Bikes

Up-Close with the 2018 Aprilia RSV4 RF LE

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At the Grand Prix of the Americas, Aprilia USA debuted a special new superbike for the 2018 model year, the Aprilia RSV4 RF LE.

Limited to only 125 units for North America (100 for the USA, 25 for Canada), the big feature of the 2018 Aprilia RSV4 RF LE is the bike’s fairing winglets, which draw from Aprilia Racing’s aerodynamic progress in the MotoGP Championship.

Getting a chance to see the new Aprilia RSV4 RF LE in the flesh while in Texas, we grabbed some up-close photos of this limited edition RSV4, for your viewing pleasure, along with some other details.







Aprilia’s wings are an interesting development, and a brave new world for production superbike design. For its part too, it seems that Aprilia isn’t quite sure what to make of the development as well, offering us two narratives for the winglets.

On the one hand, Aprilia personnel were quick to tell us that the winglets come from the Italian firm’s Factory Works program, where Aprilia Racing itself will make RSV4 superbikes to-spec for customers, with the 250hp Aprilia RSV4 R FW-GP including an option for aerodynamic aids.

The engineering prowess for Aprilia Racing is mighty, a fact that the company’s MotoGP program aims to prove with its results on the race track, and for which Aprilia is benefitting from for its winged RSV4 design.







Now making those winged fairings available on the road-legal consumer model, Aprilia personnel on-hand in Texas downplayed the functional side of the winglets, suggesting that they were more for marketing purposes – drawing a line between the company’s MotoGP program and its street bikes – rather than for function.

This is a curious juxtaposition, though assurances were made that further models coming down the line would have more functional aerodynamic packages available.

The winglets surely have no effect at city speeds, though it will be interesting to hear reports from owners regarding how they feel at track speeds. Regardless, the winglets are in the wild now. It will be interesting to see what other brands follow suit.







Photos: © 2018 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – All Rights Reserved







Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.

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