Amidst all of the uncertainty with the future of Aprilia’s racing plans, Roberto Colaninno, chairman of the Piaggio Group, which owns Aprilia, confirmed Tuesday at EICMA that the brand was in fact making a full-fledged return to MotoGP in 2016 as a factory team. Colaninno was quoted as saying, “In 2016 Aprilia will return to MotoGP […]
Aprilia RSV4 Factory
Bella Italian superbike first look
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Perhaps only Ducati’s street-legal MotoGP carbon-copy Desmosedici has received as much anticipation as Aprilia’s all-new RSV4 Factory. A four cylinder Vee from Aprilia is significant largely because the Italian bike maker has dealt almost exclusively with V-Twins. The big deal here is that Aprilia was able to squish two more cylinders into roughly the same space normally occupied by a narrow V-Twin, thereby keeping the bike slim and light.
Aprilia’s new V4 engine nitty gritty:
• Engine: 999.6cc (78 x 52.3mm) 65-degree V4, four valves-per-cylinder
• Power: claimed 180 HP at 12,500 rpm; 84.8 ft-lbs at 10,000 rpm
• Fuel system: 48mm Magneti Marelli T-bodies with 2 injectors per cylinder; integrated independent Ride by Wire system for each bank (read: throttle by wire likely similar to systems already in place on Aprilia’s Shiver and Mana). Three mappings selectable from handlebar (also similar principle to the Shiver and Mana). Electronically controlled variable length intake ducts (Think of Yamaha’s YCC-I as found on the R6 and R1)
• Maximum rpm: 14,100 rpm
• Compression ratio: 13:1
• Transmission: 6-speed direct-control cassette gearbox
• Clutch: multiplate wet clutch with mechanical slipper system
• Exhaust system: 4 into 2 into 1
The frame is similar to that on the RSV1000, but Aprilia claims it now weighs a skosh over 22 lbs (10.1 kg). And, like everyone else these days, Aprilia jumped on board with mass centralization in such ways as positioning the fuel tank so most of the fuel is under the saddle, theoretically eliminating any riding differences between a full and empty tank. Aprilia claims the RSV4 Factory to have a front/rear weight distribution percentage of 52/48.
Most notable about the new frame is that engine, swingarm pivot point and headstock (and thusly rake) positions can be altered. This technology is derived from MotoGP efforts, and according to Aprilia the “RSV4 Factory is the most highly adjustable production motorcycle in the world, just like a real race bike.”
Slowing the new V4 superbike is the job of the ever-capable Brembo mono-block radial brake calipers squeezing a pair of 320mm rotors attached to lightweight forged aluminium wheels. Equally lust-worthy is an Ohlins 43mm USD fork, Ohlins shock and adjustable Ohlins steering damper.
Indeed, the new Aprilia RSV4 Factory is the stuff motorcycle dreams are made of, but soon dreams will become reality, as we’ll have a full ride report from the world press launch on tap next week. Stick around Motorcycle.com so you don’t miss it!