Aprilia gunning for superbike supremacy with 2021 RSV4 range
Aprilia are coming for the superbike crown in 2021 with an updated RSV4 range boasting more torque, power, fresh electronics, MotoGP-derived chassis parts and what we reckon is one of the best paintjobs in modern motorcycling.
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Already equipped with one of the best engines in class, but unable to live with the BMW S1000RR or Ducati Panigale V4 S as an all-round package – the Italian marque are back with a vengeance, with their latest RSV4 available in two flavours, both packing 214bhp from their yowling Euro5-friendly 1099cc V4 engines.
Displacement's up 20cc from the current bike’s 1077cc motor and complete with a new exhaust system, the new engine is also said to produce more torque, however no figures are currently available.
Housing all of these rampant Italian ponies is the same aluminium twin spar chassis, however it’s now been coupled with a revised swingarm, said to be lighter, with a reinforced lower brace for less unwanted flex.
Available as a blinged-up RSV4 Factory and more basic RSV4 – likely to be the choice of serious trackday goers and race teams – the changes aren’t purely internal, with the new engine and frame dressed in a new set of plastics with a roomier riding position.
Said to boast ‘extremely low aerodynamic resistance’ for greater stability at high speed, the new look is complimented by a fresh set of winglets. These are no longer bolted into the fairing and are instead built in as one unit at the production stage.
Reducing drag further, whilst supposedly directing hot air away from the rider, the gently protrude from the angular side profile, rather than poking out like whiskers on a catfish - as seen on the hugely capable Ducati Panigale V4 range.
Illuminating the bodywork and road in front of you is a plethora of LEDs, plus a cornering light on each side to make life that bit easier during the dusky last session of a trackday. On top of practical lighting, the riding position has also been altered, thanks to a new fuel tank and seat – claimed to provide a more relaxed, comfortable and roomy position.
Of course, with great power, comes great responsibility and Aprilia couldn’t feed the RSV4 with more punch without adding some more electronic rider aids. Cycling through these is made easier by a new TFT dash, which is now larger and stuffed with more goodies.
Thanks to a new Marelli ECU and six-axis IMU, on top of the usual suite of traction control, wheelie control, ABS and so on, there is now also the addition of multi-level engine braking control. On top of this, there is now also six riding modes, with three for the track – two of which are customisable. Of the three road modes, one can be configured to your preferences.
Both versions of the new model are powered by the same engine, however the likely more expensive Factory gets more goodies, as you’d expect. This includes forged aluminium wheels, the semi-active Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension and Brembo Stylema calipers.
The standard bike is only available in a ‘Dark Losail colour scheme’, with the Factory yours in either ‘Aprilia Black’ or ‘Lava Red’.
There’s no word yet on availability or price of the new models but MCN will bring you more information as we get it along with a full review as soon as we’ve ridden them.