Aprilia has released these first official pictures of the RSV-4 World Superbike racing motorcycle.
The photographs show the finished model that Aprilia plans to campaign in the 2009 WSB championship, though spokesman Miles Taylor says the firm is aiming to compete in some races in 2008 as part of the bike’s development program.
Aprilia took the decision to return to WSB in 2004, when it canned its RS Cube MotoGP machine.
Technical expert Neil Spalding told MCN the new WSB contender draws heavily on the Cube’s design, but has a different air-inlet set up.
“Air for the engine comes in through a large duct through the fame steering head,” he says, noting that the Cube routed inlet tubes around the forks.
Taylor says a road-going version of the RSV-4 is scheduled to become Aprilia’s flagship model later in 2008, when the current RSV road bike is discontinued.
“Our deal with Rotax for RSV engines comes to an end soon,” Taylor explains, adding that the new V4 motor is unlikely to be used in any other Aprilia road bikes.