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Aprilia RSV4

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Episode 61 of the Brap Talk motorcycle podcast is out with another “weekly” episode, for your two-wheeled listening pleasure. Apologies for the delay on this one – I am pretty sure it was edited with a mild concussion, which will be explained in Episode 62.

The show is worth the wait though, as we talk about riding the new Aprilia RSV4 superbike at Laguna Seca. Spoiler alert: it’s awesome.

When you are at the top of the superbike pile, it can be hard to justify change, and yet Aprilia has been constantly updating the RSV4 ever since it debuted in 2009.

For the 2021 model year, the Aprilia RSV4 and Aprilia RSV4 Factory models get another update, which is again more of an evolution of the existing machine, rather than a totally new design.

That being said, the changes that come to the 2021 Aprilia RSV4 are pretty big this time around, as you can see from the photo above.

Is this the new 2021 Aprilia RSV4 superbike? That is what the internet seems to think, after the eagle eyes at Motomaniaci spotted the machine testing on city roads.

The bike is a mixture of old and new, with the frame and engine appearing to be the same units from the current generation of the Aprilia RSV4.

However, we can see that Noale is using a new under-slung swingarm design, the exhaust can is a new design, and that the bodywork has gone through some serious changes.

The big Brembo brake pad recall continues onward, this time with Aprilia reporting to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the recall affects its V4 lineup.

Accordingly, the recall affects both trim levels of the Tuono V4 and RSV4 sport bikes, for the 2017 to 2020 model years (only the 2017-2018 model years for the RSV4 RF though).

This recall affects 3,287 V4 units sold by Aprilia in the United States, which constitutes all the RSV4 RR, RSV4 RF, Tuono V4, and Tuono V4 Factory sold in the United States during those time periods.

It is hard to believe that the RSV4 superbike from Aprilia is 10 years old now…but then again, maybe it isn’t so hard to believe. The bike hasn’t change that much physically when you look at it (though, changes abound internally), and even the new latest-and-greatest version of the bike can only be really identified by its new aerodynamic aids.

That being said though, the RSV4 is still at the top of the heap, and with the RSV4 1100 Factory, Aprilia is looking to keep its crown in the superbike category. I won’t bore you with riding details now, but feel free to read our exhaustive riding review of this machine.

Getting a chance to snap some photos of the Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory after riding it at Mugello, we spent some one-on-one time with this 214hp superbike, winglets and all.

It is hard to believe that the Aprilia RSV4 superbike is ten-years-old this year. Even in the superbike space, which has seen more than its fair share of models languishing through the years, 10 trips around the sun is a long time. And yet, Aprilia has managed to be at the top of the game the whole duration.

Riders will always differ on their preferences, but the Aprilia RSV4 is a regular on the experts’ short-lists. The RSV4 is just an amazing machine, and Aprilia has done a good job of bringing meaningful updates to the model every few years.

With the Euro5 homologation coming in 2021, we are sure to see a successor to the Aprilia RSV4, but before that happens, the Noale brand wants to celebrate its opus with a special model, the Aprilia RSV4 X.

This is the 10th year of the Aprilia RSV4 superbike, and despite that duration, the V4 superbike remains one of the top machines that you can stick in your garage.

Part of this is due to the fact that the RSV4 is an incredibly well-engineered high-tech motorcycle. After all, it was the first superbike to use an inertial measurement unit (IMU) in conjunction with traction control, and one of the first superbikes to have a ride-by-wire throttle.

The other part of Aprilia’s dominance comes down to the fact that the Italian brand has consistently updated the RSV4 every couple of years, helping keep it at the sharp end of the superbike stick. Now if you believe the rumors, the 2019 model year will be no different.

Today is the first day of a massive recall for Brembo brakes, as our inbox just received the first official notice of what is expected to a recall that touches a multitude of brands that use the Italian company’s high-performance line of brake master cylinders.

The issue stems from the Brembo’s popular PR16 radial master cylinder unit (the master cylinder that is often paired with the Brembo M50 calipers), which apparently can crack internally at the piston, which can then lead to front brake failure. 

Because of the physical properties of the piston material used on the master cylinder, and the porosity generated during the injection process used to create them, the piston could crack when used on race tracks, or with frequent ABS intervention, or when the motorcycle falls to the ground.

As such when the piston cracks, the front brakes may not operate properly during a braking procedure, which can lead to the front brakes failing entirely. 

A return to World Superbike, with the bike that he came so close to winning the championship on – it all appeared like a dream opportunity for Eugene Laverty, to put himself into a position to win the title.

The dream quickly turned to a nightmare, and from the start of winter testing it was clear that major work needed to be done to return the RSV4 to the front.

Moving to the Milwaukee Aprilia squad understandably led to heightened expectations. In their second year in WorldSBK, the former British Superbike champions were expected to make a leap forward.

Teething problems were expected with the switch from BMW to Aprilia, but not the struggles that lay ahead.

“During the winter you can go in the wrong direction with the bike,” commented Laverty. “Unfortunately, that was the case for us.”

“It wasn’t the direction that I would have taken the bike, and that’s why right away from early in the season, I was starting to steer it back to how I rode the bike four years ago. It took us a few rounds to get the right base, and we’ve been trying to progress since then.”