, it goes like stink and its barely legal exhaust sounds like the Devil clearing its throat. Size-wise, it’s a somewhere between a 400 and 600cc sportsbike, so it’s cramped for taller riders and it’s low-speed fuelling manners can be a bit iffy. That aside, the Aprilia is an incredible sports bike.

Video: Aprilia RSV4 first ride on track

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

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.

Engine 5 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

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.

Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5

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.

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

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.  

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their APRILIA RSV4 FACTORY (2009-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

10000 MILES ON RSV4

15 September 2010 by MURG

10000 MILES ON THE RSV4 FACTORY. NO PROBLEMS, NO WARRANTY CLAIMS. BEST BIKE IN THE WORLD. WORST PETROL CONSUMSION IN THE WORLD. AVERAGE 31 MILES PER GALLON. SMILES PER GALLON 10/10 Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

RSV4

02 June 2009 by craig22

Top bike no problems so far, very pleased looks & sounds great, Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £16,932
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 180 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Top speed 180 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 32 mpg
Tank range 118 miles
Specification
Engine size 998cc
Engine type 16-valve, V4
Frame type Aluminium beam
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 203kg
Front suspension Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Fully-adjustable
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 190/55 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

2005 – RSV4 started life from a clean sheet of paper.
2009 – RSV4 race bike scores a podium at Qatar with Max Biaggi in its second ever meeting. RSV4 Factory launched.

Other versions

A cheaper-spec RSV4-R to be launch at the end of 2009

Photo Gallery

  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
All related reviews
All related bikes for sale