The Aprilia RSV4 hasn’t even reached dealers in the US yet, and there’s already speculation for what’s to come next year. With BMW finally spilling the beans on its pricing structure for the S1000RR, it should seem clear that Aprilia is going to have a lot of trouble hocking the long awaited RSV4 at the likely $6,000 price surplus that the RSV4 is going to have over the Japanese and new BMW.
To combat this, there is speculation starting to go around that Aprilia will release a “base” model (they don’t like calling it a base model, but that’s what it is) later in 2010, in order to compete with the cheaper models. Rumors peg the base model price to be about $4,000 less than the Factory model, which is due to come out later this year.
When you consider the fact that the RSV4 has traditionally priced itself bellow the Ducati, with comparable performance, it is easy to see that the new RSV4 is not intended to be a baseline motorcycle. Instead, Aprilia’s V4 aims to compete head-to-head with the Ducati 1198S, with similar specs and likely cheaper pricing (we’re guessing $1,500, plus or minus $500). This means Aprilia has nothing to compete with the 1198, and 1198R (due to come out). While Aprilia has never attempted to compete with the R, they are making a new move by not covering the bottom rung of Ducati’s line-up.
Aprilia surely knows they are going to lose sales because of this price point. It’s hard to justify a nearly $20,000 motorcycle. That’s why the rumor about the “base” model is so believable. If what we’re hearing is true, you can expect to see sometime next year, a cheaper model, in say the $15,000-$16,000 range, that will retain the overall characteristics of the RSV4 Factory, but include less exotic componanents. Namely, non-ohlins suspension, less/no carbon fiber, no forged aluminum rims, etc.
Reports have even indicated that the variable intake will go, but suggest that the power figure will remain the same. We have a hard time believing that part of the rumor, and would expect to see some sort of power differential. But, it wouldn’t be the first time Aprilia blurred their product differentials like that, so it’s anyone’s guess.
Lastly, it would seem ABS is destined for the RSV4, although it is unclear if that will mean 2010, or 2011. With BMW upping the ante by offering it as an option on the S1000RR, we wouldn’t be surprised if Aprilia gave it a try, and if Ducati adds it, all bets are off.