Ride Review: Aprilia RSV4 RF

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Attending Aprilia’s launch of the 2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR & RF in Italy, our friends from have been kind enough to share their thoughts and short review on Aprilia’s newly update superbike.

Getting a chance to put the Aprilia RSV4 RF through its paces at the Misano Circuit near the Rimini Coast of Italy, Ilja’s thoughts are timely, as Aprilia has recently entered into the MotoAmerica Championship with the revised RSV4. – Jensen

After a great many success in World Superbike, Aprilia claims to have improved the venerable 2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR street bike once more. Aprilia’s halo motorcycle has lost a couple of pounds and its power output has risen to a punchy 201hp.

To celebrate this milestone Aprilia not only unleashes the standard RR version, but also a limited run of 500 units for the “RF” (Racing Factory) bikes.

The RSV4 RF hosts obvious upgrades such as forged wheels, Öhlins suspension and steering damper, and a WSBK-inspired color scheme. To see how the updated RSV4 goes, we were invited to review RF #77 out of 500, on the newly resurfaced Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”.



There is no revolution regarding the RSV4’s looks: apart from some aerodynamic tweaks to the fairing, new mirrors with integrated LEDs, and some new colors. There is not much to distinguish new from old.

Start the engine from cold, and a beautiful deep raspy exhaust note greets you, both warm and raw at the same time — more MotoGP than WSBK.

This is a pure racer on first sight. The only giveaway to it being a street bike is the comfortable and slightly soft seat.

The front inspires confidence especially in the slower corners, inviting you to ride the curbs hard. It feels stable and settled with only a hint of movement in the crazy fast 4th gear kink on this track.

You can drop the RSV4 on its side without effort, and it follows the line almost automatically. The smooth and supple refreshed engine helps a great deal in this regard.

Flicking the Aprilia from side to side feels like a 600, it is so incredibly easy, but when you open the throttle, the similarities end rapidly. This is a 201hp rocket ship, it is hard to believe.

Great handling and stupid power makes for plenty of braking, and luckily the RSV4 has what it takes: the radial Brembo M430 calipers and Brembo master cylinder provide enormous bite and power from high speed.

Despite the RSV4’s tendency for ludicrous speed, the ergonomically revised fairing still offers no wind protection whatsoever.

Even with my moderate 5’10” frame, I have to try very hard to hide behind the screen. Misano doesn’t have any proper long straights, so it’s not that much of an issue here. I’m sure it will a headache on the German Autobahn, though.



The RSV4 has every electronic trick in the book. Aprilia calls it APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) and it consists of traction control, wheelie control, launch control, a quickshifter, and rear-wheel lift control. It’s all adjustable too, and allows brave men and women to even turn everything off.

The traction control is so subtle and precise that you only know it is on by hearing it working and watching the lights flickering on the dash. Your confidence builds quickly and every lap you crack the throttle earlier and farther open.

Wheelie control is great too, lifting the front ever so slightly when exiting a 2nd or 3rd corner on full throttle. You find yourself changing up with a floating front wheel as if you’ve been racing a motorbike since you were four-years-old and everyone called you “Vale”.

The quickshifter adds an ultimate bit of race immersion with full-throttle and clutchless upshifts. The shifts themselves are pretty notchy though, especially at higher RPMs.

All this is controlled by Aprilia’s ride-by-wire system, which offers three different mappings: S (Sport), T (Track) and R (Race) with Race ABS.

New for 2015 is smartphone support (Iphone and Android), with the V4-MP app. This telemetry and datalogging tool offers plenty of features and provides info about acceleration, cornering info, lap times, braking power, etc

Your smartphone is connected to the bike through USB and this makes for a great setup tool: you can adjust wheelie control and traction control corner per corner. An ideal setup comes pre-programmed for the well known tracks like Misano, Assen, and Jerez.

All these features and adjustments are complicated to understand fully though and it is hard to read all this information at speed on the dashboard.



The 2015 Aprilia RSV4 is very easy to ride and this makes this superbike still very useable on the street: there is loads of fun to be had with all this power and the impressive sound turns heads for sure. But to be honest, the extreme seating position, 201hp and the complicated electronics are overkill for the road.

The RSV4 has been a wonderful race bike for many years, and the 2015 RR and RF models continue this theme. They offer a more rounded package for the  superbike segment.

Everything about this Aprilia is just right: superb power with great control, phenomenal brakes and razor sharp handling with lots of confidence — making you feel like a true WSBK hero.





Photos: Aprilia

A special “dankuwel” to our friends at for sharing this article with us, and big thank you as well to Jan DeMan, who translated Ilja’s work from Dutch into English for our readers.