When we look at Aprilia’s lineup, it is surprisingly sparse. The brand has only a pair of models with its V4 engine, and another pair with its 900cc v-twin. Four bikes – that’s it.
The revised middleweights – the Shiver 900 and Dorsoduro 900 – debuted in 2017, bringing some refinements to the lackluster 750cc machines that they replaced. The 900cc bikes are not the stars in Aprilia’s lineup though, and they struggle to sell at Aprilia dealerships, but they have a tremendous amount of potential.
We say this because it always felt like Aprilia could have done more with the engine platforms available to the Italian brand. A long-travel suspension adventure-sport makes a ton of sense for the V4 platform, and today we see what could be done with the v-twin platform.
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.
I wasn’t going to double-dip on stories for the Aprilia RS 660 concept this week, but well…these photos were too good not to share ASAP. If you haven’t read our report that the Aprilia RS 660 will be showing up for the 2020 model year, well then…started getting excited party-people.
Ahead of our ride time on the new Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory, the folks from Noale invited us to their “Aprilia All Stars” event at the Mugello circuit last week, which is where we spotted the RS 660 on display.
The bike hasn’t changed from its debut in Milan late last year, which is fine by us, as it looks like it could roll right onto the showroom floor already…and apparently from yesterday’s news, that is the point.
Still, spending some time up-close with the Aprilia RS 660 concept provides us with some interesting insights to this machine.
When the Aprilia RS 660 concept was debuted at last year’s EICMA show, what we saw was actually three thing. One was a new engine platform, based around a parallel-twin engine that is basically an RSV4 motor cut in half. Another was a middleweight supersport model based on that new twin-cylinder engine, and the third was an active aerodynamics concept.
Our Bothan spies tell us that the active aerodynamics package is destined for the next generation of the Aprilia RSV4 superbike, which we expect to see in 2021 when the Euro5 regulations first come into affect. They also told us that the Aprilia RS 660 was the first model of a new platform, which we would see debut for the 2020 model year.
Now with Aprilia talking to our colleagues at Moto-Station in France, we get confirmation that the Aprilia RS 660 will debut as a production model later this year, at the EICMA show in Milan, which is held in November.
Imagine you have been given the opportunity to ride the iconic grand prix track at Mugello, and that you are going to do it on a superbike with well over 200hp at the crank. It has the latest technology, both in terms of electronic rider aids and physical aerodynamics. And oh, the Tuscan sun will be shining on you the whole day.
This is a sport rider’s dream. This is fat check mark on any two-wheeled enthusiast’s motorcycling bucket list. When the folks at Noale invited us to come ride the new Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory at the famed Italian race track in the Tuscany region, our affirmative reply didn’t take long to send.
I won’t lie and and try and pretend that the prospect of riding at Mugello hasn’t been high on my list of things to do before I die, but bucket-lists aside, I wanted to see where Aprilia was standing, now 10 years after the original debut of its RSV4 superbike.
What was really “new” about the decade-old machine? How did it compare to the new offerings in the industry? And, is all the hype about winglets really grounded in reality?
Well..I came back from Mugello overwhelmed, impressed, and befuddled. Let me explain.
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.
Greetings from the Mugello, as we continue our three-week European adventure, this time gearing up to ride the Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory superbike.
The culmination of 10 years of RSV4 motorcycles, this 2019 edition sees the engine displacement bumped to 1,078cc, winglets added to the front fairings, an Akrapovic exhaust, and a host of other changes made to the venerable superbike.
As you can expect then, this machine should be a rocket ship around this iconic Italian race track – rumor on the street is that rear-wheel horsepower is just over 200hp!
For the bullet points on what’s new here, the 2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory weighs 11 lbs lighter than its predecessor, and makes 16hp more power, and 5 lbs•ft more torque as well.
After yesterday’s sitting of the MotoGP Court of Appeal, ruling on Ducati’s rear swing arm-fitted spoiler, no official announcement was made, and next to no information leaked out from other sources. There is still no decision, and what was discussed behind closed doors, is staying behind closed doors for the moment.
On Saturday, however, Aprilia held its Aprilia All Stars event at the Mugello circuit, a day to celebrate the fabulous machines the Italian factory has produced, and the great champions who have ridden then. Along with riders past and present, there was also Massimo Rivola, Aprilia Racing CEO, and Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager.
That meant that they had their chance to give their side of the argument to the assembled media. In a press conference, Rivola and Albesiano explained why they had protested against Ducati’s use of its spoiler during the opening race of the 2019 MotoGP season at Qatar, and made clear that it was not their intention for Andrea Dovizioso to be stripped of the win in that race.
The 97th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb might be still five and a half months away, but things are already looking very interesting for the road race above the clouds.
This is because the entry list for the 2019 PPIHC is out, and it contains more than a few curious motorcycle entries that have piqued (peaked?) or interest.
Today’s headline is all about Moody’s upgrading Piaggio’s credit rating to “Ba3” – up from its previous “B1” rating.
I understand that financial credit rating systems aren’t exactly your typical fare on a motorcycle news site, so stay with me here for a minute.
The basic gist is that moving from a B1 rating to a Ba3 rating takes Piaggio beyond the threshold of being “highly speculative” investment opportunity to “non-investment grade” business in the eyes of investors.
After what has been a very difficult year for Aprilia’s effort in MotoGP, the Noale factory is to shake up its racing department.
Current Aprilia Racing boss Romano Albesiano is to be moved sideways to concentrate on the technical side of the racing program, while Massimo Rivola, former Ferrari F1 team boss and head of Ferrari Driver Academy, will take over as CEO of Aprilia Racing.
The move is a response to the difficulties Aprilia has faced since making a full-time return to MotoGP.