Aprilia's VIP package
THE Aprilia Nera is the first machine in what the factory is calling its new " Dream Series " – not least because a dream is all it is ever likely to remain for all but the obscenely wealthy. At nearly £25,000 the Italian black beauty is one of the most expensive production motorcycles ever built.
But the dream tag is also entirely appropriate as this latest version of the recently revamped RSV1000 is the most exotic limited-edition sportster the Noale firm has ever built.
Buyers of the Nera will become part of a very select club of 200. Not only do they get a heavily modified, lighter, more powerful version of the £10,699 RSV Factory model but they also receive a VIP package of goods which includes personalised Dainese leathers and special trips to the Aprilia factory and to a foreign MotoGP round next year (see right).
The upswept, oval-section Akrapovic cans point skywards and curve seductively around the banana-shaped aluminium swingarm.
The bike’s lightness is obvious. The Nera tips the scales at 170kg (374lb), when fitted with the supplied race pipes (add 5kg/11lb with road cans). That compares with 185kg (407lb) for the standard RSV and 199kg (439lb) for Ducati’s 999.
The peak power figure rises to a claimed 145bhp with the race cans fitted. Although there’s a slight dip in power around the 6000rpm mark, the power curve is smooth, which heightens further the typical V-twin characteristic of never feeling as fast as it’s actually going.
But is the Nera worth its near-£25,000 price tag? Well... yes and no. If you’ve got the money and are looking for something exotic, stunning and exclusive, not to mention the opportunity to enjoy all the fringe benefits of owning the bike, then look no further. However, back in the real world, not only is the Factory model over £14,000 cheaper, you’d struggle to separate them on the track.