APRC, short for: Aprilia Performance Ride Control…that just about sums up the latest special edition motorcycle out of Noale. Taking the World Superbike winning RSV4 Factory, Aprilia joins a bevy of other manufacturers in applying race-bred electronic packages to their sport bike offerings for 2011. More than just a traction control system, Aprilia has added a multitude of electronics to the 2011 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC Special Edition.
Already leaked before Intermot, the Special Edition RSV4 Factory gets Aprilia Traction Control (ATC), which features 8 settings that are selectable via the left handlebar. However we also know now that the 2011 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC Special Edition comes also with Aprilia Wheelie Control (AWC) and Aprilia Launch Control (ALC), both of which have three settings. Similar to the Ducati 1198 series, the RSV4 is also getting a quick-shifter, dubbed the Aprilia Quick Shift (AQS), which allows the rider to shift gears without using the clutch and without closing the throttle. Photos and more after the jump.
Other revisions include a more visually palatable and lighter exhaust system, closer-ratio six-speed gearbox, improved engine lubrication (monster wheelies anyone?), and a 200/55 rear tire with Pirelli Diablo Supercosa SP rubber on it (which Aprilia is calling “exclusive” to this bike, but as far as we can tell it’s only “exclusive” because no one else fits a 200/55 tire to a production street bike in the industry). With all these add-ons and improvements, the 2011 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC Special Edition makes reportedly 180hp (although initial rumors pegged the bike at 186hp, Aprilia has yet to say one way or another), and tips the scales at 394lbs without the battery and liquids.
According to Aprilia, other traction control systems are optimized for a specific size and type of tire, while the ATC system automatically adjusts itself for use with different types of sizes and tires. This is handy when you want to take, what will surely be impossible to find, the 200/55 Pirelli rubber off, and put a more reasonable 190 width tire on your forged aluminum rims.
The Aprilia Wheelie Control system predicts when a wheelie begins and ends, and according to Aprilia helps smooth when the front comes back down and connects with the asphalt.
Helping get things going, the Aprilia Launch Control system is designed to help..well…launch the RSV4 from a standing stop. First selecting one of three settings from the system, a rider arms the ALC system by squeezing both traction control buttons on the left handlebar joystick. Once armed and ready, a rider just needs to rip it and grip it, with a full twist on the throttle launching the bike with the appropriate clutch drops and gear shifts.
The AQS system is designed to allow clutch-less shifting without closing the throttle. By shortening the spark advance for a brief moment, the AQS works with the new closer-ratio gearbox, which limits RPM drop during shifting. The result is quick and efficient shifting.
Really the only thing not to like (did you see the Öhlins suspension and carbon fiber parts?), is the bike’s questionable race scheme. Aprilia likely assumes the classy World Superbike Champions stickers will offset the otherwise garish Italian flag on the lower body panel. They were wrong. Still, this isn’t a bike we’d kick out of bed. Pricing and availability to be determined.