With its Ohlins suspension, Brembo radial brakes, a stiff compact chassis and a new 200/55 section Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa rear tyre the SE can be made to handle magnificently on the track. The electronic riding aids help to make the riding experience even better. The traction control has eight settings, which can be controlled via plus and minus paddles on the left handlebar. The traction control never holds you back, like on BMW and Ducati systems, it just meters out the exact amount of power you need for the conditions and never gets in the way. It’s super-smooth and you barely know it’s there working for you.
The three-stage anti-wheelie is just as smooth, it doesn’t hold you back coming out of corners, it just meters out the power you need and lets the front wheel hover a few inches off the ground. Both systems let you concentrate more on the business of riding. The quickshifter is brilliantly smooth and again saves your energy. The three-stage launch control holds the bike at 10,000rpm with the throttle against the stop, you just feed the clutch out and let the electronics take care of the rest.
The 180bhp 999.6cc V4 motor is breathed on to improve cooling and lubrication and the gearbox has its first three gears clustered closer together. These changes aren’t noticeable in isolation, but the engine is a corker anyway, producing loads of midrange grunt, a searing top end rush and a wailing soundtrack straight out of MotoGP. The motor also has variable height inlet trumpets and the latest evolution of Aprilia’s ride-by-wire system, which is used in conjunction with an internal gyro and wheelspeed sensors to control the electronic riding aids. There’s also three power maps to choose from: Road, Sport and Track.
The SE is beautifully put together and nicely finished. Aprilia reliability is excellent too.
It’s an old cliché and the goalposts are always changing, but this is the closest you can buy to a factory WSB machine and worth every penny. Find an Aprilia RSV4 for sale.
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Fully-loaded with the best suspension and braking components, cutting-edge electronics, tyres, a dual readout dash (race and road) and that’s before you talk about the superbly-honed chassis and engine. There’s nothing you’d need to change when taking the SE from showroom to track. Compare and buty parts for the RSV4 in the MCN Shop.