2011 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC: First Ride
First impressions of Aprilia's new literbike
Motorcycle.com’s European correspondent, Tor Sagen, recently had a chance to run some laps on the brand new Aprilia RSVR Factory APRC. We’ll be getting a full review soon, but here’s a quick taste test.
Wow! This high tech wonder from Aprilia has got it all; traction control, launch control, wheelie control, quick shifter and three different riding modes. And it all works!
The traction control is racing derived and like Ducati’s (DTC) it’s adjustable in eight levels. Where it differs from Ducati’s system is that Aprilia’s traction control feels smoother and several journalists said that they couldn’t feel when the traction control was in action. I started off my first session using level 8 and just to test it’s effectiveness I pinned it in all the tightest corners using first gear. It was very obvious that the traction control was working – otherwise I would have ended up in the gravel trap! The traction control switchgear comes from the Mana and is very easy to use while on the move.
Jerez is a perfect circuit to test motorcycles. The long sweeping corners are super fast and with the Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC SE you can lay down rubber like the professional racers without risking your limbs. There are also plenty of hard braking areas, low gear corners and technical areas which all suit the RSV4 APRC perfectly. It’s still the mighty little nimble superbike it was from the beginning and is one of the easiest literbikes to change direction quickly from hard left to hard right or visa versa. The new Pirelli 200 section rear tire offers superbike grip even at standstill and when it does go (which happens often enough now that us mortals can slide everywhere courtesy of traction control) it happens in a smooth un-dramatic way. Fun is what it really is.
Wheelie control is adjustable in three levels and like the launch control it’s about limiting torque to a preset level. Again it really works and all I had to think about was letting go off that full throttle opening in time to break before the corners. Launch control is a very special feature to add to a roadbike and really reflects Aprilia’s wishes to make this a true racebike for the road because there’s not much use for it really on the road. Drag racing from lights to light is all well. However, you can’t cancel the launch mode at speeds lower than 100mph, which isn’t handy in town. Due to the complexity and the necessity to cool the clutch down properly after each launch it’s purely a racing feature. I did my three launches and after double checking the setting is correct all I had to do was to keep the throttle wide open and let go of the clutch under modulation. You can’t just drop it because then it could all go wrong either way. Either a big unsalvageable wheelie or you lose all torque. It’s heaven or hell.
The Quick shifter works a treat and makes going faster a whole lot easier.
Stay tuned to Motorcycle.com for a full review of the 2011 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC.