World first ride: 2011 Aprilia RSV4 SE 'seriously impressive'

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MCN Senior Road Tester, Michael Neeves, is currently at Jerez in Spain riding Aprilia’s new £16,999 RSV4 Factory APRC Special Edition. Only 350 machines will be made with 50 making their way into the UK. This is what he has to say:

“This is the closest you’ll ever get to being able to buy a full-on World Superbikes spec machine as the SE is packed with the latest electronic riding aids including an eight-stage traction control system (operated from the left handle bar), three-stage launch control, three-stage wheelie control and even a quick-shifter.

"The new Aprilia also has a special, dual-compound 200/55 section Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa rear tyre, as well as revised engine internals and a new exhaust.

“In fact, there are so many different elements of this bike to test that it will take all of our track sessions to get through them but for this first session we’ve concentrated solely on the traction control.

"At the beginning of the session we started on number eight, which is its most intrusive setting, and by the end finished up on number three.

"The traction control system is far more refined than the Ducati 1198 SP and, crucially, more than the BMW S1000RR, too. Even with the traction control working it doesn’t stop you from driving off the corners.

“Aprilia has set the Ohlins suspension up to perfection, the tyres are super grippy, the Brembo brakes outstanding and the handling and power from the V4 engine is breathtaking.

“It’s only the first session of riding but I am seriously impressed.”

Read Michael’s full test of the new SE in next week’s Motorcycle News, out November 3.

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