APRILIA RSV4 RF (2015-on) Review | MCN
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APRILIA RSV4 RF (2015-on) Review

Published: 24 April 2015

Aprilia has joined the 200bhp club with style

APRILIA RSV4 RF  (2015-on)

Aprilia has joined the 200bhp club with style

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

Aprilia has joined the 200bhp club with style. Like the previous model the RSV4 RF is incredibly easy to ride fast, thanks to its even lighter, more accurate handling, tweaked electronics and flexible V4 power. But with its new engine mods it now has the muscle to compete with the superbike class of 2015. 

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

Although the previous RSV4 was down on power compared to its rivals it handled so well, it hardly mattered. So it’s more tweaks than big changes in the chassis department to control the extra power. Aprilia has used its existing adjustable twin spar aluminium frame to jiggle the engine and steering position and drop the centre of gravity, reduce trail and improve agility. A 4mm longer swingarm improves rear grip and helps stability.

Steering is light through fast flip-flops and trail braking into slow corners. It’s easy to hold a line at high speed and there’s racebike levels of feel through the chassis, suspension and tyres. All this gives you the confidence to bury it on its ear in corners. Brembo monoblocs offer unrivalled feel and power. Although designed to win superbike and superstock races, the new RSV4 RF should be more practical on the road. The new-design mirrors are wider, the clip-ons set higher and the upper fairing, which has 1.5kg lighter headlights, is more aerodynamic.

Engine 5 out of 5

Aprilia claims 201bhp@13,000rpm (up 16bhp) and 85ftlb of torque from its redesigned harder-revving, 2.5kg lighter 65° V4 engine. A new cylinder head has revised porting, a CNC-machined combustion chamber, new titanium exhaust valves and 1mm-larger titanium inlet valves. It has 100g-lighter Pankl conrods, new crankcases, cams and a lighter gearbox with revised ratios. There’s also a new airbox with a vertical air filter, redesigned variable length inlet trumpets, a new exhaust with 2mm-larger diameter header pipes and a new lubrication system.

Where the old RSV4 would run out of puff around 12,000rpm, this new version keeps on pulling hard to 13,500rpm and hammers straights as quick as its rivals. But it’s not all about top end power. The V4 motor has a silkier throttle than ever and flatter, easier to mange spread of torque.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

It’s beautifully built, using top components and goes like stink. But for some strange reason many see Aprilia ownership as a risk, don’t connect with the brand, or haven’t got a dealer nearby.

Aprilia had a poor reputation for spares back-up over a decade ago, but that’s a thing of the past and these bikes are generally bulletproof, won’t let you down and aren’t hard to live with.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

It’s pricier than the standard R1 and S1000RR Sport, but cheaper than the R1M, 1299 Panigale S and Panigale R. You get a lot of technology, speed and handling for your money, not to mention that howling V4 soundtrack.

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

Equipment 5 out of 5

It has lightweight forged aluminium wheels, and fully adjustable Ohlins forks, shock and steering damper and ‘Superpole’ graphics. You also get Brembo radial monoblocs, a polished aluminium frame and swingarm that wouldn’t look out of place at an art gallery and sticky Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa SP trackday tyres, with a 200-section rear. 

The RSV4 RF has a more refined racing ABS system, traction, launch and wheelie control, a quickshifter and three riding modes (Sport, Track, Race). New electronics control engine-braking parameters, depending on the gear position, so there’s less chance of rear wheel ‘hop’ in the lower gears. In ‘Race’ mode the engine braking is reduced below 6000rpm. The only electronic gizmo missing from the new RSV4 RF is an auto-blipper. 

But the Aprilia comes with the option of a datalogger, smartly packaged as a phone/tablet app (see annotations). It talks to the bike’s GPS and shows you real-time laps, displaying things like your speed, throttle position, lean angle and traction/wheelie control intervention, once you’ve finished your ride. You can also see where you’re gaining and losing time, lap-on-lap. The app also lets you set your wheelie and traction control corner-by-corner.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2015
Year discontinued -
New price £18,135
Used price £15,000 to £20,000
Warranty term Two years
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £170
Performance
Max power 201 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Top speed 185 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 999cc
Engine type 16v, V4
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 18.5 litres
Seat height 840mm
Bike weight 180kg
Front suspension 43mm USD Ohlins forks, fully-adjustable.
Rear suspension Single rear Ohlins shock, fully adjustable
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston Brembo calipers.
Rear brake 220mm single disc with twin-piston caliper.
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 200/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2009: RSV4 Factory introduced. No APRC electronic rider aids at this point.

2011: Factory Special Edition ‘Biaggi replica’ (only 350 produced) is first RSV4 to come with APRC, a dual display road/race dash, an improved cooling system, revised gearbox ratios and a 200-section rear tyre. 

2012: Production Factory upgraded with Special Edition electronics and mechanicals.2013: Larger 18.5-litre fuel tank (up 1.5-litres), ABS, new exhaust can with larger pipe, reduced engine friction and improved electronics.

2015: Heavily-modified engine producing 201bhp. Refined electronics with revised engine braking control, 4mm longer swingarm, revised geometry, new mirrors and top fairing, higher-set clip-ons, 1.5kg lighter headlights. Lower-spec RR version not being brought into the UK.

Other versions

None

Owners' Reviews

3 owners have reviewed their APRILIA RSV4 RF (2015-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.

Review your APRILIA RSV4 RF (2015-on)
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 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 4.3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best bike I've ever ridden

02 March 2016 by Bonneville900

Fantastic handling and ride experience. Awesome sound.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I find it very comfortable for a sports bike and am happy to do 200 miles plus at a time
Engine
5 out of 5
That's the best part. Great torque throughout the range and adjustable engine breaking and the sound is fantastic.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No problems at all after 9 months
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
It has pretty much everything you could want. The quick shifter only works on upwards gear changes but practically this is not a problem.
Buying experience

Bought from a dealer and paid advertised price of £18,350

5 out of 5

12 November 2015 by Mark

Very confidence inspiring, in fact out of the box its the best bike I have ridden (believe me I have ridden a lot). I looked at other bikes especially R1M, the RSV4 RF is better as out of the box it does everything very well plus you can buy them now (no wait) and most importantly it feels special when riding unlike boring japanese bikes. Raced an S1000RR 2015 in Assen and felt it was very road based bike whilst the chassis on the RSV4 is pure race you get soo much more feed back.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Top notch
Engine
5 out of 5
Great fueling and power delivery - nothing else comes close on the noise
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
So far 800 miles no trouble or problems
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Above was the cost for the first service, very reasonable
Equipment
4 out of 5
ABS/Quickshifter works good, doesnt have the autoblipper but to be honest I found on the BMW it didnt work going from 2nd to 1st anyway just kept hitting nuetral not what you want on track MR.BMW
Buying experience

Fowlers of Bristol where good

5 out of 5

The RC30's spiritual successor

22 September 2015 by Tim

Its not how good this bike is at doing what is meant to do well that impresses most, its how well it does the things its meant to do badly that impresses. No superbike should be this comfortable on long runs. No superbike on track day tyres should provide the confidence this does in wet, cold, slippery conditions. It is simply stunningly good in all respects

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
The ride is firm but supple at the same time. The speed that can be carried over bumpy moorland roads is incredible if you carry your weight on the pegs rather than the seat.
Engine
5 out of 5
The sound of the V4 is glorious, the power delivery below 10k rpm really smooth and flexible. Top gear roll on at 70mph is fierce. At 10k rpm the bike goes mental and becomes a brute. Just what the doctor ordered.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Its too new to know yet, just 1600 miles old. However, my 10 year old RSV Mille Factory is still looking good, so that bodes well.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Have no idea yet of servicing costs, depends on miles covered. It is a pricey bit of kit, but the spiritual successor to the RC30 was always going to be. Of surprise is the rate of front tyre wear. I don't think it will make 2000 road miles, but the rear will easily.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Its a sports bike, and the performance stuff is all there. The electronic toys do what they say on the tin. We all get stuck doing motorway miles, and in average speed camera areas it hates sitting at 50mph, wondering around quite a bit. Cruise control may not sound like a sports bike requirement, but it would make the drudgery of motorway riding more pleasant.
Buying experience

Bought from a franchise dealer, and the experience of this one was fine. The RS250 I bought from them at the same time is a different story.

Photo Gallery

  • APRILIA RSV4 RF  (2015-on)
  • APRILIA RSV4 RF  (2015-on)
  • APRILIA RSV4 RF  (2015-on)
  • APRILIA RSV4 RF  (2015-on)
  • APRILIA RSV4 RF  (2015-on)
  • APRILIA RSV4 RF  (2015-on)
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