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2001 Aprilia Mille

Published: 01 August 2002

Updated: 19 November 2014

I waited impatiently for eight months to engage that clutch for the first time. Eight bloody months of saving cash and waiting on another year’s no claims bonus. When I pulled away I just knew it had been worth it…

It started in March 2001. My SV650S had served me well….very well but the adrenaline buzz it had been giving me since my test had worn off. I was in need of a proper superbike (Grunt, Ug). However, at 24years old with only two years NCB I was always going to struggle.

A mate was buying a ZX-7R from a Kawasaki/Aprilia dealer and as I walked into the shop thinking " lucky git, lucky git " I saw my bike. I walked over and stared at its matt black bodywork.

My reflection was only partially returned and it was as if this distant image was saying " not yet, not yet " . I became conscious of myself staring at it so I asked the dealer to explain the differences between it and last years model just so I could stare at it some more! I had the ‘hots’ big time and wanted this bike bad. It was affordable and insurance was feasible…..the waiting began.

" So what is it? " I hear you plead. Okay - its an RSV Mille and without trying to swear I think its f***ing fantastic. I’m 6’3 " short and have just returned from a trip to the Catalunya GP on it.

Of course I got sore (it’s a bloody superbike innit!) but the pain always took a while to arrive, unlike the bike. It has never given me any problems since I bought it and the engine/gearbox is bullet proof….make that armour-piercing depleted uranium bullet proof!

The brakes are excellent too. The front Brembos give plenty of Claudia Schiffer (stopping power) although I had to clean and bleed the rear brake on mine to get it to work properly.

Because I bought the standard Mille I sometimes wonder if the Ohlins suspension on the ‘R’ model would make a significant difference. However, the geometry of this bike is so good that Pythagoras himself would have been impressed - and upgraded suspension isn’t really necessary unless you intend to do a lot of racing.

Some owners have complained of a poor finish (i.e stickers pealing) but that’s a small gripe as far as I’m concerned. There is a list of modifications as long as my smile which I intend to make to this bike over the coming years ‘cos I ain’t going to be getting rid of it.

The RSV Mille rocks. It’s my only form of transport and I would not exchange it for anything else. If you need a Mille, but for some reason have to wait…take my advice….WAIT!

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