World Exclusive: First ride of the RSV4 on the road

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MCN’s world first road ride on Aprilia‘s new RSV4 has proved what an exceptional bike it is. But it has also highlighted problems that did not show up on the racetrack launch.

  • New V4 Aprilia ridden on road for first time
  • 415 miles of motorway, A-roads and cities
  • It’s brilliant, but flawed

The surprises came to light after MCN picked up one of the first machines off the production line from the Aprilia factory in Italy and rode 415 miles to Monaco.

The route included hundreds of miles of motorway, congested cities and 112 miles of the gloriously twisty Autostrda dei Fiori.

The first half of the journey was wet and revealed the RSV4 had problems at low revs. When the roads dried, the RSV4’s race bike heritage came to the fore – it was both awe-inspiring, and frustrating. “It’s a race bike with lights that makes Japanese sportsbikes seem like tourers,” said MCN’s Senior Road Tester, Michael Neeves.

Read Neevesy’s full four-page report in next week’s MCN (out May 6).

  • Visit the RSV4 launch centre for more information on the RSV4

RSV4 road trip by numbers
101 miles until reserve light on motorway
130 miles before first leg dangle to relieve sore knees
415 miles in a day.
10 hours in the saddle
10,000 rpm is when the RSV4 goes beserk

(cheaper RSV-R available in September)
Power (claimed) 180bhp @ 12,500rpm
Torque (claimed) 85ftlb @ 10,000rpm
Weight (claimed, dry) 179kg
New for 2009: New model
Colours: Black/red

Fuel capacity:
Seat height: 845mm
Wheelbase: 1424mm
Rake/trail: 24.5, 105mm
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 998.9cc (78 x 52.3mm), 16v, four-stroke, 65 V-four. Electronic fuel injection. Six gears. Chain final drive.
Chassis: Twin spar aluminium frame with adjustable headstock position and angle and adjustable engine and swingarm pivot height. Ohlins 43mm upside down forks, fully adjustable. Ohlins single rear shock fully adjustable including ride-height.
Brakes: 2 x 320mm front discs with Brembo four-piston calipers. 220mm rear disc with twin-piston caliper.
Tyres: Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa 120/70 x 17 front, 190/55 x 17 rear.

Further reading:
Aprilia | RSV4