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Aprilia RSV4 Sports Motorbike Review

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Aprilia RSV4
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MCN overall verdict rating is 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

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 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.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 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.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 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.  

Aprilia RSV4 Factory (2009-current)

Detail Value
New price £16,932
Dealer used prices
£8,530 (2010) - £10,700 (2009)
Private used prices
£7,670 (2010) - £9,630 (2009)
  View full used price info
Engine size 998 cc
Power 180 bhp
Top speed 180 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 5
Value rating is 5 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 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

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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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

Specifications

Top speed 180 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 180 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Weight 203 kg
Seat height 810 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 998 cc
Engine specification 16-valve, V4
Frame Aluminium beam
Front suspension adjustment Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Fully-adjustable
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 190/55 17 in

See all Aprilia RSV4 motorcycles for sale

Aprilia
RSV4

11406 miles

£7,494

Aprilia
RSV4

6828 miles

£8,995

Aprilia
RSV4

8458 miles

£7,699

Aprilia
RSV4

12077 miles

£7,995

Aprilia
RSV4

11531 miles

£11,990

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(2 reviews)

  • 10000 MILES ON RSV4

    MURG

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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

    15 September 2010

  • RSV4

    craig22

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

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

    02 June 2009

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Manfordsj

Manfordsjsays

amazing!

Rode one on saturday!! awesome bike. the noise alone sells it.

Makes my gsxr750k7 feel sluggish and sloppy, just a whole new level.

06 July 2009 16:56

JustBe

User's Badge

JustBesays

...

Just get them to get rid of the mirror indicators and the middle light on the bike and it'll look perfect.

20 June 2009 20:03

gixer750tt

User's Badge

gixer750ttsays

RSV4

Can't believe it, having just read the review - this looks like even the vertically challenged may be able to ride it. I have a GSXR750 which I had lowered and absolutely love to bits. But had resigned myself to never being able to own a thou sports bike cos of their size - this looks promising though - gonna have to get to local dealer to have a go :)

http://southernbiker.wordpress.com/

06 June 2009 10:24

spenw

User's Badge

spenwsays

RSV4

Had a look round the RSV4 while doing a spot of tyre kicking in Gloucester last week. I think the bike looks stunning and would love to give one a try. It will be interesting to see how many owners resort to a power comander to sort the reported fueling issues.

30 May 2009 19:58

gixer1109

gixer1109says

Aprilia RSV4

Had a go on one of these courtesy of Newcombe bros in Chelmsford. Test ride about an hour long. Went to Finchingfield via the Barnston bends and back. Two weeks later I still can't get it out of my head. The bike is totally awesome and possibly a bit too much for the road but who cares. The brakes are the best I have ever used and the handling is beyond critisism. Top speed 173mph without even trying!!!!!!!!!!!!!

30 May 2009 17:27

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